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Wine doggy bags


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They just passed the law here allowing patrons to bring home unfinished bottles of wine after dinner. They have the usual amount of red tape: a special, see through one-time use plastic bag that cannot be opened without cutting it. A receipt, stapled to the bag that shows the dinner bill and matching bottle of wine with the name, address, and telephone of the restaurant. Must be completely re-corked before leaving, and the receipt must be stapled to the bag.

does anyone else have this law? Those who do, how often does it come up that patrons want to take their wine home? This being Massachusetts (after all, we only began allowing liquor stores to open on Sunday's a maybe 3 years ago) this is causing quite a fuss. Some places don't want to comply for liability reasons. The fear is that someone leaves your place, hits five more bars, crashes into something, and they have a bag with the name of your restaurant with an open bottle located inside the car.

Just curious how other states/areas deal with this. I know in Penn. they sell beer right out of bars, but they are pretty strict with alchohol here.

Here is the only distributor that is practical for the bags:

http://winedoggybag.com/

the other company has a 50,000 minimum order... :biggrin:

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They just passed the law here allowing patrons to bring home unfinished bottles of wine after dinner.  They have the usual amount of red tape: a special, see through one-time use plastic bag that cannot be opened without cutting it.  A receipt, stapled to the bag that shows the dinner bill and matching bottle of wine with the name, address, and telephone of the restaurant.  Must be completely re-corked before leaving, and the receipt must be stapled to the bag.

does anyone else have this law?  Those who do, how often does it come up that patrons want to take their wine home?  This being Massachusetts (after all, we only began allowing liquor stores to open on Sunday's a maybe 3 years ago) this is causing quite a fuss.  Some places don't want to comply for liability reasons.  The fear is that someone leaves your place, hits five more bars, crashes into something, and they have a bag with the name of your restaurant with an open bottle located inside the car. 

Just curious how other states/areas deal with this.  I know in Penn. they sell beer right out of bars, but they are pretty strict with alchohol here.

Here is the only distributor that is practical for the bags:

http://winedoggybag.com/

the other company has a 50,000 minimum order... :biggrin:

It seems ironic :blink: here in B.C. our provincal government, which is really up tight about wine and wine laws, started allowing patrons to take home unfinished wine just over two years ago. All we have to do is seal the bottle up in any type of bag and tell the customer to put the bottle in the trunk of their car. I would have thought it would be much more common in the States? The sealed bags are a great idea much more professional than a bag stapled and handed to a customer.

Interesting thread topic.

Stephen Bonner

Vancouver

Edited by SBonner (log)

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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here is the actual government site with the guidlines.

http://www.mass.gov/abcc/administration/newnotice.htm

they have yet to write up actual legislation. They used emergency powers to override the governors veto.

The bill, incidentally, included a provisoin that would have allowed Massachusetts residents to order wine online and through wineries. Currently we have a complete ban on that, and all distribution is done by dozens of distributors. No price competition. You can only get Segrams from this one, grey goose from that, beer from another, wine form yet still others. The end result is that you can run a restaurant with no less than 6 distributors, you can do more, but most have minimum orders, blah blah. I spend more of my order time trying to figure out how to spend enough from all the distributors just so I can get the 5 things I really need. Buying from liquor stores for a restaurant will get your liquor license pulled. Needless to say, the mail order provision was put off from pressure by the distributors. I think they deleiberated on March 13th about that, but not sure of the outcome.

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They just passed the law here allowing patrons to bring home unfinished bottles of wine after dinner.  They have the usual amount of red tape: a special, see through one-time use plastic bag that cannot be opened without cutting it.  A receipt, stapled to the bag that shows the dinner bill and matching bottle of wine with the name, address, and telephone of the restaurant.  Must be completely re-corked before leaving, and the receipt must be stapled to the bag.

does anyone else have this law?  Those who do, how often does it come up that patrons want to take their wine home?  This being Massachusetts (after all, we only began allowing liquor stores to open on Sunday's a maybe 3 years ago) this is causing quite a fuss.  Some places don't want to comply for liability reasons.  The fear is that someone leaves your place, hits five more bars, crashes into something, and they have a bag with the name of your restaurant with an open bottle located inside the car. 

Just curious how other states/areas deal with this.  I know in Penn. they sell beer right out of bars, but they are pretty strict with alchohol here.

Here is the only distributor that is practical for the bags:

http://winedoggybag.com/

the other company has a 50,000 minimum order... :biggrin:

It seems ironic :blink: here in B.C. our provincal government, which is really up tight about wine and wine laws, started allowing patrons to take home unfinished wine just over two years ago. All we have to do is seal the bottle up in any type of bag and tell the customer to put the bottle in the trunk of their car. I would have thought it would be much more common in the States? The sealed bags are a great idea much more professional than a bag stapled and handed to a customer.

Interesting thread topic.

Stephen Bonner

Vancouver

Is the situation in Canada similar to the chaos we have here?

Does each Province have their own wine laws and regulations?

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Each province has its wine laws some (Alberta) being more liberal in execution and taxes. Overall I think Canada's laws are just as if not more confusing than what you experience.

Cheers,

Stephen

Edited by SBonner (log)

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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I moved to Penn from Mass about 3 years ago. I wouldn't use PA as an example of liberal (or even sensible) liquor laws. You can only buy liquor and wine in the State Stores (which are now VERY well run thanks to a new chairman). They do not allow direct sales to consumers from wineries (unless ordering from a PA winery). You have to order through the state system. You buy beer by the case ONLY in beer stores. If you want your beer cold, you pay extra. If you want a 6 pack, you can buy at triple the normal price from a bar.

The fact I can't get a 6 pack of Sam Adams the couple of times a year I want chaps my britches. Yes, I am bitter! Based on all this, I don't think PA will be instituting this anytime soon and a lot of the best restaurants are BYOB anyway since they don't want to deal with any of it. MA seems to have really lightened up a lot on the whole blue law thing recently. I would take MA anytime.

Edit: Oh yeah. MA did "open on Sundays" year round months before PA did. At least MA did open on Sundays for the holidays for a few years.

Edited by LindaJ (log)
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Speaking of wine and laws in MA, has anyone heard the latest on the wine shipping bill? Last I knew, Romney had vetoed the watered down bill back in November and that the legislature was due to vote on a revised bill sometime soon.

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New York State passed such a law in 2004 with similar guidelines, but I don't know if any restaurants actually offer "doggy bags."

I haven't read the entire bulletin, but the link is here. Basically the same law as Massachusetts.

edited to add link

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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I think this is a fantastic solution, particularly for a state like NJ, which is (thankfully) chock full of BYO restaurants!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I think this is a fantastic solution, particularly for a state like NJ, which is (thankfully) chock full of BYO restaurants!

in NJ you're allowed to take left-over wine with you from a restaurant. ask most owners/managers and they won't know that, but it's allowed. don't get me started on how ignorant most owners/managers are of the law.

the theory, i suppose, is that if you don't sit at your table and finish the wine (since people don't like to waste wine or money they might be likely to do just that), you won't be as drunk when you leave, which i think everyone would agree is a good thing.

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What I've found notable about the law in New York is that a lot of restaurants claim never to have heard about it. Few, in my experience, have the state-approved bags. I've taken wine home from restaurants (after having convinced them I'm allowed to) in a paper bag and no bag.

(Don't get me wrong: SOME restaurants have both known about the law and been prepared to comply with it. Part of this is probably that I'm less likely to have wine left over after a big-deal expensive meal than after a more casual meal.)

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in NJ you're allowed to take left-over wine with you from a restaurant.  ask most owners/managers and they won't know that, but it's allowed.  don't get me started on how ignorant most owners/managers are of the law.

Aaaaaaamen. :raz: And fwiw, I think that this goes for restaurants with liquor licenses as well as those without. It's a shame, too, because with a minor amount of education, they could be helping their bottom line quite a bit.

My $ .02...

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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It's a shame, too, because with a minor amount of education, they could be helping their bottom line quite a bit. 

My $ .02...

possibly. the other possiblity is that people are ordering by the glass, spending just as much, and providing a much larger profit margin for the restaurant. it all depends on the situation.

not to mention that in order for this to effect sales of bottles, not only would restaurants have to be aware of and understand the law, but so would patrons. and maybe i'm cynical, but i don't have much faith in the average person and his/her quest for knowledge.

Edited by tommy (log)
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the thing that scares owners here in Mass about the law is the requirement for the reciept to be stapled right to the bag. The worry is that the patron takes the wine with the restaurant name on it, hits three more bars on the way home, gets into an accident, and voila! a bag with an open bottle with your name on it. Scares the hell out of my boss at least.

As far as increasing sales, I'd like to see that, but the nicer bottles aren't the ones that will be travelling home, I suspect.

The attitude here is that, apparently like some other states, most will not comply until someone makes them. All the restaurant owners I know know full well about the law, but have no intention of dealing with it until the state makes them.

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the thing that scares owners here in Mass about the law is the requirement for the reciept to be stapled right to the bag.  The worry is that the patron takes the wine with the restaurant name on it, hits three more bars on the way home, gets into an accident, and voila! a bag with an open bottle with your name on it.  Scares the hell out of my boss at least.

i can't picture this as a real issue. if there's going to be liability or culpability, the restaurant's name will be brought to light anyway. if someone is drunk and hurts someone else, the record of where the person was that night will be easily available to the people to whom it matters. there is no additional culpability. the receipt that may or may not be still attached to a paper bag after an accident seems utterly meaningless.

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this as a real issue. if there's going to be liability or culpability, the restaurant's name will be brought to light anyway. if someone is drunk and hurts someone else, the record of where the person was that night will be easily available to the people to whom it matters. there is no additional culpability. the receipt that may or may not be still attached to a paper bag after an accident seems utterly meaningless.

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you are most likely correct, but that is the thinking.  No one wants to take the chance, regardless of the likelyhood of a problem.  I've also heard some of them say they fully expect patrons to open the bag in transit.  Drinking wine out of a bottle while driving is the most absurd of the fears I've heard yet.  No one is outlawing six-packs, and they even fit into cup holders!  It all sounds far fetched, but enough people have some fear that not a single restaurant in my area that I know of is complying.

this goes back to my above comment about not having much faith in the average person's intelligence. :rolleyes:

Personally, my biggest fear is that altercation with the customer who does know the law, why they cannot take the wine home because we did not supply the proper bag.  The law is specific, no special bag with reciept, no wine to go.  Period.  I'm not looking forward to that...

it has the potential of being a nightmare.

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