Five spots to try with reasonable wine corkage fees and tasty food for those who know how to play by the rules.
Bringing your own bottle of wine to a restaurant can be an acceptable practice if you keep in mind the following criteria: It has to be legal, the restaurant must have a policy that allows BYOB, and you have to not be a total jerk about it.
The legality of allowing diners to bring their own bottles of wine into restaurants varies from state to state but fortunately in Nevada there is no state law governing it, so it’s only a matter of finding your preferred BYOB spot. In Las Vegas there are many, and when you do find one (suggestions below), it is imperative that you consider the restaurant’s own policies regarding corkage. Do not confuse legality with rights; it is entirely at the discretion of the restaurant to allow you to bring in outside bottles. Call the restaurant ahead of your arrival and ask permission; that magic word your parent’s taught you still has power. Typically, if it’s allowed, a restaurant will charge a corkage fee that is often comparable to the caliber of restaurant, i.e. don’t be surprised if it costs more to drink your bottle out of crystal glassware overlooking Las Vegas Boulevard than it does at your neighborhood café.
But which bottle will you bring? Definitely something that’s not already on the restaurant’s wine list. Corkage is best utilized when you opt to bring a special, rare and/or expensive bottle from home. When you arrive let your server or sommelier know that you’ve brought your own wine and feel free to provide any necessary instructions as to decant, when you’d like the wine served and temperature considerations. Obviously wine glasses will be provided but in a very casual setting do be prepared to pour your own wine. Perhaps most importantly of all, seriously consider ordering from the restaurant’s wine list, whether it’s a few glasses of sparkling wine to start out or a bottle of white for the first course; this goes a long way toward demonstrating your restaurant culture etiquette. After all, these lists not only offer a selection of wines for everyone’s tastes, but also selections that particularly pair with their menu offerings.
Finally, don’t forget to provide gratuity to reflect the convenience offered to you on top of the corkage charge you’re paying. And leave feeling good that you navigated BYOB in style.
Andrés Bistro & Bar
Coq au Vin
The literal translation is “rooster in wine,” the chicken on the bone is braised slowly in wine, yielding a supremely rich sauce bathing the tender meat, pearl onions, mushroom, bacon. It’s a wholesome one-dish meal that is quintessentially French. (6115 S. Fort Apache, andresbistroandbar.com)
BYOB: Maison Roche de Bellene Vosne-Romanée Vieilles Vignes 2010, $72.99
Description: Red Burgundy with Coq au Vin is a no-brainer. Go for this old vine offering that delivers ample red-berried fruit, laurel spice, and tobacco aromas to compliment this dish perfectly.
From their wine list: Domaine Gochot-Monot, Côte de Nuits 2013, $66