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Archive for the 'Wine and Restaurants' Category

BYOG? Bringing Your Own Glassware to Restaurants, Now Celebrity-Approved!

Thursday, December 29th, 2011 at 12:04:26 PM
by Jacqueline S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Dining out and bringing wine is a common habit for some.  Whether a special night and a reserved bottle or a casual weeknight out – bringing your own wine has many perks. We have discussed BYO etiquette in the past in our our Five Golden Rules of Bringing Your Own Wine. But those who think of cost-cutting as #1 where BYO is concerned might be amazed to see celebrities in the mix.

Photo Credit: NY Post

This past week the media has been buzzing about a new BYO trend started by the singularly named icon – Madonna. Last week Madonna was spotted at a restaurant with her current boyfriend Brahim Zaibat, in New York City. A celebrity sighting like this, though exciting to some, doesn’t usually make its way into the wine blogosphere…until now. Madonna’s main squeeze was not all the mega pop star arrived with – she also came with a bottle of wine and glassware in tow.

Though BYOB is common, BYOG  is an entirely new take on the trend! Perhaps Madonna has something here! When bringing that special bottle out it can be a disappointment when the waiter clunks down a sad looking footed-cup.  The vessel can make or break a wine experience. Proper glassware is key to wine enjoyment.
Wine-for-Two Bottle and Stem Tote  
One of my favorite products for a BYOG night– is the Wine-for-Two Bottle & Stem Tote. This all-in-one bag can hold two bottles of wine, two beautiful stems and all the gear you’ll need to pop the cork! For your stems we recommend the Fusion Classic Chardonnay for their durability, versatility, size and elegance. We’re not positive that Madonna actually used this ingenious tote and stemware for her BYOG dinner, but we’re certain it is material-girl-approved!
Have you ever brought glassware to a restaurant? Have you ever wished you had? Tell us in the comments below!

Wine Wisdoms #13: How to Taste Wine in a Restaurant

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 at 5:00:44 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

winewaiter.gifWhen a waiter offers a taste of your wine prior to pouring you may wonder: Do I sniff the cork? Do I touch the bottle? Swirl the wine?

The purpose of tasting your wine prior to pouring is to check quality and temperature. You want to taste the wine to be sure it is free from cork taint and oxidation. A corked bottle of wine has been infected by a pesky mold called Trichloroanisole (TCA) and an oxidized bottle of wine will have been exposed to excess oxygen, rendering it undrinkable. So, how do you know?

Please do not smell the cork. Smell the wine. Taste the wine as you normally would: swirl- sniff-sip and look for off-aromas like wet newspaper, mustiness, or even a complete lack of smell. These are all signs of a bottle that is suffering from one of the aforementioned problems. If you feel that you’ve got a sick bottle, send it back without hesitation. You should never pay for a damaged bottle of wine.

Then decide if your wine is at the appropriate temperature. Hopefully it has been stored at the proper temperature at the restaurant but if not, have them chill it down if need be. If everything tastes right, give the waiter the OK sign, and he will pour around the table. Cheers!

Look for Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Restaurant Award Winners of 2008, our picks for America’s premier wine-driven restaurants, announced in the upcoming February issue or search our online restaurant awards database.

5 Golden Rules of Bringing Your Own (Wine)

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008 at 12:38:42 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Leather CarrierIf you have a special bottle of wine at home, you may be surprised how many restaurants have policies that allow you to bring it with you when you visit. Restaurants often markup wines at over 200% of their retail cost, so it’s tempting to select a bottle from your cellar and bring your own, rather than pay the markup. There is no need to fret or be ashamed, as long as you follow the golden rules:

5) Call the restaurant first, and ask what their “corkage policy” is. Policies change frequently so it’s always safe to ask.

4) Ask how much the corkage fee is in advance, so you are prepared. Restaurants may charge anywhere from $15-$50 per bottle, depending on the price of the wines on their list. It is rare for a restaurant to allow you to bring wine without charging a corkage fee, though some do.

Be sure that the wine you’re bringing isn’t on their list. It’s considered in poor taste to bring a wine that the restaurant offers.

2) Carry your wine in a fashionable wine bag.  We offer everything from handy Neoprene wine bags to leather shoulder carriers, so that you can “bring your own” in style. Neoprene Wine BagWe even offer wine bags that hold stemware for you, if you are concerned about the restaurants’ selection.

1) When you are seated at the table, let the waiter know that you’ve brought your own wine and that you understand the policy of paying corkage for it. He’ll bring glassware and uncork the bottle for you, this is the service behind the corkage fee.

I hope that with these 5 golden rules, you’ll be comfortable bringing your own wine the next time you eat out! It’s a great way to save money, and take advantage of your collection. Do you ever bring your own wine? Leave a comment, and let us know!