BYOB Coming Soon!

Attention wine lists of the city, soon you will have to be re-thinked!  There are so many good restaurants in our lovely city that serve thoughtful, refined cuisine.  Unfortunately, many of these restaurants offer frustrating, pitiful wine lists (Lemaire, Aziza’s, Mama Zu, you are being called out!).  Senate Bill 1292 takes effect July 1 and will allow any ABC-licensed restaurant to permit customers to bring a bottle of wine to dinner.  Restaurants will be able to charge a corkage fee up to $75 (bring out those old Burgs!).  Restaurants will not be required to participate if they do not wish, those who opt-out might do so for fear of losing money on the wines they carry.  If an eating establishment is worried about losing money to the Bring Your Own crowd then they should take a close look at the plonk on their lists: if they serve wines that are as thoughtful as their dishes, people might not need to bring bottles purchased elsewhere. Maybe we will see better options as a result of this bill.  My hope is that patrons will speak up about their desire for wine list change and bring about a wine renaissance in Richmond.

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