Given a shrinking economy, it has become somewhat of a national passion for seeing how much we can cut out of our discretionary spending. An excellent place to start is looking at what and how we spend when dining away from home.
There are five ways to save big time. This article suggests you bring your bottle of wine or spirits with you.
I don’t have to tell you that restaurants, especially dinner houses, earn much of their income from the sale of wine and spirits. I don’t want to begrudge them a profit, and if their liquor prices are moderate, and the selection ample, then you may want to sample their inventory.
But if you know a little something about wine, or you know someone that does, you can save a ton and enjoy better vintages by bringing your bottle. Many restaurants will charge a “corking fee,” and it is always wise and polite to phone in advance to determine whether the restaurant has one and how much it is.
A typical corkage fee will be $10-$20, but some venues charge more.
A relatively small percentage of restaurants will permit you to bring your wine and will open it at no fee, while others prohibit the practice.
In my experience, I have found I can purchase an excellent wine for $20-$30, pay a $5 corkage fee, and enjoy a better taste than if I paid $65 to $95 for something straight off the menu.
Generally, you will not be permitted to carry in the same wine that the restaurant stocks. So, if they offer a Heitz Cabernet at $85, you won’t be allowed to bring in your Heitz that only set you back a paltry $50 at the retailers.
Still, the game is worth the candle, as they say, so do your research and to tuck your favorite bottle under your arm.