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.

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.

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

Just Posted

The Maple Ridge Community Foundation is hosting a trivia night fundraiser on Hit TV. (Special to The News)
Connie Werzun has taken up photography classes, and tok this picture along the dikes at Jerry Sulina Park one night recently. Using a seven-minute exposure, “a photo taken at night looks like it was taken during the day.” (Special to The News)
SHARE: Night photo of mountain range appears as day

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Raphael Baruh of Slavic Rolls creates one of his Eastern European desserts at the Maple Ridge food truck festival on Saturday afternoon. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Food Truck Festival in Maple Ridge this weekend

Pick the drive-through lane for the food you like at Albion Fair Grounds

Coyotes walk down a Maple Ridge residential street. (Special to The News)
Security camera shows coyotes walking down Maple Ridge street

A warning to Silver Valley residents to keep their pets indoors, says home owner

Coach Ray Wakeman and the Maple Ridge Lawn Bowling Club are looking for new members. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Maple Ridge club looking for lawn bowlers

Games have been modified for safety during COVID-19

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
1 taken to hospital after plane crash at Metro Vancouver airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

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

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Most Read