The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.
no avatar
User

JeffB

Rank

Cellar rat

Posts

11

Joined

Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:36 pm

Location

Omaha

Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by JeffB » Mon Jan 01, 2007 4:57 pm

Hello, and happy new year to all!

I recently found a local wine store that has a great selection and good prices - needless to say, I'm quite happy about that! I had the owner of the store pick a few selections for me (I'm a complete newbie and 100% open for suggestions at this stage in my development) and one of them was a Behrens and Hitchcock Dr Crane Cuvee (2003). I went to a new local steak house and took the bottle with me for a nice meal. The guy seating me said "which B&H is that?" immediately telling me that these guys were familiar with this wine. After being seated I grabbed their wine list and found this exact same bottle selling for $205 (I paid $75). They charged a $20 corkage fee, and I tipped as if there was an $80 bottle on the ticket. My question is, I have been told that it's somewhat bad form to take in a bottle of wine that the establishment offers on its own wine list. But given the huge savings in doing so, I am obviously compelled to do this again. What are all of your thoughts on this? This was the first time I had ever brought a bottle of wine to any restaurant, so I don't have much "feel" for what is appropriate and what is not. If they have a "corkage fee" option, is it fair game to bring anything I want?

Thanks!
Jeff

ps. I absolutely loved the B&H!
no avatar
User

Redwinger

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

3964

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:36 pm

Location

Way Down South In Indiana, USA

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Redwinger » Mon Jan 01, 2007 5:09 pm

JeffB wrote:Hello, and happy new year to all!

I recently found a local wine store that has a great selection and good prices - needless to say, I'm quite happy about that! I had the owner of the store pick a few selections for me (I'm a complete newbie and 100% open for suggestions at this stage in my development) and one of them was a Behrens and Hitchcock Dr Crane Cuvee (2003). I went to a new local steak house and took the bottle with me for a nice meal. The guy seating me said "which B&H is that?" immediately telling me that these guys were familiar with this wine. After being seated I grabbed their wine list and found this exact same bottle selling for $205 (I paid $75). They charged a $20 corkage fee, and I tipped as if there was an $80 bottle on the ticket. My question is, I have been told that it's somewhat bad form to take in a bottle of wine that the establishment offers on its own wine list. But given the huge savings in doing so, I am obviously compelled to do this again. What are all of your thoughts on this? This was the first time I had ever brought a bottle of wine to any restaurant, so I don't have much "feel" for what is appropriate and what is not. If they have a "corkage fee" option, is it fair game to bring anything I want?

Thanks!
Jeff

ps. I absolutely loved the B&H!

Jeff,
The restaurant had ample opportunity to object if they chose to do so. They were cool with charging corkage, so I wouldn't sweat it. Of course, with pricing approaching 3X retail, they certainly are not doing much to discourage BYO
BP
Smile, it gives your face something to do!
User avatar
User

Ian Sutton

Rank

Spanna in the works

Posts

3652

Joined

Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 pm

Location

Norwich, UK

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Ian Sutton » Mon Jan 01, 2007 5:24 pm

Jeff
I can see how the 'bad form' might arise (especially if the customer does a big :shock: :shock: at the mark-up. To my mind the establishment need to either rethink their mark-up or corkage (or both). In offering $20 corkage, they are saying that is their cost to provide glasses, service & profit. For wines on the wine list you also need to factor in procurement, risk (no-one buys it, or it gets damaged, or the customer returns it as corked), plus cellaring costs.

If instead, they applied (for wines between, say $30 and $100) a $30 mark-up, then their list would better reflect the costs. As it stands, they reward wine enthusiasts with a fair (if not generous) BYO policy.

Personally I'd have no qualms about doing what you did, though possibly not intentionally (and hey if they want to make a scene, then I'm sure the other diners would be interested in the price you paid vs. the price on their list :P ). On the other hand, allowing them to discretely turn the label to the wall if they wished would be fine by me and I think you'd reasonably be expected to only whisper the price differential. Apart from that, all you've done is confirmed good taste in the sommelier!

As for tipping, I don't understand US tipping, so I'll leave that to others to comment on.

regards

Ian
no avatar
User

Sam Platt

Rank

I am Sam, Sam I am

Posts

2333

Joined

Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:22 pm

Location

Indiana, USA

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Sam Platt » Mon Jan 01, 2007 5:30 pm

Jeff,

I don't know if there is a set rule, but for BYO I usually tip at 20% of the price I paid for the wine. That's assuming the corkage fee is reasonable; $20 or less. I did have one experience in which we were charged corkage, decanting, and service fees which added up to $45. The decanting and service fees were not mentioned up front. I didn't tip for the price of the wine on that occasion.
Sam

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are a small
matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson
User avatar
User

Bernard Roth

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

805

Joined

Sat Mar 25, 2006 5:31 pm

Location

Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Bernard Roth » Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:20 pm

In light of their acquiescence to open a BYOB that was on their list, you are OK this time. But I think you should not make a habit of bringing wines that are "likely" to be on a list.

Restaurants cannot support their wine programs by selling corkage. What is in it for them if people get the idea that they can go grab a bottle of plonk from the grocery store on their way to the restaurant?

There are only two acceptable reasons, IMO, for bringing wine to a restaurant: 1) It is a special, e.g. sentimental, bottle; 2) It is a wine that you have carefully selected and cellared until to optimal time to drink it. In the latter case, these are often older wines that would usually not be found on wine lists.

I tend to bring wines that are rare, older, or pricier than wines on the lists where I dine. Since I like more mature wines, and since restaurants tend to not hold onto wine until mature, I violate no rule when bringing these wines. They are often the kinds of wines that the sommeliers have either never tried or wish they could get onto their list.
Regards,
Bernard Roth
User avatar
User

Bob Parsons Alberta

Rank

aka Doris

Posts

9625

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:47 pm

Bernard, I am with you on this. I am in the business and in my opinion, if the wine is featured on the wine list it`s a no-go and corkage will be charged accordingly. I happen to know the cost so am in the know!!!
User avatar
User

Neil Courtney

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

3320

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:39 pm

Location

Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Neil Courtney » Mon Jan 01, 2007 6:55 pm

Tipping is generally unusual here as well. I find it hard to understand why anyone should feel obliged to tip 20% on the cost of their own wine after they have already been charged $20 corkage. $20 should adequately cover the cost of washing two glasses, a provision for breakages, and a good profit margin on top. The term "Steak House" must mean something different. Here it conjures up images of a nice BBQed steak and salad style restaurant, and not some place that will have a $205 bottle of wine on the wine list.

If you go to any restaurant for the first time, how are you expected to know what they have on their wine list? If I were to go back again, I might go out of my way to find a bottle that was NOT on their list, but I would expect the list for a place like the one in question to change their wine list on a regular basis, so you still wouldn't know unless you go there frequently. Finally, why not take a wine that has just been purchased at the wine store around the corner? Winemakers these days are producing wines designed for immediate consumption, given that the bulk (95% say?) of wine purchased in wine stores gets consumed within a few hours at most.
Cheers,
Neil Courtney

'Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it.' --- Anonymous.
no avatar
User

JeffB

Rank

Cellar rat

Posts

11

Joined

Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:36 pm

Location

Omaha

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by JeffB » Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:16 pm

Thanks for all of the replies, everybody!

I figured that I had one "get of jail free card" in that I did not know ahead of time that this particular wine was on their list. Obviously if they offer a corkage service, they must not be opposed to me bringing in wine altogether. The question that popped into my mind, was now that I know that I can get this same wine there, are they going to frown on me bringing it back again. I can understand both sides of the issue, but given that my funds are not unlimited, I prefer to save on the wine and spend more on the food. For example, after seeing that I was already "$130 ahead" on the wine we went a little more crazy on the food ordering. Dinner for two ended up being $190 with tax and $250 after tip. I can't imagine that the staff felt "cheated" by that transaction, but at the same time I don't want to start down the wrong path in establishing a relationship with a new restaurant.

And while I certainly recognize the restaurant's need to make a profit, I think anything over $120 or so for a $75 bottle (which I would be surprised if they had to pay a full $75 for) starts pushing the limits of what is reasonable.

I guess another way of looking at all of this is to ask the question, who first brought the wine to my attention? For example, it seems far more tacky for me to go in there, try one of their wines, and then start bringing that wine back on my own just to save money. On the other hand, in this case, I already had the B&H before ever stepping foot in the restaurant, so it's not like I stole their idea. Therefore it seems far less like I'm stepping on toes to keep bringing this same selection back there.

Thanks,
Jeff
User avatar
User

Bob Ross

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

5862

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm

Location

Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Bob Ross » Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:26 pm

"My question is, I have been told that it's somewhat bad form to take in a bottle of wine that the establishment offers on its own wine list. But given the huge savings in doing so, I am obviously compelled to do this again."

A couple of thoughts, Jeff. First, the restaurant management has a poorly conceived corkage policy in my opinion. Most restaurants that permit BYOB will not permit BYOB of wines that are on their list, unless you make special arrangments beforehand. At restaurants that enforce that policy -- you may be in the position of being forced to buy a wine off their list or going without wine at the meal.

It's worth mentioning that diners don't have the right to BYOB in a licensed restaurant -- it's up to management to decide whether to permit BYOB and on their own corkage policy.

I would expect to pay corkage of at least $50 in the circumstances you mention, if the restaurant would permit your bottle to be opened at all.

Regards, Bob
no avatar
User

Sam Platt

Rank

I am Sam, Sam I am

Posts

2333

Joined

Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:22 pm

Location

Indiana, USA

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Sam Platt » Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:31 pm

Neil Courtney wrote:Tipping is generally unusual here as well. I find it hard to understand why anyone should feel obliged to tip 20% on the cost of their own wine after they have already been charged $20 corkage.


Neil,

The way I look at it is that I'm taking money out of the service staff's pocket if I don't tip on the value of the wine. Had I purchased the wine from the restaurant list I would tip 20% on the inflated cost of the wine. The wait staff would share in the money generated from that tip. Therefore I feel that I should also allow them to share in the tip money which would have been generated from the price I actually did pay for the wine.
Sam

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are a small
matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson
no avatar
User

JeffB

Rank

Cellar rat

Posts

11

Joined

Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:36 pm

Location

Omaha

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by JeffB » Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:37 pm

Bob,

That makes sense, and maybe that's the problem with not having their policy spelled out somewhere for newbs like me to read. Like I said, I am new to this whole notion of corkage, and my first understanding of it was simply, "if you pay a surcharge, you can bring your own wine". But based on some of the comments that you guys have made it sounds more like it should be phrased "if we don't offer the wine and you wish to bring it, we will allow it with a small surcharge". The unfortunate thing about that scenario is that it almost encourages a diner to eat a place that has good food but a poor wine list and then just BYOB. Am I just being cheap to be shocked by nearly 3x markup over retail? I don't bat an eye at a $39 filet, but somehow $130 of markup on a product that isn't even made in house just seems nuts. Is that par for the course? What do you guys feel is a "fair" restaurant price for a $75 bottle of wine that a person can walk right into a store in the same town and purchase?

Thanks,
Jeff
User avatar
User

Cynthia Wenslow

Rank

Pizza Princess

Posts

5788

Joined

Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:32 pm

Location

The Third Coast

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Cynthia Wenslow » Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:38 pm

To avoid this issue altogether, we have often phoned ahead to speak with the sommelier about the wine we intend to bring to dinner, especially if it is a restaurant where we are unfamiliar with the wine list. We have found the wine staff to be most helpful and quite understanding. It's also nice to know the corkage before arriving.

In two instances we did indeed change what we brought so as not to step on any toes.... we had several special bottles from which to choose to take, so merely switched them. Another time we decided not to bring our own, but to go with something on their list.
User avatar
User

Neil Courtney

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

3320

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:39 pm

Location

Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Neil Courtney » Mon Jan 01, 2007 7:45 pm

Sam Platt wrote:The wait staff would share in the money generated from that tip. Therefore I feel that I should also allow them to share in the tip money which would have been generated from the price I actually did pay for the wine.


Maybe that is where the real difference lies. If the wait staff were paid a reasonable wage in the first place they would not need to rely on tips to give them a good return on their nights labours. I will tip occasionally in this country, but only for exceptional service, and not as a matter of course. It is a little unfortunate that tourists who are used to tipping are starting to do so here as well, and some establishments and staff may be starting to expect it.

Do you tip in cash on the table, or just add it to the bill and put on the plastic? If the latter, then do the wait staff actually get their hands on the tips they deserve?
Cheers,
Neil Courtney

'Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it.' --- Anonymous.
User avatar
User

Bob Ross

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

5862

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm

Location

Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Bob Ross » Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:32 pm

"That makes sense, and maybe that's the problem with not having their policy spelled out somewhere for newbs like me to read. Like I said, I am new to this whole notion of corkage, and my first understanding of it was simply, "if you pay a surcharge, you can bring your own wine". But based on some of the comments that you guys have made it sounds more like it should be phrased "if we don't offer the wine and you wish to bring it, we will allow it with a small surcharge"."

Jeff, it's tough to generalize because local custom and local laws impact corkage policies. I totally agree with Cynthia; I always phone ahead if I plan to bring wine to a restaurant. Managment is almost invariably willing, even eager, to describe their corkage policy.

Conceptually, it's best to compare wine with food: you don't have the right to bring your own steak to a steak house no matter how beautifully aged it is; a restaurant might permit you to do so in special circumstances, but you would certainly call ahead to discuss your reasons and what the conditions the restaurant might impose. The same principle applies to wine.

Here's a small sample of how corkage varies from place to place.

In some places it's unlawful to BYOB, sometimes because the restaurant is in a dry jurisdiction, and sometimes because it's simply unlawful in a licensed restaurant in the jurisdiction.

In this area of northern New Jersey, there are many BYOB restaurants -- it is very expensive and difficult get licenses, there are many unlicensed restaurants, and a very large number of restaurants encourage patrons to BYOB. [Even here though, a good number of unlicensed restaurant refuse to permit BYOB, usually for insurance reasons.] As a result, licensed restaurants almost invariably permit BYOB -- they may have a stated corkage policy, but almost invariably waive the corkage.

As a matter of courtesy, we've come up with the following checklist when taking wine to a licensed restaurant in this area:

1. Call ahead, discuss their list and pricing, and if we want to bring our own, give our reasons for our decision and discuss the restaurant's corkage policy.

2. Offer a taste of the wine to the owner or sommelier.

3. Bring only wines that are more expensive than the cheapest wine on their list -- sommeliers are usually complimented if you bring better wines. [One White Plains restaurants established their corkage charge equal to the cheapest wine on their list. :-)]

4. *Usually, buy a bottle from the list -- usually a sparkler or a dessert wine, or both.

In Manhattan, BYOB is generally not permitted at all. It's essential to call ahead and make arrangements. If permitted, the corkage runs around $20 to $30 a bottle, but I've seen $50 and even $75 at posh joints. Montrachet is a restaurant with a great wine list, a no BYOB policy, EXCEPT for Monday nights -- a very successful innovation for the restaurant on what used to be one of its slowest nights. And there are a few, vanishingly few, restaurants that encourage BYOB. Sommeliers sometimes tell you BYOB is illegal in NYC -- that's not true, but you cannot insist that be permitted to BYOB either. It's up to the restaurant, and you have no recourse if the restaurant refuses. (Except walk out, I suppose.)

I'm not sure what the current customs are in Napa -- a couple of years ago, one restaurant waived corkage if you brought a Napa wine; at the French Laundry, corkage was $75, and only if the wine wasn't on the list -- it was essential to call in advance and make arrangements, since the French Laundry has a very good list.

My impression is that restaurants in San Francisco and in Los Angeles are quite open to BYOB even if they have good lists of their own, and that corkage is rarely charged.

I did a Google search of corkage in Omaha restaurants -- $10 to $20 seems quite common -- a pretty wine friendly town based on that superficial search. I can understand why you thought "if you pay a surcharge, you can bring your own wine" -- many of the Omaha restaurant websites put almost exactly that way. There are many cities that are much less friendly to BYOB. :(

***

Restaurant markups on wine, and tipping policies on BYOB, when permited, are vast subjects, and I'll pass on those fascinating subjects. For this post at least. :)

Welcome to WLDG -- You posed some excellent, thought provoking questions.

Regards, Bob
User avatar
User

Bob Parsons Alberta

Rank

aka Doris

Posts

9625

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:42 pm

Sue, to answer your question about tip on the Visa whatever, yes the server will receive the tip the next working day.

I think it is important to point out that in most establishments, there is a % that the server has to pay at the end of their shift. Usually totals 4% of their ringout, maybe more, and is split up say 1% to the kitchen, 2% to the house(management etc) and so on. Bartender will also be tipped out as well as bus-boy/girl if applicable.

One may be astonished to know that one high end place here in town, with big prices, the tipout is 40%.
User avatar
User

Bob Ross

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

5862

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:39 pm

Location

Franklin Lakes, NJ

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Bob Ross » Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:47 pm

"Do you tip in cash on the table, or just add it to the bill and put on the plastic? If the latter, then do the wait staff actually get their hands on the tips they deserve?"

Neil, in this area it's customary to add the tip to the credit card slip; tips are clearly considered compensation by both management and staff and in the over-whelming number of restaurants I know anything about, there is little chance that management pockets any of the money.

In fact, I've sometimes given a cash tip for particularly good service and on two occasions saw the recipient turn the cash over to the person managing the cash register for disbursement later.
User avatar
User

Howie Hart

Rank

The Hart of Buffalo

Posts

5953

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:13 pm

Location

Niagara Falls, NY

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Howie Hart » Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:52 pm

Neil Courtney wrote:Maybe that is where the real difference lies. If the wait staff were paid a reasonable wage in the first place they would not need to rely on tips to give them a good return on their nights labours. I will tip occasionally in this country, but only for exceptional service, and not as a matter of course. It is a little unfortunate that tourists who are used to tipping are starting to do so here as well, and some establishments and staff may be starting to expect it.

Do you tip in cash on the table, or just add it to the bill and put on the plastic? If the latter, then do the wait staff actually get their hands on the tips they deserve?

Here in the USA wait staff is exempt from minimum wage laws and generally receive about $2/hour less than minimum wage. In addition, many establishments will include a 15% tip on groups of eight or more. Just the accepted way of doing business. My wife used to work as a waitress and always complained because Canadians would tip considerably less. The first job I ever had was as a busboy in a hotel restaurant. Tips were consolidated and divided amoungst the wait staff with bus boys getting a smaller share. The tips were split up at the end of the night. This tip splitting was immediately followed by a crap game. :shock:
User avatar
User

Bernard Roth

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

805

Joined

Sat Mar 25, 2006 5:31 pm

Location

Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Omaha

by Bernard Roth » Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:08 pm

Having spent many a business trip to Omaha, I can attest to the generally dismal state of restaurant wine lists there. So it is no surprise that Jeff was surprised to find his wine on the list.

Jeff, I'm curious which restaurant you were at (and whether I've been there). If you do not want to make this public info, please send me email or private mail.
Regards,
Bernard Roth
no avatar
User

JeffB

Rank

Cellar rat

Posts

11

Joined

Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:36 pm

Location

Omaha

Re: Omaha

by JeffB » Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:24 pm

It was the Paxton Chop House, downtown at around 14th and Farnam. Just opened about 2-3 months ago. The owner of the local wine store recommended them because they had an above average wine list in addition to great food.
no avatar
User

Harry Cantrell

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

138

Joined

Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:18 pm

Re: Omaha

by Harry Cantrell » Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:47 am

Bernie, you and I are so diametrically opposed on this issue. One doesn't bring meat to a steak house because they cook it, serve it-there is value added. What value is added to a bottle of wine THAT WAS RECENTLY PURCHASED AT RETAIL. I dare say precious little. And they do the old saw of selling it at 300% wholesale. This topic has been beat to death on boards like this, so I will end my comments soon. Suffice it to say that a restaurant that relies on a business model that must charge 300% mark-up has a very poor business model and will not get my business.
Harry C.
User avatar
User

Bernard Roth

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

805

Joined

Sat Mar 25, 2006 5:31 pm

Location

Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Omaha

by Bernard Roth » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:48 am

Harry Cantrell wrote:Bernie, you and I are so diametrically opposed on this issue. One doesn't bring meat to a steak house because they cook it, serve it-there is value added. What value is added to a bottle of wine THAT WAS RECENTLY PURCHASED AT RETAIL. I dare say precious little. And they do the old saw of selling it at 300% wholesale. This topic has been beat to death on boards like this, so I will end my comments soon. Suffice it to say that a restaurant that relies on a business model that must charge 300% mark-up has a very poor business model and will not get my business.


Harry... What are you smoking? :shock: What in my post is diametric to your view :?: , unless your view is that it is NEVER appropriate to BYO - even when the restaurant has a published corkage policy.
Regards,
Bernard Roth
no avatar
User

Oliver McCrum

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

997

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:08 am

Location

Oakland, CA; Cigliè, Piedmont

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Oliver McCrum » Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:23 am

Neil Courtney wrote:
Sam Platt wrote:The wait staff would share in the money generated from that tip. Therefore I feel that I should also allow them to share in the tip money which would have been generated from the price I actually did pay for the wine.


Maybe that is where the real difference lies. If the wait staff were paid a reasonable wage in the first place they would not need to rely on tips to give them a good return on their nights labours. I will tip occasionally in this country, but only for exceptional service, and not as a matter of course. It is a little unfortunate that tourists who are used to tipping are starting to do so here as well, and some establishments and staff may be starting to expect it.



It sounds like the tipping etiquette is very different in NZ from here in the US; I have had English friends who tipped here the way they did back home, and they became very unpopular.
Oliver
Oliver McCrum Wines
User avatar
User

ClarkDGigHbr

Rank

Ultra geek

Posts

485

Joined

Sat May 06, 2006 8:16 pm

Location

Gig Harbor, WA

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by ClarkDGigHbr » Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:23 am

Bob Ross wrote:As a matter of courtesy, we've come up with the following checklist when taking wine to a licensed restaurant in this area:

1. Call ahead, discuss their list and pricing, and if we want to bring our own, give our reasons for our decision and discuss the restaurant's corkage policy.

2. Offer a taste of the wine to the owner or sommelier.

3. Bring only wines that are more expensive than the cheapest wine on their list -- sommeliers are usually complimented if you bring better wines.

4. *Usually, buy a bottle from the list -- usually a sparkler or a dessert wine, or both.


I really like Bob's guidelines here, and would endorse their adoption in part or in whole.

As to that restaurant, I would let them know in no uncertain terms that they are ruthless price gougers. I do this by ordering a coctail, which I nurse through the meal. Then I tell them why I refused to purchase wine with my meal, despite the fact that I always dine with wine. Furthermore, I let them know that I will not consider returning until they change their wine pricing policy.

Besides, what's the big deal about this restaurant? It's just another steak house in Omaha. That has to be about as common as finding a decent coffee shop in Seattle. :lol:

-- Clark
Last edited by ClarkDGigHbr on Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
User

Neil Courtney

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

3320

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:39 pm

Location

Auckland, New Zealand

Re: Bad form, or totally reasonable?

by Neil Courtney » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:54 am

Oliver McCrum wrote:
Neil Courtney wrote:
Sam Platt wrote:The wait staff would share in the money generated from that tip. Therefore I feel that I should also allow them to share in the tip money which would have been generated from the price I actually did pay for the wine.


Maybe that is where the real difference lies. If the wait staff were paid a reasonable wage in the first place they would not need to rely on tips to give them a good return on their nights labours. I will tip occasionally in this country, but only for exceptional service, and not as a matter of course. It is a little unfortunate that tourists who are used to tipping are starting to do so here as well, and some establishments and staff may be starting to expect it.



It sounds like the tipping etiquette is very different in NZ from here in the US; I have had English friends who tipped here the way they did back home, and they became very unpopular.


Yes, chalk and cheese come to mind. We do not tip, except as I said, in VERY exceptional circumstances. The times I have been to the US I have had to make a big effort to remember to tip at all. I can relate to your friends. When I went on a cruise around New Zealand on a cruise liner, the New Zealand residents paid a fare that included the gratuities built in, as distinct from the US (and other) citizens who paid less but tipped as per usual. Our cabin staff and waiters made it clear to us that our tips were already catered for.
Cheers,
Neil Courtney

'Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it.' --- Anonymous.
Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], TomHill and 2 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign