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"Bring Your Own Bottle" 2005 Legislation


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On a prior visit home, I read in the Star about upcoming legislation allowing patrons to bring their own bottle to restaurants, and take home unfinished portions brought or purchased at such restaurants.

Although the legislation passed, restaurant participation was voluntary, and I have heard very little about who opted in. I'm sure participants would charge a "corkage fee" (common in areas such as mine: Miami) to defray costs, but even still it may be a practice that was largely ignored by the GTA restaurant community.

Anyone know of any top-tables that DID opt-in? Particularly establishments that have a tasting menu, but no pairings by the glass (Susur?)

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As a post-script, I did go so far as contact the ministry that administers the programme, and by reply was told:

"Thank you for contacting the Ministry of Government Services. Restaurants are regulated under the Liquor Control Act which is administered by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

Requests for a list of participating restaurants must be made in writing to the attention of Monica Gidvani at the AGCO.

Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

90 Sheppard Avenue East

Suite 200-300

Toronto, Ontario

M2N 0A4


Phone:(416) 326-8700

Fax:Alcohol: (416) 326-5555


Not being local, I haven't contacted Ms. Gidvani, but thought I'd include this response for completeness.

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Indeed Susur did opt in.His corkage charge was $40 last time I went. Splendido is also at $40.

There may be restrictions (e.g. BYOB may not be available at peak times). And it's always advisable to call ahead and confirm that you are bringing your own.

Specifically at Susur, they also provided Riedel glasses for my wine and he also adjusted the menu slightly to make it more 'friendly' to my 1923 Burgundy!

Several websites popped up which purport to list BYOW (note: only wine is eligible) restaurants, but they don't seem to have been maintained and the info is out-of-date. I've been successful in just calling and asking - it has prompted several places to join the scheme (it's 'free' - the restaurant just has to fill out a form).

And the 'take home the rest' applies to any wine served (whether bought or BYO) and is independent of the BYOW. It does require the restaurant to 'seal' the bottle. (From the AGCO website: "As well, all licensed establishments may provide a THTR service. Rather than trying to finish a bottle of wine before they leave, consumers may now have the bottle resealed to enjoy later at home provided the licensee has the ability to reseal the product. THTR does not apply to spirits or beer.")

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Fantastic and informative answer - thanks!

If you recall the names or addresses of any of the websites, even if out-of-date, they could be a useful starting point.

If any other members had any experiences, good or bad, in bringing their own wine, I'd love to hear them. Hard to top an 80-year-old burgundy though!

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Not true. Susur has actually dropped his corkage from $60 to $40 in line with all the top Toronto restaurants. He started at $60 last year. The website you gave is seriously out-of-date. Every place I've brought my own to is different from that site (except Splendido who have always been at $40 - but they opted in later than most, and also have special 'corkage free' nights (last one a couple of months back) - again not mentioned on that site).

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