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Corkage fees


markk
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But I can't say that that's specifically how she lost us either.  When we're on vacation, we always try some new (to us) restaurants in the mix, and have recently found some that we enjoy a lot more, so for our last two trips, she lost us as customers by attrition.  Her lack of a "gracious" attitude didn't actually drive us away, but when we found newer places that were more enjoyable all around, when it came time to choose a restaurant for dinner each night, her place just never came up.  That's life, I guess.  I think you called it right earlier.

I have to say that you are much more patient and obliging than I am. The owner's behavior, while technically defensible, is not going to endear her to anyone, much less establish a pool of regulars.

This is not about corkage fees or improperly described dishes. It is about what an owner or manager does or does not do to make guests feel appreciated. This owner failed.

Chad

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Interesting story.

One thing stands out to me. Why did you not engage the owner and let her know that  her wine list was lacking.

People often seem to agonize over things and even seek support on line rather than talk to the establishment's owner or management, something that has a possibility of actually remedying the situation.

Well, that happened. Before I ate there the first time, I stopped by in advance to check out the list, and then asked, "do you have a corkage fee?". I'd even tell you that the first time I took advantage of it that night on my first visit, she asked, "you don't like any of our wines?" And I explained that such wines as the generic "Cotes du Rhone", and "Macon Villages" didn't do it for me. There was one night when they had a special "themed" dinner (Southwest of France) that they told me "we're going to have some better wines for that", but they couldn't pull it off (I brought a really nice Argentinian Malbec). I really can't sit down with her and explain that wines have to be chosen by taste, not by label, and that there are a lot of regions in the world now producing delicious examples of one grape or another, that provide better drinking than you get if (and this is my guess) some wine distributor's rep chooses your list for you. I mean, what's she going to do, hire a wine director? If a restaurant has lousy food, other than send back your dishes and complain about them, there's really no additional rememdy but to stop going there. But if a restaurant has a tiny, terrible wine list, and a perfectly reasonable corkage fee, I think that's the remedy right there. Bring whatever wine you'll enjoy more, and let us have approximately what we'd make in profit on one of our bottles. To me, that's win/win, considering that I can't do any more than tell her, "yes, we don't like any of your wines" because I can't teach her how to choose wines, or choose them for her (I'm only there on vacation, you know.) I did make a point of having her taste every wine I brought, and she did say "oh, that's delicious", and of course, I'd leave her most of every second bottle to enjoy, presumably, with some food at the end of the night.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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I do not understand why how much you consume of the second bottle is relevant to charging you a corkage fee or not. Can you explain your thinking on why its relevant, please?

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I do not understand why how much you consume of the second bottle is relevant to charging you a corkage fee or not.  Can you explain your thinking on why its relevant, please?

I explained it (hopefully), with all it's heart-wrenching psychological implications and torments (bang.gif), in the initial message that starts this thread, being careful to state that it's a tenuous thing to begin with, and probably one of those things that comes out wrong once you voice it anyway, although many people obviously did understand the exact sense in which I posted it.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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I read the first post. Several times. I understand why you asked your question. My question is - why does it matter to your question whether you drink 1/2 a glass out of it, or the entire second bottle?

Its obvious very clear, and a key part of your question, to you - because you repeat it in many of your posts. But its not clear to me. I'd appreciate an explanation in words of one syllable, because I dont get it. I'm not arguing with you by asking a rhetorical question. I simply do not understand why you, Markk, think that is relevant.

This is how it appears to me: When that second bottle is opened, the restaurant staff still need to pull the cork (and provide clean glasses, but as you note elsewhere, they dont. Even if you change kinds of wine?! )

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I read the first post. Several times. I understand why you asked your question. My question is - why does it matter to your question whether you drink 1/2 a glass out of it, or the entire second bottle?

Its obvious very clear, and a key part of your question, to you - because you repeat it in many of your posts. But its not clear to me. I'd appreciate an explanation in words of one syllable, because I dont get it. I'm not arguing with you by asking a rhetorical question. I simply do not understand why you, Markk, think that is relevant.

This is how it appears to me:  When that second bottle is opened, the restaurant staff still need to pull the cork (and provide clean glasses, but as you note elsewhere, they dont. Even if you change kinds of wine?! )

It would be a nice gesture (sorry for the second syllable there). I mean to say "gracious" gesture, as many people have called it, but I had been trying to see if I could stick to one-syllable words.) If I ran a place and a client had one glass of wine from his second( :shock: ) bottle, I would not charge another fee. As I say, I'm always intrigued by the fine points of restaurant hospitality. I would feel funny if I charged a fee in that situation. It seems really pedantic to me, and it always struck me as strange. (But then, so am I.) :biggrin:

And as I said, we certainly didn't stop opening second bottles for one glass and paying the second fee, and this didn't keep us from going back. But in so many situations, the restaurant lacked grace, as I've described above and its charm faded as we found more enjoyable places (none of which involved corkage fees, btw, because they had great wines).

I'm not sure that I was able to answer your question, though, and you and I may differ on our perception of this still. That's okay with me - I didn't mean that to be nasty, I'm just saying that I don't feel that people have to agree with me on this. It was a curious situation, and I enjoyed hearing all the feedback.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Is that an emotional decision based on your hatred for customers rather than an economic one?  It sure seems like it.

Maybe the moral of the story is that restaurants who view customers as adversaries go out of business.  (I certainly hope so.)

As far as bringing a bottle of wine to a "wine themed" restaurant, I would never think to do it myself.

But as far as your "great" winelist, you mean to say 'in your opinion'.  If it's filled with Australian Cabernets and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and the like, you may be delusional when you declare it "great".  Likewise, if it's made up of bottles whose markup is $80, it's not a "great" wine list- it's an attempt to gouge customers.  It's all in the perspective of the person commenting, non?

we do have some nz and australian wines on our wine list as well as the wines of nicolas joly, weinbach, rossignol trapet aong many others because we are not narrow minded.

thanks for worrying about our markup but we know what it should be to both stay in business and thrive AND attract a happy crowd of patrons because of our fair prices.

ask your dry cleaner if you can use your own chemicals in his/her machine next time you want to clean your suit and email methe answer...

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we do have some nz and australian wines on our wine list as well as the wines of nicolas joly, weinbach, rossignol trapet aong many others because we are not narrow minded.

thanks for worrying about our markup but we know what it should be to both stay in business and thrive AND attract a happy crowd of patrons because of our fair prices.

ask your dry cleaner if you can use your own chemicals in his/her machine next time you want to clean your suit and email methe answer...

Well, that's a silly analogy. Corkage Fees, when restaurants elect to have them, are a very standard thing in the restaurant business. I only questioned the bragging about an eighty-dollar one, on a thread that wasn't even about that. And I assumed that it'd be equal to the standard markup on a bottle of wine in the restaurant, more or less. Perhaps I'm wrong. Anyway, this thread concerned a restaurant that has a 12 bottle list, and by nobody's standards a good one, and it wasn't questioning the amount of a corkage fee at all.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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(Actual conversation-feel free to use it.)

Restauranteur: I see you're bringing your own wine. You don't like our wine list?

Me: No, it's pretty bad.

R: Yeah, we're a small place where mostly neighborhood people eat, and these are the wines they seem to enjoy-if anyone ever orders any! Also, we don't have any storage. That's why we grant our loyal (and otherwise!) customers the courtesy of a corkage fee. Otherwise, I'd have to spend money on wine inventory which I would probably never sell!

Me: Thanks! Cause that stuff on your list blows!

Edited by Miami Danny (log)
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I read the first post. Several times. I understand why you asked your question. My question is - why does it matter to your question whether you drink 1/2 a glass out of it, or the entire second bottle?

Its obvious very clear, and a key part of your question, to you - because you repeat it in many of your posts. But its not clear to me. I'd appreciate an explanation in words of one syllable, because I dont get it. I'm not arguing with you by asking a rhetorical question. I simply do not understand why you, Markk, think that is relevant.

This is how it appears to me:  When that second bottle is opened, the restaurant staff still need to pull the cork (and provide clean glasses, but as you note elsewhere, they dont. Even if you change kinds of wine?! )

The question is about hospitality and graciousness. A restaurant has the option of charging a corkage fee. That represents their loss of the margin on a bottle of wine in stock. When a patron -- and a regular at that -- opens a second bottle of wine, the house has lost nothing. The patron who prefers his or her own wine to the house list isn't going to have a last minute change of heart and order a house wine. And if that patron only has a glass or two from that bottle and sends the rest back to the kitchen in a gesture of good will, then the host has the option of a) being a good host and foregoing the second corkage fee or b) being an insensitive host and scrounging everything he or she can from the obviously unvalued customer.

The argument about glassware is asinine. If I have water throughout dinner and order coffee with my dessert, should the house charge me $15 dollars because I have added to their dishwashing costs? No. Nor are a waiter's time and the rental fees on a double kicker wine pull worth a second corkage fee. It is gouging pure and simple. Technically defensible, but only to a host who doesn't value his or her customers.

Chad

Edited to Add: Markk, the question you have been very gently working your way around is, "Was I treated badly?" You have been very circumspect and non-judgmental in what you have posted. The answer is yes, you were treated badly. You deserved better. You didn't ask for any special treatment, but given your regular patronage, it is completely understandable that you might feel -- well, I can't presume to know how you felt. I can tell you that I would feel puzzled and frankly a little hurt/offended/indignant that I was so little valued. I certainly wouldn't be going back anytime soon.

Edited by Chad (log)

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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I read the first post. Several times. I understand why you asked your question. My question is - why does it matter to your question whether you drink 1/2 a glass out of it, or the entire second bottle?

Its obvious very clear, and a key part of your question, to you - because you repeat it in many of your posts. But its not clear to me. I'd appreciate an explanation in words of one syllable, because I dont get it. I'm not arguing with you by asking a rhetorical question. I simply do not understand why you, Markk, think that is relevant.

This is how it appears to me:  When that second bottle is opened, the restaurant staff still need to pull the cork (and provide clean glasses, but as you note elsewhere, they dont. Even if you change kinds of wine?! )

The question is about hospitality and graciousness. A restaurant has the option of charging a corkage fee. That represents their loss of the margin on a bottle of wine in stock. When a patron -- and a regular at that -- opens a second bottle of wine, the house has lost nothing. The patron who prefers his or her own wine to the house list isn't going to have a last minute change of heart and order a house wine. And if that patron only has a glass or two from that bottle and sends the rest back to the kitchen in a gesture of good will, then the host has the option of a) being a good host and foregoing the second corkage fee or b) being an insensitive host and scrounging everything he or she can from the obviously unvalued customer.

The argument about glassware is asinine. If I have water throughout dinner and order coffee with my dessert, should the house charge me $15 dollars because I have added to their dishwashing costs? No. Nor are a waiter's time and the rental fees on a double kicker wine pull worth a second corkage fee. It is gouging pure and simple. Technically defensible, but only to a host who doesn't value his or her customers.

Chad

Edited to Add: Markk, the question you have been very gently working your way around is, "Was I treated badly?" You have been very circumspect and non-judgmental in what you have posted. The answer is yes, you were treated badly. You deserved better. You didn't ask for any special treatment, but given your regular patronage, it is completely understandable that you might feel -- well, I can't presume to know how you felt. I can tell you that I would feel puzzled and frankly a little hurt/offended/indignant that I was so little valued. I certainly wouldn't be going back anytime soon.

I'm glad you posted that.

How I felt, frankly, was "puzzled", more and more each time it happened.

I really am intrigued by the complexities of hospitality.

I have been comped for no reason (as I explained in that post), and I was highly intrigued, and still puzzled by that one.

I've been in other situations where I've been comped when three of us showed up late at a restaurant for some very expensive desserts and a lot of wine, and though I have my own very eleborate theories, it's always been something that's intrigued me.

This was the opposite, and it inrigued me as well. I've known restaurant owners who are incredibly charming and gracious, and aside from that they are really nice, loving people, I think there's an art to it as well, to wit the many legendary front of house people in the restaurant industry. Again, this place proved with time that they were the opposite.

Of course, as it was fifteen dollars, I wasn't going to get upset over that, especially on vacation. At that price, it really was was just the idea of it. The reason I wasn't judgmental is that I knew that on a technicality (as some people have pointed out), they were right. Of course, what this was about, and you sensed it correctly, is that I don't feel that things having to do with hospitality are necessarily black and white.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Sometimes there is no big, cosmic reason. Sometimes people who might 'deserve' special treatment don't get it, and there is no big special reason why, just no one thought of it for some reason.

"An appetite for destruction, but I scrape the plate."

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Did the restaurant offer dessert wine, port, armagnac, or anything along those lines?

I'm in the habit of drinking a bottle of wine with dinner and a glass of one of the above before coffee or with dessert.

If I owned a place that offered all of the above, and charged a corkage fee and people insisted on bringing both their own wine with dinner and with dessert, you'd be damn sure that I would charge for both, especially if they changed types of wine towards the end of the meal.

Understand that you're taking away from the most profitable part of the meal from a restaurant's standpoint. True specials and higher end items can have higher food costs than standard menu options, so you're not necessarily doing the restaurant a favor by ordering the most expensive option off of their menu.

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'asinine' - a term commonly used by you to those attempting to remedy a situation of ignorance or confusion, by replacing it with knowledge, Chad? Lovely. Shame you allowed it to mar an otherwise helpful response. You might have noted I was not making an argument, I was asking a question. Politely.

Actually, if you order coffee, the cost of your dirty cup is covered by the price you pay. If you drink water, and then order a soda, ditto, etc.

Nevertheless, I've been surprised that the 2nd fee wasnt waived, for reasons other than the volume consumed from that second bottle, which despite the answer, still seems irrelevant to me. The large meals and frequent patronage seem to me to be much more the reason to be gracious. The whole 'comp' thing is entirely subjective, and fun to discuss, for there certainly isnt a right and a wrong set in plaster much less stone.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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'asinine' - a term commonly used by you to those attempting to remedy a situation of ignorance or confusion, by replacing it with knowledge, Chad?  Lovely. Shame you allowed it to mar an otherwise helpful response.  You might have noted I was not making an argument, I was asking a question. Politely.

Actually, if you order coffee, the cost of your dirty cup is covered by the price you pay. If you drink water, and then order a soda, ditto, etc.

Nevertheless, I've been surprised that the 2nd fee wasnt waived, for reasons other than the volume consumed from that second bottle, which despite the answer, still seems irrelevant to me. The large meals and frequent patronage seem to me to be much more the reason to be gracious. The whole 'comp' thing is entirely subjective, and fun to discuss, for there certainly isnt a right and a wrong set in plaster much less stone.

A corkage fee is a courtesy. When a restaurant extends that courtesy to you, they are being gracious. And don't laugh, people DO bring their own beer, their own soft drinks, their own desserts, their own bottle of hot sauce. I could go on...(and I didn't even get to their dogs!) A wine corkage fee exists to allow a customer to bring a special wine, not to bring what THEY like, because they don't like what's on your list. This case is simpler than, say, sending a wine back because you don't like it, which many people think is the reason they're tasting it first! It's $15 a bottle. Period.

And, as I said earlier, EVERYONE thinks they're a 'regular', and they're the ones keeping you in business. Not really true. The real regulars know who they are, and so do you.

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Nevertheless, I've been surprised that the 2nd fee wasnt waived, for reasons other than the volume consumed from that second bottle, which despite the answer, still seems irrelevant to me. The large meals and frequent patronage seem to me to be much more the reason to be gracious.

Well, I've forced myself to think about your question. I suppose when pressed to verbalize my gut reaction, I guess I was thinking that if the restaurant sees the corkage fee as replacing the profit it would have made on the sale of a bottle, they might presume that since I only wanted a little bit from a second bottle, I wouldn't have ordered one if I were buying them off the list (they're way more than $15 by the way). So it's that, combined heavily with the reason you give, that would make me think that a gracious restaurateur wouldn't stand on the technicality and charge a second fee.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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A corkage fee is a courtesy.  When a restaurant extends that courtesy to you, they are being gracious.  And don't laugh, people DO bring their own beer, their own soft drinks, their own desserts, their own bottle of hot sauce.  I could go on...(and I didn't even get to their dogs!) A wine corkage fee exists to allow a customer to bring a special wine, not to bring what THEY like, because they don't like what's on your list.  This case is simpler than, say, sending a wine back because you don't like it, which many people think is the reason they're tasting it first!  It's $15 a bottle.  Period. 

And, as I said earlier, EVERYONE thinks they're a 'regular', and they're the ones keeping you in business. Not really true.  The real regulars know who they are, and so do you.

I still ask the question, what is an appropriate corkage fee if someone brought a beer or two?

Edited by mtdew (log)
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A corkage fee is a courtesy.  When a restaurant extends that courtesy to you, they are being gracious.  And don't laugh, people DO bring their own beer, their own soft drinks, their own desserts, their own bottle of hot sauce.  I could go on...(and I didn't even get to their dogs!) A wine corkage fee exists to allow a customer to bring a special wine, not to bring what THEY like, because they don't like what's on your list.  This case is simpler than, say, sending a wine back because you don't like it, which many people think is the reason they're tasting it first!  It's $15 a bottle.  Period. 

And, as I said earlier, EVERYONE thinks they're a 'regular', and they're the ones keeping you in business. Not really true.  The real regulars know who they are, and so do you.

I still ask the question, what is an appropriate corkage fee if someone brought a beer or two?

If the restaurant has a liquor license and sells beer or wine, I don't think you should be bringing your own unless it really is a special occasion or bottle. Part of eating out is taking the restaurant for what it is, all in. In the same manner that not liking the wine selection isn't really the intended reason a restaurant allows corkage, your preference of Guiness over Murphy's shouldn't allow you to bring your own.

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Just to add something--

depending on the law in your state -- it is is many places illegal to bring your own bottle if an establishment has a liquor license-- and if a restaurant allows you to do so, the corkage fee often times makes it "legal". Check before you go.

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Just to add something--

depending on the law in your state -- it is is many places illegal to bring your own bottle if an establishment has a liquor license-- and if a restaurant allows you to do so, the corkage fee often times makes it "legal".  Check before you go.

Not applicable to this incident. That is to say, when Sneakeater raised that possibility three weeks ago, I wrote to the Florida ABC and learned that this is not the case in Florida. Had it been applicable, it certainly would've ended my 'puzzlement' and laid this to rest for me.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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maybe I am missing something here but:

IMOP this is much ado about nothing (well very little).

First, the restaurant policy is to charge a corkage fee per bottle.

This is in my experience quite common.

Second, fifteen dollars per bottle is pretty reasonable.

Third, whether or not the restaurant views you as a regular has nothing to do with their waiving a policy. I would argue that visiting four (or even eight) times a year doesn't give you "regular" status. Try once per week or twice a month at least.

Fourth: you enjoy the food and the experience of eating there--plus you get to bring two bottles of wine you select from a much larger universe than the modest list for a modest charge. So you like the food and you like the wine you have with your meal.

It seems to me you are quibbling over restaurant policy. You see yourself as a "regular" who should be treated specially. Obviously the restaurant does not (I don't either based on the info you provide). The whole "we only consume half of the second bottle thing is, IMOP, a red herring. You are bringing two bottles of wine rather than ordering them from the list. If it bothers you to be charged for the second bottle because it was only partially emptied then just bring a half bottle to start.

Debating the restaurant's policy in the context of state and local laws is also a big red herring. The issue is simple. Should the restaurant waive their policy--which is quite reasonable? -- a place where you like the food and get to drink wine you like (for a modest fee) where there is seemingly professional and courteous service?

really, what is the issue that bothers you?

So in the spirit of "I'll show em"

You traded this experience for other restaurants with "great wine lists" so you are still paying (probably a good bit more than fifteen dollars per bottle over cost!) for wine service-- and you will pay that regardless of whether or not you finish the second bottle so it seems that this is a case of cutting one's nose off to .......

edited to add this:

After reading more of this thread I must say that you made things pretty confusing. You add in an issue over how the restaurant treated you over l'affaire bass identification thing.

Even here, I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt but if the origin of the bass is important to you why didn't you inquire about it prior to ordering?

I do agree the restaurant could have handled this a bit better but really....

Is it the corkage thing, the bass thing the regular customer recognition thing? I guess you answer your own question--it seems to be all of the above!

Anyway--may you find happiness in the restaurant world and dine in peace. :smile:

Edited by JohnL (log)
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Although I'm somewhat hesitant to rekindle this discussion, it occurs to me that eGullet has been recognized as a significant resource in the food and dining world, and will someday probably occupy an imporant historical place in it, and I wanted to correct an erroneous, categorigal statement that was posted earlier in the thread, namely:

"A wine corkage fee exists to allow a customer to bring a special wine, not to bring what they like, because they don't like what's on your list."

Let history note that this statement is untrue. The wine corkage fee exists (when it is offered) to allow customers to bring any wine that they choose to bring. (Many restaurants stipulate that you may not bring a wine that's on their list, though others allow it but offer a lesser fee if you bring a wine that is not. And of course some don't offer one at all.)

However, any other interpretation of a 'corkage fee' is simply personal conjecture.

Edited by markk (log)

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Although I'm somewhat hesitant to rekindle this discussion, it occurs to me that eGullet has been recognized as a significant resource in the food and dining world, and will someday probably occupy an imporant historical place in it, and I wanted to correct an erroneous, categorigal statement that was posted earlier in the thread, namely:

"A wine corkage fee exists to allow a customer to bring a special wine, not to bring what they like, because they don't like what's on your list."

Let history note that this statement is untrue.  The wine corkage fee exists (when it is offered) to allow customers to bring any wine that they choose to bring.   (Many restaurants stipulate that you may not bring a wine that's on their list, though others allow it but offer a lesser fee if you bring a wine that is not.  And of course some don't offer one at all.)

However, any other interpretation of a 'corkage fee' is simply personal conjecture.

I'll say it again, "A wine corkage fee exists to allow a customer to bring a special wine, not to bring what they like, because they don't like what's on your list." That is why they exist, and any other 'use' of the corkage fee by the customer, is incorrect. If you are bringing a bottle of Yellow Tail, or something on the restaurant's list, and they let you pour it, they are being VERY accomodating. ('Excuse me, can I have a bottle of what they are drinking? What, you mean they don't like what I drink here every week? Hmmmmm.) A corkage fee is completely defined by the person/business owner who is charging it. Not the customer. History will show that that is the longstanding custom in this country. IAs for beer? That only works for Hollywood Celebs, babe. Edited by Miami Danny (log)
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