Do You BYOB?
I went to dinner with one of my girlfriends on Friday night. Because both of us are trying to save money, I chose a reasonably priced place: Posto in Logan Circle, where you can get a tasty, filling margherita pizza for $11.
I had not seen my friend in months because she has been living overseas. We had a lot of catching up to do, and we wanted to do it over pinot noir. She picked the most inexpensive bottle on the menu. Three hours later, with still more to talk about, we decided to order another glass of wine each.
When the bill arrived, I was shocked. My food totaled $23. With the wine, however, I owed more than double that. I love drinking wine with dinner, but how can I afford it anymore?
I then recalled a tip that a reader e-mailed me a few weeks ago. Why not take your own wine to restaurants? she wrote.
Apparently, she’s not the only person thinking this way. DiningInfo, the restaurant survey company, recently found that 479 restaurants in the Washington/Baltimore area permit customers to bring their own wine. Most of them charge corkage fees ranging from $5 to $20. But 33 restaurants charge no fee at all, which makes this a pretty attractive option. The economic downturn is forcing many more restaurant owners around the country to waive their corkage fees.
"A growing number of consumers base their discretionary spending upon affordability. The tipping point between deciding whether to eat out, or stay at home, is often based upon whether or not a restaurant will allow them to bring wine, and the corkage fee, if any," DiningInfo Chief Executive Devon Segel said, according to Reuters.
Claude Andersen, corporate operations manager for Clyde’s, said customers typically bring their own bottle if they have a really nice one they want to drink on a special occasion. “If it’s something very special we don’t need to nickel and dime them,” he said, explaining the lack of a corking fee.
Restaurants often charge customers triple what they paid for the wine, so even if it’s not a special occasion, perhaps this is a good way to save some money when you’re dining out.
Do you have any other tips for all the wine lovers out there?
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