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Tuesday 26 February 2019

How much "corkage" is fair?

How much is a restaurant entitled to charge for corkage if you bring your own bottle of wine? 

Somewhere between $10 and $100 a bottle would seem fair to me, given you are using the restaurant's stemware and not  buying wine from their list. 

A charge of $1000 for each bottle, though, seems extortionate, but that is what British wine industry magazine Drinks Business is reporting one high-end Melbourne eatery charged an unsuspecting overseas guest. 

The details are sketchy, and Drinks Business used The Daily Mail as its source but it claimed a Swiss wine buyer visiting Australia was allegedly charged $8,000 in corkage, having brought eight bottles of his own wine to show to guests in an unnamed restaurant in Melbourne.

Each of the eight bottles he brought with him reportedly cost just $200, but he was charged a fee of $1,000 a bottle, costing a total of $8,000.

At $1,000 a bottle corkage, this would be the priciest corkage charge of any restaurant in the world.

Chef Tom Keller’s restaurants, Napa’s French Laundry and New York’s Per Se, are often touted the world’s most expensive for corkage. But at just US$150, their charges seem reasonable by comparison.
The wine buyer said he had attempted to contact the high end restaurant three times to confirm if he could bring his own wine and the relevant charges, but had received no response.

The message here is clear. Make sure you know what the corkage charge is before dining. If a restaurant won't tell you, then dine elsewhere. 

# If anyone has any details of this event, please let me know. 

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