Dining Out A Little Pricey? Put A Cork In It!!

A blog post on the Wandering Blonde entitled Dining Out A Little Pricey? Put A Cork In It!! that discuss' the issue of corkage.

Friday, January 28, 2011

During the crummy economy we are still trying to slither out of – weekly restaurant goers limited their outings and did more “at home meals/gatherings”. During a bad economy, the world of alcohol will never dwindle. People always find the means to buy wine and or beer (or that strong stuff).  However, the thought of going to one of Washington, DC’s top spots for a fancy smancy meal with pals and gals doesn't seem all that appealing when the realization hit them smack dab in the face – the price of the wine. Sure the meal is going to be pricey, but a bottle of (insert cheap, yet drinkable wine here) cost 3 times(or more!) the amount it does in your favorite store. Which means a bottle of your fav $15 Chardonnay at the local wine shop at a restaurant would cost close to $60. Now, that’s just wrong folks.

What’s the point you ask? We all like grand meals out on the town – yet can’t stomach paying $60 for wine at your special snazzy meal when in actuality, it is a $15 bottle. Solution: On the rare occasion that one spends a bit more on a few nice bottles and somehow manages to not down them during a party/gathering – that said bottle(s) can be the perfect wine for a downtown meal. How? It’s a little thing called “corkage”. A fee for a waiter to pop that baby and pour wine (of your choice, your price point and your taste) into your glass. Silly? Not really. Some hot spots in DC only charge a minimal fee --- some can actually be free. But lets not kid ourselves – free and DC is like oil and water. Rarely you can find that free corkage (or during a happy hour or special night). A number of DC spots allow corkage. Which means instead of spending $60 on a bottle you would typically spend $15 on – bring that special bottle Uncle Bubba gave you – or the bottle you have had your eye on at the local shop.

In Washington, DC there are over 150 restaurants that allow corkage.  Check out the list – call and find out their fee. Its great to have someone else cook for you – but not so great to have someone rack up the price and pour a crummy glass of wine.


My fiance ( yes, this Wandering Blonde Wine-O is officially engaged) and I went to 1789 during "restaurant week" and paid $20 to drink our own very special bottle of wine made by Hedi Peterson Berret (only one of the coolest female winemakers – that I have had the privilege of enjoying her wines). Well worth it folks. Had we bought a similar bottle from the restaurant's fine wine selection, well, let's just say it would have eclipsed the total check for the meal...

So instead of staying home, get fancied up, head downtown and put a cork in it – BYOB for wines sake! 

Wineries with Permits

Wineries Able to Ship to MD

Here is a link to the Comptroller's website. Search for "DW-Direct Wine Shippers Permit" under permit type.

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