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BYOW


mkjr
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Any word on when restaurants will start to allow BYOW.  I heard Feb?

Greetings,

There's a great forum going on about Vancouver and BYOW ,

I believe you started it, thanks.

Is your question regarding Ont. BYOW law coming this FEB?

P.

Dress British Think Yiddish

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  • 3 weeks later...

A recent Tony Aspler column indicated that the BYOW legislation was "passed in 2004". However the regulations have not yet been defined - and most liquor changes are done by regulation (and as far as I have been able to determine never officially 'published' e.g. in the Ontario Gazette).

He expected the rules to be defined by end of February.

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  • 2 weeks later...
A recent Tony Aspler column indicated that the BYOW legislation was "passed in 2004". However the regulations have not yet been defined - and most liquor changes are done by regulation (and as far as I have been able to determine never officially 'published' e.g. in the Ontario Gazette).

He expected the rules to be defined by end of February.

This law is in force on Jan 24, 2005 (http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/dblaws/Tables/Public%20Statutes/Table_of_Procs.htm) and the royal assent is in the Gazette last I checked a few weeks ago (thought it got royal assent on the 14th of Dec.)

So far as I am aware I have not seen any regulations yet but the law changes the definition of supply to include:

"“supply” includes a licensee’s permitting the consumption on licensed premises of wine that a patron has brought onto the premises, in accordance with the regulations, for the patron’s consumption, alone or in the company of others; (“fournir”)"

Will look into things in more detail.

I can not think of any better news. Say good bye to 100+ percent markups and say hello to my stash of gems that I have been collecting for years.

officially left egullet....

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I can not think of any better news.  Say good bye to 100+ percent markups and say hello to my stash of gems that I have been collecting for years.

I have to revise my earlier post. I went out for dinner on Friday. I saw a bottle that I purchased for $110 dollars at the LCBO on the menu for $340. I was disgusted and was close to leaving (but for the fact that I had some gift certificates) even though I was geared up to spend some money, including on wine. I will never go to that restaurant again, despite the service being fantastic and some of the best I have ever had in the city. I decided to order the cheapest wine they had on the menu. Was thinking also that to tip on that wine price means that, at 15% on the $340 (if that is what you do - not that is what I do always), the tip is $51 plus tax. Almost half the wine price!!! Am I the only one that sees a problem worth discussing here?

Does anyone on this board even care about this topic of BYOW? The irony is that if people do not ask about BYOW then restaurants will have no reason to offer it.

Well perhaps the Toronto Star will pick up the coming into force of this new law. I plan to ask all the restaurants that I have Winterlicious (sic) reservations with if they will have BYOW. I would consider reporting the stats if anyone is interested but I am not sure if people even care. :wacko:

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I care; I care; I care.

I don't begrudge restaurants taking huge markups. I just ignore them in my dining choices.

And what hurts even more is when the LCBO puts limits on their meagre quantities of wines but allows restaurants to order by the case for limited items.

You'd think their self promoting (but totally untrue) claim of being the largest wine purchasor in the world would allow decent quantities to be made available.

I particularly recall being told that I had zero allocation for the mail-in only Cloudy Bay SB (nominally $25) only to find it on a restaurant list (chalkboard, not printed, i.e. just arrived with no storage cost) for $75 the following week.

Never went back. Restaurant later went broke! I didn't shed a tear.

As soon as we can, let's start a thread here on restaurants that have signed up for BYOW and support them as much as possible.

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There was an article in the Toronto Star on Saturday that stated in Alberta and BC where BYOW is in place only about 6 to 7 % of restaurants use the program. If this is true should we expect much difference in Ontario? I wonder what the % is in larger cities like Vancouver and Calgary.

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There was an article in the Toronto Star on Saturday that stated in Alberta and BC where BYOW is in place only about 6 to 7 % of restaurants use the program.  If this is true should we expect much difference in Ontario?  I wonder what the % is in larger cities like Vancouver and Calgary.

Wow. Responses. Great!!!

BTW - the article is incorrect (not the first time for the Toronto Star I am affraid) it is illegal in BC - see the thread in the Vancouver site and also see the liquor control board's web site which states the following put up in response to the questions prompted by Ontario's actions:

"B.C. liquor laws don't allow customers to bring their own bottles of liquor to consume in a bar, pub or restaurant."

See http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/lclb/

Which means that 6-7% of the restaurants break the law in BC because customers want to BYOW and restaurants are willing to take the risk for the increase in business.

The Star has got to check their facts before relying on a prior incorrect story. Sorry about the rant but I have seen two more errors in facts in today's paper.

I want BYOW bad and have called to start the ball rolling. I hope others will. It is so nice to bring one, have a cocktail there and port at the end, without the huge mark up.

Also, I agree with the poster regarding the Cloudy Bay SB, although if you know someone in Vancouver there were cases of the 2004 sitting on the floor at the Cambie store when I was back at Christmas (that I walked by). If you want PM me for details. I just do not buy it because there is better stuff for less. Just my 2 cents although the Pinot in the Vintages Classics might be worth a try.

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Thank you for pointing out the error in the Star's article (you would think at my age I would know better than to believe everything I read). I believe in BC they allow patrons to take away wine that has not been consumed - but they do not allow BYOW. What about Alberta?

I understand that as long as a restaurant has a re-corking tool (needed since the cork must be re-inserted flush) we in Ontatio can start taking home our wine today. Next is the battle over what the corkage fees (they are not legislated) will be for BYOW - I see that Le Select is considering $25 - this seems high to me, what is it in other jurisdictions?

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Thank you for pointing out the error in the Star's article (you would think at my age I would know better than to believe everything I read).  I believe in BC they allow patrons to take away wine that has not been consumed - but they do not allow BYOW.  What about Alberta?

I understand that as long as a restaurant has a re-corking tool (needed since the cork must be re-inserted flush) we in Ontatio can start taking home our wine today.  Next is the battle over what the corkage fees (they are not legislated) will be for BYOW - I see that Le Select is considering $25 - this seems high to me, what is it in other jurisdictions?

No problem. I am not sure about Alberta. $25 is really high for a bistro style place like Le Select given that the glassware there the last time I went was OK (maybe they have other stuff) and the food was marginal at best. Although it does not surprise me because the mark ups on their wine is pretty high with the whole consignment deal they have going on. Nice big list but by the time I finished looking at it I had asked for 3 or 4 that were sold out. I mean the French Laundry's corkage is only $25 in Napa, and so too are many top places in New York. Le Select is not a top place in Toronto I am afraid and $25 dollars is just not wine friendly - further supported by the whole call ahead thing they sugested. We shall see how this plays out in the next few weeks.

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The French Laundry's charge is $75US - and the wine cannot be on their wine list either (in theory - but they waived that restriction for the table next to us who brought a 90 Latour, not knowing it was on the list).

On the other hand, Le Select isn't the French Laundry.

But, at least they are offering the possibility. It's still our choice whether we go there - and now I might, indeed, go there with a special bottle and good friends. It's certainly more likely than it was last week, so le Select wins (potentially) and I win.

Who loses here?

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The French Laundry's charge is $75US - and the wine cannot be on their wine list either (in theory - but they waived that restriction for the table next to us who brought a 90 Latour, not knowing it was on the list).

On the other hand, Le Select isn't the French Laundry.

But, at least they are offering the possibility. It's still our choice whether we go there - and now I might, indeed, go there with a special bottle and good friends. It's certainly more likely than it was last week, so le Select wins (potentially) and I win.

Who loses here?

I stand corrected. Damn that is 3 times the price since I was there only 2 years ago. You are absolutely correct, Le Select is great for starting the ball rolling. Sorry I should not be so critical. :biggrin:

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I understand that as long as a restaurant has a re-corking tool (needed since the cork must be re-inserted flush) we in Ontatio can start taking home our wine today.  Next is the battle over what the corkage fees (they are not legislated) will be for BYOW - I see that Le Select is considering $25 - this seems high to me, what is it in other jurisdictions?

If a cork must be re-inserted, flush, to prevent us from imbibing on the way home, then what about screw cap wines? Would the regulators allow the restaurant to simply screw the cap back on, and send us on our way?

Regarding Le Select's $25 fee: I don't think it is unreasonable for the first entrant to make an attempt to set the bar high. Others will go higher, but true competitors will drop the fee level to a reasonable level.

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Interesting piece in today's Globe and Mail:

"Susur and Centro are in. So are Rain, Scaramouche, Le Select and even the Keg. Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar and Five Doors North are maybes, while Terroni and Opus say definitely not.

This is the first weekend Ontario diners will be allowed to bring their own wine for a dinner out, and Toronto restaurants are beginning to cautiously welcome the new regulations, which also allow patrons to take home unfinished bottles.

One of the biggest names to embrace the idea is Susur, regularly ranked among the city's top restaurants. It's best known for the seven-course tasting menus, and general manager John Gay thinks the take-home option will encourage diners to try several wines during a meal.

If the liquor-licence paperwork goes through, Susur will launch its BYOW service with a Chinese New Year dinner on Feb. 9, and the bring-your-own option will also be offered at the more casual Lee, its sister restaurant next door.

But chef and owner Susur Lee hopes guests won't bring plonk just to save on the bill. "That destroys the romance of dining," he says.

"I make a lot of effort to make beautiful food and if they have a beautiful bottle of wine, then bring it in."

Bringing your own bottle, however, is not without cost. At Mr. Lee's two King Street venues, the corkage fee is still being worked out, but Rain's chef Michael Rubino says his customers should expect to pay an extra $30 on each bottle they bring.

He says this price will discourage patrons from arriving with just any bottle. "If you come with a lousy bottle of wine, it demeans the experience." But he remains cautiously optimistic. "Maybe this program will encourage people to go out for dinner more often."

Le Select Bistro is counting on it. It has among the largest wine lists in the city and is ready to offer the service to allow even more selection. With a corkage fee set at $18 to open a bottle of wine, and $25 for decanting and crystal glasses, co-owner Jean-Jacques Quinsac says he's not concerned the legislation will affect his bottom line.

The venerable Centro Grill and Wine Bar is taking the service one step further. Waiters there will open your wine for about $35, but regular clients can opt to store bottles at the restaurant -- in private lockers included in renovations due to be finished by May. "They say if you can't beat 'em, join 'em," says partner Armando Mano.

Restaurants with an emphasis on wine are not the only ones adopting the new program. All corporate locations of the Keg Steakhouse will offer BYOW, and franchise locations are encouraged to do the same, spokesman Jim Croteau says, though he doesn't think many will take advantage of the service at $14.95 a pop as the chain doesn't have much of a markup.

The same service won't be available at competitors Milestones and Kelsey's, at least not for now. Owner Cara Foods says it's still looking into the new legislation.

The restaurants of the Oliver Bonacini group, which include tony venues Canoe, Jump, Biff's and Square, are also circumspect. So is Jamie Kennedy. "For the time being we will not participate," says Laura Cleland, bar manager at his eponymous Church Street place. But she speculates the wine bar will embrace the new legislation some time in the future.

Ditto at Five Doors North on Yonge Street near Eglinton, a favourite for Italian comfort food. But casual Terroni on Queen Street West isn't buying in, saying BYOW would dramatically cut sales. And swank Opus in Yorkville wouldn't consider it.

Bring your own wine -- and your manners

With progressive rules for wine service come progressive rules for restaurant etiquette. "Because it's something that is new, we'll have to learn," says Gilberto Bojaca, Ontario chairman of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. He has the following tips to bring pleasure to bring-your-own-wine dining.

Call before you carry. Although many restaurants have said they'll serve bottles brought by clients, by this weekend only a handful had submitted applications for the liquor-licence amendment that allows it. Even with the paperwork, many restaurants are trying the idea out, and a place that offers it this week may not the next. Also, ask about policies that may limit the variety or quantity of wine the restaurant will open for you.

Reserve a spot for your bottle. When you're booking a table, be sure to let the restaurant know what

wine(s) you will be bringing, and whether you have any special requirements, such as chilling, decanting or particular stemware.

If you haven't dropped the wine off ahead of time, give it to the host to open before your arrival.

Caveat emptor. Inquire about the corkage fee ahead of time, so there are no surprises, as bringing your own wine may not always be economical. "The restaurants that have the skills to assist you with the best wines are the ones most likely to charge you the highest fees."

Vinophile emptor. Don't assume the restaurant will know what to do with your most precious vintage. Have a discussion with the sommelier or waiter about how the wine is to be stored, how it's to be opened, when it is to be served and whether you want to keep the empty bottles or labels. This is especially important if you have a sequence of multiple bottles for multiple courses.

Share the bounty. If you've brought something out of the ordinary, allow your server to have a taste. "This is part of wine culture. It's part of the ritual."

Remember the little guy. The corkage fee goes to the house, but it's the waiter or sommelier who'll open the bottles and keep your glasses topped up. Take the value of the wine into consideration when leaving a tip."

I find it mildy amusing that they asked Msr. Bojaca for his take on the whole thing.

That man appears to speak through a cypher...

Which reminds me...

I know a dirty little secret about him... hmmmmm...

Edited by Nondoctor (log)

"nil illigitimum carborundum"

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I don't have the article in front of me, but at the moment it appears that in Ottawa, the ONLY restaurant to have jumped on this new option is the East India Company - of course I haven't a clue why they of all places would do so.

I'm sxure more will follow.

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I don't have the article in front of me, but at the moment it appears that in Ottawa, the ONLY restaurant to have jumped on this new option is the East India Company - of course I haven't a clue why they of all places would do so.

I'm sxure more will follow.

I believe Beckta will have BYOW nights on Sunday and Monday. Corkage around $25, it was in their newsletter which I don't have in front of me so the details may differ.

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  • 1 year later...

I heard that the Bonacini restaurants are considering allowing BYOW and/or may have already applied for the same and I get the feeling more places are allowing it. The new Toronto Life notes places that allow BYOW which I think is a huge plus for people like myself that really only seek these out these days since I like to dine out but mark ups are such a drag (esp. when I have soo much wine that needs to be drunk with many, and I always share with staff) and drain on the pocket book.

I raise this issue again also since I was asked to provide advice to wine selections at Harbour Sixty and I checked about 12 of the wines on the list and mark ups were between 400% and 500% on items that were listed on both their list and currently available at the LCBO. One example of the same was the 2003 J. Lohr Seven Oak's Cabernet, a very, very, very marginal wine on a good day (let alone a marginal year such as the 2003 vintage), which was on the list for $100 a bottle (plus 17% tax and tip) versus the $19.95 price tag at the LCBO with very very wide availability in the City. WTF? I have called Harbour Sixty a few times when I have craved a steak and asked if they have BYOW, and the last time I called they noted they have no intention of doing so.......no wonder at 500% why would you. If you would like further examples let me know but the mark up was in many regions on the list. I am sure there is a thread about mark ups just waiting to bring this sort of information to people's attention. Such is life with HS.....I guess :sad:

Edited by mkjr (log)

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  • 2 months later...
I heard that the Bonacini restaurants are considering allowing BYOW and/or may have already applied for the same and I get the feeling more places are allowing it. 

Confirmed that Canoe is now BYOW. $35 dollar corkage which I think is reasonable. Not sure if there are any restrictions etc. I suspect the other Bonacini places are BYOW. Look forward to corking some goodies from the cellar.

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