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I'll Take That Wine To Go!


emhahn
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The French recently began allowing restaurant patrons to take home unfinished bottles. Here's a reference from Wine Business Online:

The Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) will be extending their ‘Bordeaux bag' scheme into 2004. Introduced in the autumn, this scheme encourages restaurant diners to take home their unfinished bottles of wine in a ‘doggy bag'--the air having been removed using a vacu-vin. There are now some 600-700 restaurants across France involved in the scheme.

The, uh, driving force behind the French move is to reduce the number of DUI arrests and accidents, the thinking being that if drivers can take the bottle home with them, they will be less inclinded to overdrink at the restaurant. Restaurateurs and winemakers support the measure because they fear a drop in restaurant wine sales in response to the DUI crackdown. Is the same reasoning being used to justify the Michigan law?

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It is a state government issue. In some cases, it may even be dictated at the municipality level, but I'm not entirely certain of that.

The arguments for taking leftover wine home with your from a restaurant is that you paid for the whole bottle, shouldn't have to drink it on premises (and drive home impaired), etc. The practice is then to put the unfinished bottle in the trunk of your vehicle.

I'm not aware of the reasons against, if it has something to do with liability or not (like open container laws), but I hope someone who is aware can enlighten us.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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Surprisingly, the Washington State legislature recently made a change to allow this as long as the wine is kept in an area that is not accessible during transportation. I.e., the trunk of the car.

You can see a Word document that explains what each state allows here.

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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This reminds me of the time I couldn't finish my fifth margarita at a Mexican restaurant. It cost $11.00 so I asked for it to go. They said it was against the law. So I asked for water to go. Dumped out the water and poured in my barely touched $11.00 margarita and walked home.

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In British Columbia guests are allowed to take home wine if it has been recorked.

I rarely see this happen but it is a nice benefit, about 10 days ago I served a couple who were really enjoying their bottle of Coudelet de Beaucastel and wanted a second one but didn't think they could/should drink 2 bottles. I explained that they could take any unused wine home with them and they happily ordered the 2nd bottle, drank 1/2 and took the rest home to enjoy the next night.

The end result was 2 happy guests and a full bottle sale for me as opposed to maybe 2 glasses of something else.

''Wine is a beverage to enjoy with your meal, with good conversation, if it's too expensive all you talk about is the wine.'' Bill Bowers - The Captain's Tavern, Miami

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A restaurant in Sedona, AZ informed me that I could take any open bottle, as long as the cork was placed back in the bottle. I didn't ask any further questions about Arizona open container laws, and left with three partially finished bottles.

Edited by sand (log)
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Surprisingly, the Washington State legislature recently made a change to allow this as long as the wine is kept in an area that is not accessible during transportation. I.e., the trunk of the car.

You can see a Word document that explains what each state allows here.

I am not sure how long ago Washington State made this change. I do know that when I was waiting tables in Washington back around 1995 - 2000 I often sent people home with their wine. And if they didn't know they could take it, I would let them know that they could.

One restaurant I worked in was across the street from a Residence Inn (or something like that where people will stay for a few weeks if they are in town on a job or something). Anyway, there were no places nearby that you could walk to in order to get beer or wine and on occassion we would just open a bottle, stick the cork back in and send them on their way. I recently did this myself in the Tri-Cities. (long story - I won't bore anyone with the details). Needless to say - I got my fairly warm $30 bottle of Columbia Crest back to my hotel room with a minimum of fuss! I just had to explain the law to the waiter who checked with the manager who fortunately knew the law. Oops! I am boring you with the details! :biggrin::sad:

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I got a Class 12 beverage servers' permit in June 2000. It wasn't legal. I renewed it in March 2005 it was legal. I got tripped up on that question in 2005. :angry:

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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In British Columbia guests are allowed to take home wine if it has been recorked. 

I rarely see this happen but it is a nice benefit, about 10 days ago I served a couple who were really enjoying their bottle of Coudelet de Beaucastel and wanted a second one but didn't think they could/should drink 2 bottles. I explained that they could take any unused wine home with them and they happily ordered the 2nd bottle, drank 1/2 and took the rest home to enjoy the next night.

The end result was 2 happy guests and a full bottle sale for me as opposed to maybe 2 glasses of something else.

2roost, this law change was so overdue. Sometimes, for whatever reason, you're reluctant to order a bottle. Or maybe you want a glass but they don't sell the vintage you want by the glass or 1/2 litre. Now you can just get the bottle, drink as much as you want (without feeling obliged to drink the whole thing so as not to waste it, thus cutting down on DUIs), and take the rest home. Wins all-around.

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