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Corkage Comes to BC

The BC Government have announced that they are modernizing BC\’s wine laws to permit corkage. This is great news for wine lovers in the province as it will now be legal to take a bottle of wine to a restaurant to enjoy with a meal. Previously, it was not legal for a restaurant to permit the consumption of wine that had not been purchased directly from the restaurant. Restaurants will be free to set their own corkage policies including whether or not to permit corkage at all and to set whatever corkage fees they wish. Corkage is permitted in most other jurisdictions including our neighbors, Alberta and Washington state. Corkage is good news for wineries and retailers. It is also particularly beneficial for wine lovers who have been saving a \”special bottle\” for a particular occasion – now they will be able to take that bottle out for dinner rather than staying home. Restaurants can also tailor their corkage policies to fit their own needs – i.e. setting corkage fees that reflect average profits on a bottle of wine and adjusting those fees up or downwards to increase traffic on slower nights. See additional coverage at BC Wine Lover: Bring Your Own Wine Comes to BC Restaurants.

Update: Here are some useful links for restaurants wondering about the changes. Here is the Order-in-Council that amends s.42 of the Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation to permit corkage. Here is the LCLB Policy Directive introducing the BYOW program. These are the amended Terms and Conditions for Food-Primary Licensees which permit corkage.

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