For Night Out at a BYOB, Invite a PA Wine to Dinner
Food lovers in Pennsylvania, especially within Philadelphia and the southeastern part of the state, are blessed by the number of fine restaurant and bistros that are officially BYOB – places that invite you to “bring your own bottle.”
And while some foodies like to show off their highly rated wines from around the world, more and more are bringing wines made locally in PA Wine Land, giving a show of approval that locally produced wines do go with local fine cuisine.
“With the growth of Pennsylvania wines becoming so strong in our area, we started waiving our $5 corkage fee for customers bringing local wines,” says Tim Smith, owner/chef at Twelves Café in West Grove. He also points out local wineries can be good for BYOB business. “Some of the closer wineries have been sending us a lot of business, too.”
If you’re new to BYOB eateries or even if you’re an old hand, here are a few tips:
- Most BYOB’s charge a modest “corkage” fee to cover their staff opening the bottle and providing wine service and glassware. Some charge one flat fee for the table, whereas others charge for each bottle opened whether they are with cork or screw caps – which can get expensive. So as not to be surprised, check the restaurant’s website or call ahead to ask how and how much is charged.
- Normally take along a red and a white and perhaps a sparkling wine as well. Unless you have a designated driver, figure on about a half-bottle per person. You may need more white than red wine, as most people will have a glass of white wine or sparkling before the first course – often calling for a white wine itself – is served.
- If you’re taking a special bottle of local wine, especially an older one, check in advance to see if the restaurant has decanters. Otherwise, wine will be poured directly from the bottle.
- Take along a bottle opener – if not to use it yourself, just in case the server has to search for one.
- If you’re having a particularly delicious Pennsylvania wine, send a glass back to the chef with your compliments. It’s a great way to start a relationship with the kitchen!
To find out more about individual wineries and the 12 wine trails located throughout Pennsylvania, log onto www.PAWineLand.com. The site also has maps and contact information for the more than 150 wineries spread across the state as well as wine tips and wine information. And if you’re on the road, find nearby wineries by using the mobile website at m.pennsylvaniawine.com.This is a paid partnership between PA State Wineries and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio