Bring your own wine to some restaurants — for a price

Some Comox Valley restaurants will allow customers to bring in their own bottles of wine for a corkage fee of $20.

Some Comox Valley restaurants will allow customers to bring in their own bottles of wine for a corkage fee of $20.

According to Sandra Viney, owner of the Atlas Café and Avenue Bistro, her two restaurants as well as Locals, the Union Street Grill, Martine’s Bistro and Toscanos Trattoria have all decided to offer their customers this option.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines, which is the ministry responsible for liquor control and licensing, announced the change in policy in mid-July, but noted restaurant participation is voluntary.

Viney is from Australia so she grew up with a similar policy in place, and she said she’s excited the Province has changed the rules.

“It was a big adjustment coming here and not being able to do it, so I’m happy that this day has come and that law has been passed,” said Viney. “It’s a progressive rule that we’ve been waiting for.”

According to the ministry, patrons will be required to have the wine served in the same manner as wine selected from the menu and restaurants may charge a corkage fee for this service.

Also, the wine must be unopened and commercially produced — meaning no U-brew or home-made wines — but it can be purchased from outside of the province.

Customers can take home their opened bottle of wine, but a restaurant employee must put a new cork in the bottle.

Before Viney announced how much the corkage fee would be, Jason Hyde, a Vancouver Island wine supplier with Peacock and Martin Ltd., noted the fees would likely be close to the same amount as the average price of a bottle of wine, which he said is around $20.

According to Hyde, restaurants usually double the cost of a bottle of wine, so they usually sell a $20 bottle of wine for about $40. With the $20 corkage fee in place, he said it’s a good deal for customers if they have an expensive bottle of wine they’d like to bring or one that’s special to them.

“That would be a good deal if you came back from France or Italy or you had a nice expensive wine to bring in there but it wouldn’t make sense to be bringing in a $15 bottle of wine or even a $20 bottle of wine,” he said, adding the wines restaurants serve generally go really well with their food because the restaurants choose the wines they want to sell with their food.

Locals chef and owner Ronald St. Pierre also noted the new option is positive for people who want to bring in expensive or special bottles of wine, but he added he has mixed feelings about the new policy and pointed out restaurants have many costs associated with liquor licences.

“We do have lots of costs involved and that, you know, fees, licensing and everything,” said St. Pierre. “So to sell liquor — it’s like going to eat at the restaurant and bringing your own food, you know, so you think about it, or other services that people purchase, like going to, I don’t know, to the spa and bringing your own product.”

He also noted he has about $20,000 invested in his alcohol inventory.

But, he is from Montreal where a similar policy is in place — and in many restaurants there, bringing their own wine with them is only way customers can have wine in those restaurants.

“I know that in Montreal there’s many restaurants that don’t actually sell liquor, you have to bring your own wine, that’s the only way that you can have wine at that restaurant,” he said. “Maybe it’s going to open a new door for people (here) to be doing a little more like they do in Montreal and somebody’s just going to allow people to bring their wine, I don’t know.”

Licensees are still liable if patrons are overserved or liquor service is provided to minors. As in other provinces, there are no plans to broaden this beyond wine to include beer and spirits, according to the ministry.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island Health has announced a COVID-19 outbreak at Glacier View Lodge, a long-term care facility in the Comox Valley. File photo.
Island Health declares a COVID outbreak at Glacier View Lodge in Courtenay

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a long-term care facility in… Continue reading

The Village of Cumberland and the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) are offering two new spring break camps, open to children ages eight to 13. Photo supplied
Village and Cumberland Community Forest Society co-hosting spring break camps

Submitted The Village of Cumberland and the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS)… Continue reading

HIGHLAND sECONDARY scHOOL comox
COVID-19 exposure at sixth Comox Valley school in past eight days

Island Health has posted an exposure alert at a sixth Comox Valley… Continue reading

Artist Sandra Meigs will be the next speaker in NIC’s online 2021 Artist Talk series, appearing virtually on Friday, March 5 at 1 pm. For the full schedule and link to attend the Artist Talk Online Series, visit https://nicart.tickit.ca/. (Photo: The Glass Ticker (2017) — 15’ X 9’ X 5’, wood, enamel, lights, aluminum, glass, automata. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.)
Celebrated artist and mentor joins North Island College Artist Talk series

North Island College’s virtual 2021 Artist Talk series welcomes Sandra Meigs, past… Continue reading

The Coast Range makes a spectacular backdrop for orca heading towards Discovery Passage of Campbell River Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Frank Neil
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Photo: Lt. Sandy Pridmore, MARS Darlene Banerd, MARS, Warren Warttig and Captain Rob Stevens show the new automatic external defibrillator (AED) that will be located at the MARS facilities located at 1331 William Beach Road, Black Creek. Photo supplied
Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society adds AED to Williams Beach Road location

Submitted Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) has collaborated with the Comox Firefighters… Continue reading

Most Read