Bring-Your-Own wine arrives at B.C. restaurants

Don't bet on big savings as corkage fees are predicted to run $15 to $20

B.C. is enabling a Bring Your Own Wine program at participating B.C. restaurants.

Diners can now bring their own bottle of wine to participating restaurants in B.C..

The new Bring Your Own Wine program was unveiled Thursday by Rich Coleman, the province’s minister in charge of liquor regulation.

He said it offers patrons the ability to have any wine they want with their dinner and should spur more business for restaurants.

A big part of the lure will be the savings – restaurants typically double the price of a bottle from a liquor store – but a big chunk of that will likely be eaten up by a “corkage fee” restaurants will be allowed to charge for service.

Corkage fees might be $15 or more at some restaurants, which will be free to set their own rates or charge none at all.

“By allowing people to bring their own bottle of wine into their favourite dining establishment, we’ve provided restaurant owners with a great opportunity to create a new type of dining experience that will further promote our wonderful restaurants here in British Columbia,” Coleman said.

Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the B.C. Restaurant and Food Service Association, predicts most B.C. restaurants will embrace the B.Y.O. option, not just ones that carry small wine selections.

“I think the majority of restaurants will do it,” he said. “I think it makes good sense. It is all about hospitality, welcoming guests and creating a good guest experience.”

He said $15 to $20 is typical of the corkage fees charged by restaurants in other jurisdictions.

Quebec has long had an Apportez Votre Vin program that operates in the same way, as do Ontario, Alberta, Washington and California.

Asked if high-end restaurants are bracing for a flood of economy-minded customers who arrive with cheap U-Brew wine, Tostenson said it’s unlikely. “Nah, won’t happen. Or if they do they’ll still pay their $15 to $20.”

He predicted the change could boost restaurant attendance two per cent, adding $20 million to industry sales in B.C.

Licensees are still liable if patrons are over-served or liquor service is provided to minors.

Coleman said B.C. has no plans to broaden the program to beer and spirits.

Bring Your Own is the latest in a series of changes to B.C.’s liquor laws.

The province is now allowing movie theatres to apply for liquor licences and has also modernized old rules that barred cross-border wine shipments.

Just Posted

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

UPDATE: Anonymous tip leads DFO night patrol to Fraser River poachers

Charges pending after poachers arrested at night while fishing, 48 sockeye, harbour seal seized

Wildfire update: Fires burning in Fraser Canyon, Highway 7 and Skagit Valley

Several fires in the region are under ‘modified response’ meaning no firefighters are attending

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Chilliwack is home to Sasquatch, the first Canadian-designed hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, the Sasquatch hop is the country’s first patented hops plant

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Police responding to ‘unfolding’ incident in Maple Ridge suburb

Helicopter, dog team, guns drawn and 16 police vehicles at Maple Ridge property

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

1954-built trolleybus hits Vancouver roads for 70th anniversary

TransLink to offer free rides on a retrofitted electric trolley bus to commemorate anniversary

Most Read