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BYOB of wine to restaurants?

Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
Ontario considers BYOB restaurants
But restaurateurs don't seem excited about idea


KEITH LESLIE
CANADIAN PRESS

Wine-lovers in Ontario may be allowed to take bottles of their favourite vintages with them to restaurants if the provincial government doesn't run into strong objections to the idea, sources say.

Government sources say Consumer Minister Jim Watson has started a series of informal consultations with restaurant associations and others in the hospitality industry to gauge reaction to the idea.

"He's very quietly consulting," said one source.

Watson began talking about the idea Friday night at a reception for the Ontario Wine Council in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

But if the reaction of the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association is any indication, Watson's trial balloon won't be airborne for very long.

"Our official position is we're not in favour of bringing your own wine to restaurants," said Ryan Parks, government relations manager for the restaurant lobby group.

"There are a number of really complex issues around it, not the least of which is liability."

Parks said restaurants are worried that if they don't sell the wine to their customers, servers may not be able to gauge when someone has had too much to drink and should be cut off.

"Given the current environment with the costs of liability insurance for our operators, and the availability of liability insurance, it's a pretty risky proposition at this point in time," said Parks.

Last fall, Alberta became the first province to let people take their own wine into licensed restaurants, and to let them take home any unfinished bottles.

For years, Quebec has allowed restaurants without liquor licences to apply for permits giving diners the option of drinking their own wine or beer. In New Brunswick, patrons are allowed to take their own wine only into unlicensed restaurants.

Neither Quebec nor New Brunswick allow patrons to return home with unfinished bottles of wine.

British Columbia does, but only allows people to take home unfinished bottles that were purchased in the restaurants.

Parks said Ontario restaurant operators would want clear rules on who would be responsible for leftover bottles of wine that customers bring to dinner but don't consume with their meals.

"Do you hand them back their bottles of wine and send them on their way, or do you maintain possession over the bottles of wine?" asked Parks.

"That's definitely a significant issue."

He said restaurants in Ontario are closely watching Alberta to see how the changes there are affecting the industry.

"It's just started in Alberta, so I think we'll definitely have to see what comes out of their policy," said Parks.

He cautioned that Ontario would need to prepare legislation that clearly spells out all the rules governing consumption of wine in restaurants that addresses the industry's concerns.

"What we're talking about here, what would be put in place, is probably a fairly complex licensing regime with respect to BYOB," said Parks.

http://thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Conten...433&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968793972154
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Maybe if this goes through, it will force restaurants to actually have a good selection, instead of most of the standard crap that I could get at any regular LCBO (as opposed to a Vintages selection)

And end the practice of 100% or more mark ups on the wine they do sell.
 
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futronic

TRIBE Member
I wish this would go through. There is a serious upside for the restaurants, even though they don't want to admit it:

1.) They don't have to have capital tied up in wine inventory.

2.) They can charge more for their food. People will be less likely to complain about slightly higher food prices if they bring their own wine. Most people have a budget when it comes to going out for dinner. If you already own the wine, people likely wouldn't consider that as part of their meal cost.

3.) They can charge corkage (i.e. $10 a bottle or something) if they want to.

Even though the LCBO says otherwise, it *is* possible to bring your own wine to restaurants. You just have to have a few connections. :)

I'm looking forward to my dinner on the 20th where a group of us are bringing the following (and more):

1998 Cloudy Bay Pelorus
1995 Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Ripe al Convento
2001 d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz
1995 Antinori Brunello di Montalcino Pian delle Vigne
1991 Antinori Tignanello
1997 Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Olmi
1997 Grant Burge Holy Trinity
1992 Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port
1985 Taylor-Fladgate Vintage Port

I'm sure there will be a few more selections as well. Oh boy am I looking forward to it!

BTW ... the whole "who owns the partially finished bottle of wine at the end of the night" issue is easy. Make sure the table is full of dead soldiers when you're done! Who honestly leaves a partial bottle on the table? If it does happen, give it to the staff to drink and learn.

-- Jay aka Fut
 

billy

TRIBE Member
I don't think this is such a bad idea as long as regulations and precautions are dealt with at all times. as long as the server controls how much is poured under smart serve regulations, it shouldn't be a problem. limitations should be set, i.e. the bottle must be listed under the lcbo and that a proper soumalier (sp?) can inspect the bottle, even by taste, to ensure the bottle is what it is or the content has not been altered. anyone who is going to persue this is obviously a wine fan so risk should be minimal.

many toronto venues already offer bottle service for liquor so this isn't too far off, except for that it came from outside. possibly limitations could be set on the value of the bottle so that some clown doesn't roll in with a cheap bottle just to cut the cost on booze. the aforementioned charge on corkage is also a good idea. this could be interesting.
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
I was just thinking about this the other day!
I hope it goes through!
They should just make it an option for certain restaurants.

Is recorking for the purpose of saving it for the next visit?
 

billy

TRIBE Member
not sure on the recorking thing, but it could be the same as a private humidor which few upscale venues do for cigars. you can recork a bottle of wine and use a proper stopper to seal the air inside it. i think though it might be easier to say the bottle must be consumed or it is disposed of.
 
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Temper Tantrum

TRIBE Member
This aspect of living in Montreal was one of my FAVOURITE things about doing out. I mean sure sometimes it was ghetto to drink REV at a fancy restaurant... ;)

in all seriousness i really hope this passes!

~allie~
 

Littlest Hobo

TRIBE Member
I was in Montreal last week, and each night Jen and I dined we did so at a ‘apportez votre vin’ establishment. Wed, we went to L’Academie (amazing), Thurs we did some crappy Italian restaurant, and Fri we did ‘La Jardin de Panos’ (amazing). All along Duluth, the street was bumping and the restaurants were lively.

Toronto totally needs this. It enables people to have a great meal with a few glasses of wine without the onerous charges. People would go out more, knowing the bill will be 25% less.

Some restaurants may not want this, as it may cut into their sales. The LLBO doesn’t want this, as it cuts into their licencing business. So, as usual, it all boils down to $$$.
 

Evil Dynovac

TRIBE Member
Alcohol is a cash cow for most restaurants. What other product can you charge triple price for? Fifteen dollar table reds go for 40 to 50 dollars in most midclass restaurants.

All the other excuses restauranteurs give are bullshit. Thing is they are looking at it short term. Everyone would go out to eat a lot more if you could bring your own wine.
 
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judge wopner

TRIBE Member
thats hilarious the restaurant asscn. said their main concern is liability about how much people are drinking.

you rarely if ever hear a restaurant cutting people off.
never mind that most people would bring in one unopened bottle to share,
thats dope!!

instead of paying $28 for a $10 bottle, you pay a $5 corking fee.

i notice even mediocre places charge about $6 a glass of wine. thats way too much for cheap ontario vino.
if anything, they should allow you to bring your own wine if its an ontario brand, way to boost our local growers!!

it would revive our whole restaurant industry either way.
 

futronic

TRIBE Member
People going out to dinner more is key here. With the restaurant industry hurting as much as it is in Toronto (or so I hear), anything that will increase business will be a boon to the industry.

I think you should be able to BYO at restaurants that have wine lists too. However, I don't think you should be allowed to bring a bottle that is on their wine list; it's only fair.

-- Jay aka Fut
 

Evil Dynovac

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by futronic
I don't think you should be allowed to bring a bottle that is on their wine list; it's only fair.

-- Jay aka Fut

Fair? Why isn't is fair? The point is to make the restaurant experience cheaper. People will have the choice to BYO or not - and come on - tons of people will go out to eat without BYO.

Whether or not the restaurant sells the bottle you bring is merely semantics. It also makes the whole process clunky and sets up patrons for frustration.

If I walked into a restaurant with a bottle of wine and they refused to serve it because they sell it I would march out of there and hit the place down the street.
 
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futronic

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Evil Dynovac
Fair? Why isn't is fair?

Because if the restaurant has made an investment into storing that particular wine, it should sell it at its markup to cover costs of storage, service, stemware, etc.

By your reasoning, you should be able to bring a rib eye into a steakhouse and have them cook it for you. Doesn't work that way.

Besides, if this is ever to pass (which I think is unlikely, unfortunately), some concessions will have to be made to the restaurants, and this will be one of them. It's easy to call a restaurant in advance and ask them if they have a particular wine on their list and bring something else.

-- Jay aka Fut
 

Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by futronic

I'm looking forward to my dinner on the 20th where a group of us are bringing the following (and more):

1998 Cloudy Bay Pelorus
1995 Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Ripe al Convento
2001 d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz
1995 Antinori Brunello di Montalcino Pian delle Vigne
1991 Antinori Tignanello
1997 Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Olmi
1997 Grant Burge Holy Trinity
1992 Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port
1985 Taylor-Fladgate Vintage Port
Sweet mother of god!! :eek:
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
i think i found something to get politically active about! ha!

the whole idea of selling booze at such ridiculously high mark ups has to go.
they charge that much not becuase of costs but for profits.

they charge it because they can, plain and simple.

what ever money a place losses off booze,
they may make back w/ more traffic.
imagine how much more buslting it would be in the city if we could do this.

it could broach montreal. with nice honest places that focus on good food and regualr people being able to eat out more often....

im gonna write my mpp!!!
 

Humanjava

TRIBE Member
I think we should also be able to bring our own crack to. :D

Really though if we have good wines why can't we bring them? It only seems reasonable to me and save some of the markup.
 
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cosmiK-Cat

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by MoFo
You mean, you can bring booze other than wine in Montreal?

What TT says doesn't sound right to me either. (both in terms of allowance and proper dinner drink accompaniment ;p). We never saw this at any of the places we went to. Also-on the concern regarding the amount of alchohol intake- I think one of the rules was that you can only bring one litre per 2 persons. Not sure if it was a social rule or an actual law. But it definitely made for quite a rukus environment- it was like a big family dinner. Can anyone from Montreal clarify this??

Think I'll petition my MPP as well...
-J
Ps Jay that is indeed an impressive list-!
 
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joey

TRIBE Member
I highly doubt this will pass. Alcohol sales are the highest cash crop for restaurants and they arent gonna let them slip away with out one hell of a fight! People are gonna eat out regardless of wether they can bring a bottle of wine with them or not so that isn't even an argument. As a person I like the idea of bringing my favourite vino with me to a restaurant but as a restauranteer the idea is total ass.
 

wakipaki

TRIBE Member
There is no way in hell you should be able to bring wine to a restaurant that has wine for offer, you might as well bring your own appetizer and dessert.

In montreal, and any other place that I've been to that does this either you are an apportez votre vin, and you don't serve alchohol (ie the only way to drink is bring it), or you serve alchohol and you can't bring any. But bringing wine to a restaurant that serves is proposterous. A restaurant must decide which it is and proceed as such.
 

wakipaki

TRIBE Member
What TT says doesn't sound right to me either. (both in terms of allowance and proper dinner drink accompaniment ;p). We never saw this at any of the places we went to. Also-on the concern regarding the amount of alchohol intake- I think one of the rules was that you can only bring one litre per 2 persons. Not sure if it was a social rule or an actual law. But it definitely made for quite a rukus environment- it was like a big family dinner. Can anyone from Montreal clarify this??

Cosmik cat - I'm a native Montrealer, here are the rules, technically you are only alowed to bring anything but wine, but as it is Montreal we don't really follow the rules, and pretty much any restaurant will allow you to bring whatever the hell you want (including 40's LOL) but they may tell you to put all non-wine items under the table. And as far as limits, hell no, bring as much as you want, drink as much as you want, and no restaurants here have corking fees.

For anyone going to Montreal any time soon, go to Le Flocon, at Duluth and St. Hubert, fine (and I mean really fine) french cuisine, well priced, and you guessed it bring your own wine.
 

Rude1_247

TRIBE Member
ONTARIO PASSES BYOB LEGISLATION

Ontario passes BYOB legislation

Toronto — Ontario wine enthusiasts will be able to pop the cork of their store-bought bottle at the table of their favourite restaurant in the new year under legislation passed Wednesday.

The passing of Ontario's bring-your-own-wine legislation puts the province in a club that includes Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec and New Brunswick.

The changes update the province's liquor laws and give licensed restaurants new choices to entice patrons to visit more often, Consumer and Business Services Minister Jim Watson said when he introduced the bill earlier this summer.

But the bring-your-own-wine program won't be in effect during this holiday season. Wine drinkers will have to wait several weeks until restaurants receive all the necessary approvals from the government.

It will be up to each restaurant to decide if it wants to offer the choice, and how much they will charge. Restaurant patrons will also be allowed to take unfinished but re-corked bottles of wine home.

However, the bill hasn't left a pleasant taste in everyone's mouth.

Mother's Against Drunk Driving fears the changes could increase impaired driving, while some restaurant owners worry this will mean a loss of revenue from fewer liquor sales.

The legislation also increases fines for liquor violations and gives the Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming more power. The registrar would be able to suspend a liquor licence immediately if it's deemed to be in the public interest.

Under the law, fines for liquor and underage drinking offences for individuals are doubled to $200, while establishments that sell to minors would pay $1,000, up from $500.

It will also be an offence for a person to fail to leave a premise once asked to do so by a police officer, or to return the same day after being kicked out by one.
 
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