From the “All We Can Eat” blog — appearing in The Washington Post — comes Dave McIntyre’s article, “Wine: Will Maryland wine drinkers get a break?“ Like many states, Maryland has erected a “tiered” system for distributing (and thus selling) alcoholic beverages. The layers make wine shipping a cumbersome and deflating experience for the end-user. Wine enthusiasts are working on that one.
But now attention is also focusing on Maryland’s ban on corkage.
Corkage is the fee a restaurant charges you for opening and serving a bottle of wine you bring yourself, from your collection. While the District allows this practice and permits restaurants to charge up to $25 per bottle, Maryland (and Virginia) prohibit it. Restaurants can be fined, or have their liquor licenses revoked, for allowing customers to bring their own wines to dinner. (The legislature amended the law a few years ago to allow consumers to take home an unfinished bottle of wine they purchase at a restaurant; however, it is still not permitted to bring a bottle from your collection at home to a restaurant.)
Forget what you learned in kindergarten: In Maryland, it is better to take than to bring.
Otherwise you’ll get caught with your pants down.