Wine lovers are toasting to a new law allowing people to bring their own bottle of wine to restaurants.
The law, signed by Governor Snyder, went into effect Friday. Restaurants can still decide whether or not to provide the option to customers.
Wine makers say anything that makes wine more accessible is a good thing. The people at Chateau Chantal said it may encourage restaurants to carry more local wines.
The law applies to restaurants with liquor licenses. Reaction is split among restaurateurs.
â??This gives them the option to perhaps taste something in a tasting room and take it to dinner that night, or perhaps bring in something they're more comfortable with,â?? said Lee Lutes, general manager and winemaker at Black Star Farms. â??Those restaurants that would just as soon as not deal with a wine program or not be too focused on a beverage program may see this as a gift. We really look forward to it being something that will enhance what it is that we do with our food community and everybody involved.
For restaurants that take pride in their wine selection, customers could be missing out by popping their own cork.
"We welcome them, but we also have a beautiful wine list," said Luca Carteni, partner at Pepe Nero in Traverse City. â??I always suggest wine according to what the people eat. I basically design and customize the wine list according to the food.â??
Restaurants have the right to charge a corkage fee for every bottle opened.
At Apache Trout Grill it will cost you fifteen dollars. At Pepe Nero's, it'll set you back $20. Red Ginger will charge you $25. For that special occasion, it could be worth it.
â??That bottle from their anniversary year, whatever it is, isn't on the wine list, but now they can take it and enjoy it in the dining setting they prefer,â?? said Lutes.
Others would prefer to save the bottle for a drink at home, and the idea leaves a bad taste in their mouth.
â??At that point, I'd have my own special dinner at home with my own special bottle of wine,â?? said Maryann Fouch of Traverse City. â??If an establishment has a select wine menu, I feel that would be disrespect if I brought my own wine in. I feel that's saying 'your wine isn't good enough for me.â??â??
Some customers are saying cheers to having the choice
â??We have some nice bottles of wine and I'd be glad to bring one along if they allowed us to drink it,â?? said Dan Fouch of Traverse City. â??If they have a good wine selection, I'd buy the wine at the restaurant. If not, I'd be happy to bring my own along.â??
You'll want to call ahead before you bring your own bottle. Not all restaurants are on board.
The new law does not apply to hotels and resorts.