Bring Your Own Wine in London

In January 2005, the Ontario Government (AGCO actually) finally allowed restaurants to apply for a BYOB licenses where customers could – for a corkage fee – accompany their meal with a wine brought from home. Participating restaurants benefit by earning the same profit but with less carrying costs, while customers win by matching their dinner with a more exclusive and nicer bottle of wine at a lower cost. While most restaurants keep their mark-ups on wine fairly reasonable, higher priced vintage wine are either out of most people’s budgets or are simply unavailable.

If you have a particular favourite bottle that can not be found on most wine lists, then frequenting a restaurant with a BYOB license might be right for you. Generally the corkage fee (to offset labour costs and glass service) is modest, averaging about $20 per bottle. The added benefit is that if you do not finish the entire bottle, it can be re-corked and brought home. Each restaurant varies with its rules, so it is best to check ahead.

Although a lot of restaurants have moved to building their wine lists using private wine agencies, (partly so you will not know what the original cost is and hence their mark-up rate) there is no guarantee that you will be able to find that perfect bottle for the occasion. The BYOB system works best if you plan on bringing an expensive bottle of wine where the corkage fee is going to be much less than the mark-up. Once you try it, you will no doubt find that it is a nice option to have.

London Dining Review is providing you with a list of current London BYOB restaurants and a few details about their programs. It is always a good idea to call ahead and confirm with the restaurant to ensure that details have not changed. If you know of any other restaurants that are involved, or want to get your favourite on the list, please contact our editor.

LONDON RESTAURANTS THAT LET YOU BRING YOUR OWN:

Aroma, 215 Piccadilly Street, London
Corkage Fee: $10 per 750ml
They let customers: Take Home the Rest (THTR)

Bertoldi’s, 650 Richmond St, London
Corkage Fee: $25 per 750ml
They let customers: Take Home the Rest (THTR)

Braywick Bistro, 224 Dundas St, London
Corkage Fee: $15 per bottle
No other rules or details at this time

The Keg – South London, 1059 Wellington Rd South, London
Corkage Fee: $15 per 750ml
The wine can’t be on their wine list. They let customers: Take Home the Rest (THTR)

Keg, London Station, 664 Richmond Street, London
Corkage Fee: $15 per 750ml
They let customers: Take Home the Rest (THTR)

London Hunt and County Club, 1431 Oxford Street West, London
Corkage Fee: $20 per 750ml
They let customers: Take Home the Rest (THTR)

Sunningdale Golf & Country Club, 465 Sunningdale Road West, London
Corkage Fee: $25 per 750ml
They let customers: Take Home the Rest (THTR)

Basic details about how the “Bring Your Own Wine” program works are available at the following sites:
https://smartserve.org/faq_byow.asp
http://www.agco.on.ca/en/t.tools/t3.3.LLA.Reg.Changes.faqs.html#



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