Texas BYOB Let Down :(

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Gabe Berk
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Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#1 Post by Gabe Berk » February 14th, 2020, 1:09 pm

Kicking myself in the rear for not having the intuition to see about Texas liquor laws and bringing in a bottle to a restaurant.

Went to Papa's Bros. Steak House in Dallas. Brought a bottle of 2014 Chappellet Pritchard Hill Cab in the suitcase and took it with me to the restaurant. The server gave us the shpiel on their restaurant, quality of meats and their specials. Upon asking if he could decant the wine he apologetically said its against Texas Law to open the bottle that isn't purchased from the restaurant. I immediately looked on their list and saw they had the same bottle for sale. He said he'd get the wine director over to talk with me.

The director politely declined being able to open the bottle. I asked if I could give them the bottle of Chappellet and they could pull their own bottle out of their stock and charge me say $50 as a "service". That way I'd be paying for a bottle out of their stock and they'd have mine to replace it with. They again politely declined.

As disappointed as I was, I will say the ribeye I ordered was THE BEST ribeye I've ever eaten. A+ stuff. Went well with the Shiner Bock beer I ordered instead. Note to self, check state liquor laws before stashing wine in your suitcase and assuming you can bring a bottle to pop open at a restaurant. newhere

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#2 Post by Jeff P » February 14th, 2020, 1:26 pm

Certain restaurants allow corkage for sure (I did it a few weeks ago in Dallas), but unfortunately most of the "fancy" steakhouses will make you buy from their inflated price lists. Pappas is the best in town though...
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#3 Post by Dale Williams » February 14th, 2020, 1:30 pm

Ok, I hate to be harsh, but forget state law, who carries a bottle of wine to a restaurant without checking on corkage?
And most restaurants , even in states where corkage legal, don't allow corkage for wines on their list. I'm kind of surprised at idea of lugging a recent release Cab in a suitcase to open at steakhouse, which usually have long lists of recent release Cabs.
Sorry it was a bad experience for you, but I think this isn't just state liquor laws.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#4 Post by Gabe Berk » February 14th, 2020, 1:33 pm

Jeff P wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 1:26 pm
Certain restaurants allow corkage for sure (I did it a few weeks ago in Dallas), but unfortunately most of the "fancy" steakhouses will make you buy from their inflated price lists. Pappas is the best in town though...
Yup. Mine was $220 cost. The same bottle on the list was $500. I get it. The Shiner Bock only slightly took the bad taste out my mouth. The ribeye was ridiculously good though. 1200 degree broiler with the perfect amount of salt. Crispy on the outside and butter in the middle.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#5 Post by GregT » February 14th, 2020, 1:38 pm

Yeah Gabe, sorry about the experience but I think Dale has a point. Steakhouses that I've been to almost always have recently released CA Cabs. I would definitely have called first.

I even got screwed bringing a 1973 Spanish wine once. We called ahead and the somm said we could open anything they didn't have and we assured him that he wouldn't have any of our wines as they were all older and European. First we pulled out was the 73 from Spain and guess what? He had it. He got such a kick out of our expressions that he didn't charge us and let us open it anyway. He only had two bottles and had never tasted it. Ended up hanging with us and sharing our other stuff, which he didn't have.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#6 Post by Chuck J o r d a n » February 14th, 2020, 1:40 pm

Gabe Berk wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 1:09 pm
Kicking myself in the rear for not having the intuition to see about Texas liquor laws and bringing in a bottle to a restaurant.

Went to Papa's Bros. Steak House in Dallas. Brought a bottle of 2014 Chappellet Pritchard Hill Cab in the suitcase and took it with me to the restaurant. The server gave us the shpiel on their restaurant, quality of meats and their specials. Upon asking if he could decant the wine he apologetically said its against Texas Law to open the bottle that isn't purchased from the restaurant. I immediately looked on their list and saw they had the same bottle for sale. He said he'd get the wine director over to talk with me.

The director politely declined being able to open the bottle. I asked if I could give them the bottle of Chappellet and they could pull their own bottle out of their stock and charge me say $50 as a "service". That way I'd be paying for a bottle out of their stock and they'd have mine to replace it with. They again politely declined.

As disappointed as I was, I will say the ribeye I ordered was THE BEST ribeye I've ever eaten. A+ stuff. Went well with the Shiner Bock beer I ordered instead. Note to self, check state liquor laws before stashing wine in your suitcase and assuming you can bring a bottle to pop open at a restaurant. newhere
Yep, we have some archaic laws here. It is illegal for a restaurant to open it if they have a liquor license. If they don't, then it is completely fine. The TABC is merciless, so I am not surprised they wouldn't do a bottle swap.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#7 Post by Gabe Berk » February 14th, 2020, 1:42 pm

Dale Williams wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 1:30 pm
Ok, I hate to be harsh, but forget state law, who carries a bottle of wine to a restaurant without checking on corkage?
And most restaurants , even in states where corkage legal, don't allow corkage for wines on their list. I'm kind of surprised at idea of lugging a recent release Cab in a suitcase to open at steakhouse, which usually have long lists of recent release Cabs.
Sorry it was a bad experience for you, but I think this isn't just state liquor laws.
Not harsh at all. Again, I'm kicking myself in the rear. They said it was Texas State law that they'd be breaching, not me bringing in the same bottle they have on the list. I believed them, but who knows. On a similar note, I've brought wines to restaurants for years and never had anyone deny opening a bottle that was a different vintage from the same producer and wine on their list. Learning lesson for sure...

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#8 Post by Chris Seiber » February 14th, 2020, 1:42 pm

Dale Williams wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 1:30 pm
And most restaurants , even in states where corkage legal, don't allow corkage for wines on their list. I'm kind of surprised at idea of lugging a
In California urban areas, I'd say 95% of good restaurants allow corkage. And most for what I'd consider reasonable, non-punitive fees.

Setting aside Gabe's specific situation, I've found buying wine off lists in Texas to be a disappointing experience. Most don't allow you bring wine, but then their lists are both poor and very heavily marked up (even by the standards of restaurant markups).

It's likely that if you live in those places and learn about and seek out the best wine lists, they're out there to some degree, but my experiences have not been encouraging.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#9 Post by Anton D » February 14th, 2020, 1:44 pm

Gabe, I think you handled your description of your experience with utter class and kindness of heart.

I wish you'd had a better time of it, but your graciousness shined through.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#10 Post by RyanC » February 14th, 2020, 1:50 pm

Texas liquor laws are weird (and generally terrible). A restaurant can be BYO if it has a beer/wine-only license, or if it has no alcohol license at all. If a restaurant serves hard alcohol, BYO is prohibited. It's mildly infuriating.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#11 Post by Chris Seiber » February 14th, 2020, 2:07 pm

I've heard restaurateurs claim that, if they don't allow people to BYOB, then they'll be able to build much better wine lists and offer better pricing. But my experiences in Texas suggest the opposite, which is what I would have expected. Less competition = worse pricing and quality for the consumer.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#12 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » February 14th, 2020, 2:14 pm

Texas is definitely not a “wine friendly” state.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#13 Post by J.Durham » February 14th, 2020, 2:15 pm

RyanC wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 1:50 pm
Texas liquor laws are weird (and generally terrible). A restaurant can be BYO if it has a beer/wine-only license, or if it has no alcohol license at all. If a restaurant serves hard alcohol, BYO is prohibited. It's mildly infuriating.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#14 Post by Victor Hong » February 14th, 2020, 2:22 pm

Open carry in a public establishment is only for dangerous things.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#15 Post by William Kelley » February 14th, 2020, 2:39 pm

This restaurant has one of the best Burgundy lists in Texas, by the way.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#16 Post by C Chen » February 14th, 2020, 2:55 pm

Man. I just want to see this A+ ribeye.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#17 Post by Anton D » February 14th, 2020, 2:55 pm

Victor Hong wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 2:22 pm
Open carry in a public establishment is only for dangerous things.
[rofl.gif]

Love that!

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#18 Post by Alan Gottlieb » February 14th, 2020, 3:18 pm

GregT wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 1:38 pm
Yeah Gabe, sorry about the experience but I think Dale has a point. Steakhouses that I've been to almost always have recently released CA Cabs. I would definitely have called first.

I even got screwed bringing a 1973 Spanish wine once. We called ahead and the somm said we could open anything they didn't have and we assured him that he wouldn't have any of our wines as they were all older and European. First we pulled out was the 73 from Spain and guess what? He had it. He got such a kick out of our expressions that he didn't charge us and let us open it anyway. He only had two bottles and had never tasted it. Ended up hanging with us and sharing our other stuff, which he didn't have.
That is a great story! [cheers.gif]

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#19 Post by Jason T » February 14th, 2020, 3:32 pm

I feel for the OP but I can’t imagine rolling into a restaurant (especially one with a list like Pappas Bros) without checking in on things. That goes double if I was travelling with the bottle..
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#20 Post by MICHAEL C R O M W E L L » February 14th, 2020, 3:35 pm

Texas IS horrible for BYOB and Houston is near the bottom. We’re down to one restaurant near the city where the food is decent (pizza aside). Now Florida has its sh1t together. Love visiting my sister and visiting top notch steakhouses byob...except for Bern’s (it would be a sin).

Pappas is notorious for 4-5x markup. The problem is...their steaks ARE that delicious. Definitely a conundrum
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#21 Post by James Kennedy » February 14th, 2020, 3:44 pm

Haven’t been in a couple years though I regard this as the best overall steakhouse in the DFW area. If you stray away from big hitting napa wines you can find some gems at fair markups. It’s also worth geeking out with Barbara or her staff and they may find some interesting bottles not logged on the list that tend to be very fair in price.

Their winemaker dinners are epic, tastings are always impressive and steaks are outrageously good.

I’ve also tried DRC there a few times and once bought a bottle well below auction value at the time.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#22 Post by DanielP » February 14th, 2020, 6:08 pm

This might be the greatest steakhouse wine list I've ever seen. They have 5 pages of just German and Austrian whites...
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#23 Post by saul_cooperstein » February 14th, 2020, 6:36 pm

I don’t know if in any way part of cause but I believe Texas also has a pretty high liquor sales tax within restaurants. Maybe 10 years ago I think in Houston it was 14% of sales with only 6% allowed to be passed on to customer as add on to bill.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#24 Post by Craig G » February 14th, 2020, 6:44 pm

DanielP wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 6:08 pm
This might be the greatest steakhouse wine list I've ever seen. They have 5 pages of just German and Austrian whites...
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#25 Post by Jeremy Holmes » February 14th, 2020, 6:47 pm

You wanted to get their $500 bottle for $270?
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#26 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 14th, 2020, 7:16 pm

It seems you did get screwed inTexas; but I think Dale’s remarks are spot on if you want to BYO outside of Texas.

I was in a couple of restaurants recently where they did not BYO, and the wines were young. Not my taste, so quietly drank iced tea. There were no winners, but I am way too old to preach so my Lafon Volnay lay undisturbed in my wine bag.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#27 Post by DanielP » February 14th, 2020, 7:21 pm

Craig G wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 6:44 pm
DanielP wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 6:08 pm
This might be the greatest steakhouse wine list I've ever seen. They have 5 pages of just German and Austrian whites...
You don’t like steak?
Hah. I just mean that if they dedicate that much to the german-austrian white side of things, then as a steakhouse, you could imagine the rest of the list
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#28 Post by Craig G » February 14th, 2020, 7:29 pm

neener
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#29 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » February 14th, 2020, 8:14 pm

Pappas always has a handful of diamonds in the rough on their list price wise. I never have trouble finding something that's somewhat aged and reasonably priced. And they have the best wine service in the state. I think they have three master somms on the team just between the two Houston locations.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#30 Post by alan weinberg » February 14th, 2020, 9:12 pm

www.pappasbros.com has the list on line. What a list. Roumier Amoureuses at 1/3 retail. Crazy list.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#31 Post by maureen nelson » February 14th, 2020, 9:18 pm

William Kelley wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 2:39 pm
This restaurant has one of the best Burgundy lists in Texas, by the way.
I was thinking this the entire time I was scrolling through this thread.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#32 Post by Mike Miller » February 14th, 2020, 10:20 pm

There can be no defense of Texas' antiquated and anti-consumer wine laws. And frankly, I sense that the reataurant industry, especially good reastaurants with decent lists, aren't fans either.

In addition to the strange "if you have a liquor liscense, no BYOW, but if you have a beer/wine liscence, it's OK" policy, the TABC keeps up with the percentage of revenue that a restaurant gets from food versus wine. I've had restauranteurs -- obviously only those who have very good wine lists -- complain that the TABC threatens to lift their restaurant liscence because more than 50% of their revenue comes from alcohol sales, and that they're really a bar. No these are restaurants that have $40-60 entrest, but they also have very top notch wines (GC Burgs, 1st Growth Bordeaux from mature vintages, etc.) on thier wine list. The restaurant has to cut the number of premium wines on their list to keep food sales ahead of wine sales. I can't imaing how frustrating that must be. Just serves no one's interests. Beyond idiotic, etc.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#33 Post by William Kelley » February 15th, 2020, 7:09 am

alan weinberg wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 9:12 pm
www.pappasbros.com has the list on line. What a list. Roumier Amoureuses at 1/3 retail. Crazy list.
The Bizot wines are about 1,000 USD below retail. And there is plenty of Allemand, Clape, great mature Bordeaux and so on. Young Napa Cabernets are clearly the poorest QPRs on the list in terms of pricing.

From my perspective, corkage is about bringing a bottle that's not available off the list and more interesting, or at least special in some way. It isn't about circumventing the mark up on the wine list. It is almost unheard of in France, unless you know the restaurant well or are dining with a winemaker that they know.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#34 Post by Victor Hong » February 15th, 2020, 7:15 am

William Kelley wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 7:09 am
.......... It is almost unheard of in France, unless you know the restaurant well or are dining with a winemaker that they know.
Same for bringing loaded firearms.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#35 Post by JWalter » February 15th, 2020, 9:13 am

I agree that this is probably the best wine list in Texas. Certainly in terms of breadth but I think the pricing is really fair too if you are flexible on what you are looking for.

It’s the only place in Texas you can consistently find Raveneau too...

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#36 Post by Gus Siokis » February 15th, 2020, 9:22 am

William Kelley wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 7:09 am
alan weinberg wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 9:12 pm
www.pappasbros.com has the list on line. What a list. Roumier Amoureuses at 1/3 retail. Crazy list.
The Bizot wines are about 1,000 USD below retail. And there is plenty of Allemand, Clape, great mature Bordeaux and so on. Young Napa Cabernets are clearly the poorest QPRs on the list in terms of pricing.

From my perspective, corkage is about bringing a bottle that's not available off the list and more interesting, or at least special in some way. It isn't about circumventing the mark up on the wine list. It is almost unheard of in France, unless you know the restaurant well or are dining with a winemaker that they know.
This! I call ahead to insure bringing a bottle is not an issue and not on their list.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#37 Post by Bob Davis » February 15th, 2020, 5:26 pm

Someone explained to me, that at least in Maryland, the liquor laws are exactly how the major players want them. I would assume that applies everywhere else as well.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#38 Post by Chris Seiber » February 16th, 2020, 8:04 am

Gus Siokis wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 9:22 am

This! I call ahead to insure bringing a bottle is not an issue and not on their list.
I’m curious how many people do this. I BYOB most times I go out to dinner and never do it. I just can’t picture either me, or the restaurant staff, spending the time on the phone confirming that some specific bottle isn’t on their wine list.

I do recall going to Osteria Mozza once and knowing their policy was no wines on their list, so I deliberately brought a more obscure wine.

And I don’t bring common, recent release wines places. I get not wanting to show up with something that looks like I picked it up at Ralph’s on the way to the restaurant. But calling every time seems like too much to me.

What about others?

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#39 Post by Dale Williams » February 16th, 2020, 10:18 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 8:04 am
Gus Siokis wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 9:22 am

This! I call ahead to insure bringing a bottle is not an issue and not on their list.
I’m curious how many people do this. I BYOB most times I go out to dinner and never do it. I just can’t picture either me, or the restaurant staff, spending the time on the phone confirming that some specific bottle isn’t on their wine list.

I do recall going to Osteria Mozza once and knowing their policy was no wines on their list, so I deliberately brought a more obscure wine.

And I don’t bring common, recent release wines places. I get not wanting to show up with something that looks like I picked it up at Ralph’s on the way to the restaurant. But calling every time seems like too much to me.

What about others?
95+% of the time I am bringing a wine to a restaurant as an individual , (a) it's a wine with considerable age and (b) to a restaurant that doesn't have a list of aged wines. If I am going to someplace that might (even as a long shot) have the wine I am bringing, I check. But in Westchester Kittle House is about only place I'd bother, and there's not that many in NYC. But with a list like Pappas I'd check (online or call).

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#40 Post by M.Kaplan » February 16th, 2020, 10:53 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 8:04 am
Gus Siokis wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 9:22 am

This! I call ahead to insure bringing a bottle is not an issue and not on their list.
I’m curious how many people do this. I BYOB most times I go out to dinner and never do it. I just can’t picture either me, or the restaurant staff, spending the time on the phone confirming that some specific bottle isn’t on their wine list.

I do recall going to Osteria Mozza once and knowing their policy was no wines on their list, so I deliberately brought a more obscure wine.

And I don’t bring common, recent release wines places. I get not wanting to show up with something that looks like I picked it up at Ralph’s on the way to the restaurant. But calling every time seems like too much to me.

What about others?
Unless I am known by the restaurant, I call every time to check corkage policy. 2-3 times a week. Takes <5 minutes.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#41 Post by Jason L Jones » February 16th, 2020, 11:29 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 8:04 am
Gus Siokis wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 9:22 am
This! I call ahead to insure bringing a bottle is not an issue and not on their list.
I’m curious how many people do this. I BYOB most times I go out to dinner and never do it. I just can’t picture either me, or the restaurant staff, spending the time on the phone confirming that some specific bottle isn’t on their wine list.

I do recall going to Osteria Mozza once and knowing their policy was no wines on their list, so I deliberately brought a more obscure wine.

And I don’t bring common, recent release wines places. I get not wanting to show up with something that looks like I picked it up at Ralph’s on the way to the restaurant. But calling every time seems like too much to me.

What about others?
If their policy and list are not on the web, I'll call to inquire about corkage and ask if they'll email me a list. I'm not going to run through options on the phone.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#42 Post by Gus Siokis » February 16th, 2020, 2:14 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 8:04 am
Gus Siokis wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 9:22 am

This! I call ahead to insure bringing a bottle is not an issue and not on their list.
I’m curious how many people do this. I BYOB most times I go out to dinner and never do it. I just can’t picture either me, or the restaurant staff, spending the time on the phone confirming that some specific bottle isn’t on their wine list.

I do recall going to Osteria Mozza once and knowing their policy was no wines on their list, so I deliberately brought a more obscure wine.

And I don’t bring common, recent release wines places. I get not wanting to show up with something that looks like I picked it up at Ralph’s on the way to the restaurant. But calling every time seems like too much to me.

What about others?
Chris: I am not just calling about if it is on the list or not.....I am doing three things:

1. Do they have a corkage policy?
2. If yes, what is the cost and limit to bottles?
3. Verify they don't carry this bottle/vintage, etc is the last item I ask. I do check their online menu but most of the time it's not current so I ask.

If this is a place I frequent, I don't do any of these.....

It all take less than 5 mins....

Finally, I share the wine with the Somm and server and give a larger tip, unless not warranted, as a small thank you for serving my wine professionally.
Last edited by Gus Siokis on February 16th, 2020, 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#43 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 16th, 2020, 2:20 pm

This. I am unlikely to run into duplication problems as I do bring much older wines which have been double decanted.
But agree big tips and share a glass with the sommelier.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#44 Post by Lee Short » February 16th, 2020, 3:21 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 8:04 am
Gus Siokis wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 9:22 am

This! I call ahead to insure bringing a bottle is not an issue and not on their list.
I’m curious how many people do this. I BYOB most times I go out to dinner and never do it. I just can’t picture either me, or the restaurant staff, spending the time on the phone confirming that some specific bottle isn’t on their wine list.

I do recall going to Osteria Mozza once and knowing their policy was no wines on their list, so I deliberately brought a more obscure wine.

And I don’t bring common, recent release wines places. I get not wanting to show up with something that looks like I picked it up at Ralph’s on the way to the restaurant. But calling every time seems like too much to me.

What about others?
Yeah, I never call. But I almost always bring older wines that are on the rarer side. I've never had it occur that a wine I brought was on the list, but I cannot imagine giving the restaurant any guff in that instance, or feeling in any way put out that they wouldn't undercut themselves by allowing me to open it.

On one occasion, the waiter did give me a bit of guff and announced imperiously that he'd have to clear my bottle with the head sommelier. She came over and looked at my 30-year-old bottle of Clair-Dau Chambertin, and was very happy to give her approval. I even arranged to make sure she got a taste.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#45 Post by Michael O'Brien » February 16th, 2020, 4:09 pm

It has been said before that Texas restaurants with a liquor license cannot allow BYOB. The fine is $10,000 and sometimes loss of their liquor license, if they get caught and some do get caught. If a restaurant has a beer and wine license only, then they are allowed to have BYOB but many would prefer to sell from their wine list as bad and often inappropriate as they may be, so they don't allow BYOB even though they could.

If you are the least bit curious about the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and their approach, read this article. The retail chain at the end of the TABC's vindictive attack was not allowed to open a store or remodel a store during the period that they were getting jerked around. This is our enforcer of alcoholic beverages in Texas. https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/30 ... -overkill/
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#46 Post by David Glasser » February 17th, 2020, 5:08 am

Gus Siokis wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 2:14 pm
Chris Seiber wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 8:04 am
Gus Siokis wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 9:22 am

This! I call ahead to insure bringing a bottle is not an issue and not on their list.
I’m curious how many people do this. I BYOB most times I go out to dinner and never do it. I just can’t picture either me, or the restaurant staff, spending the time on the phone confirming that some specific bottle isn’t on their wine list.

I do recall going to Osteria Mozza once and knowing their policy was no wines on their list, so I deliberately brought a more obscure wine.

And I don’t bring common, recent release wines places. I get not wanting to show up with something that looks like I picked it up at Ralph’s on the way to the restaurant. But calling every time seems like too much to me.

What about others?
Chris: I am not just calling about if it is on the list or not.....I am doing three things:

1. Do they have a corkage policy?
2. If yes, what is the cost and limit to bottles?
3. Verify they don't carry this bottle/vintage, etc is the last item I ask. I do check their online menu but most of the time it's not current so I ask.

If this is a place I frequent, I don't do any of these.....

It all take less than 5 mins....

Finally, I share the wine with the Somm and server and give a larger tip, unless not warranted, as a small thank you for serving my wine professionally.
Chris, I do the same as Gus, but I live in MD where corkage is not all that common.

It might be different if I lived in CA where corkage appears to be the rule rather than the exception.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#47 Post by Chris S p i k e s » February 17th, 2020, 5:36 am

Michael O'Brien wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 4:09 pm
It has been said before that Texas restaurants with a liquor license cannot allow BYOB. The fine is $10,000 and sometimes loss of their liquor license, if they get caught and some do get caught. If a restaurant has a beer and wine license only, then they are allowed to have BYOB but many would prefer to sell from their wine list as bad and often inappropriate as they may be, so they don't allow BYOB even though they could.

If you are the least bit curious about the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and their approach, read this article. The retail chain at the end of the TABC's vindictive attack was not allowed to open a store or remodel a store during the period that they were getting jerked around. This is our enforcer of alcoholic beverages in Texas. https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/30 ... -overkill/
Usually, the rationale is that they are protecting the public, especially the children. It's just laughable. The reality is that they are protecting the distribution network. The whole legal structure that is set up in Texas is essentially owned by the distributors with the guise that they are somehow doing it all for the benefit of the citizens of the state. I don't see it changing in my lifetime and I (hopefully) have many years to go.

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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#48 Post by Mark Golodetz » February 17th, 2020, 5:38 am

Chris S p i k e s wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 5:36 am
Michael O'Brien wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 4:09 pm
It has been said before that Texas restaurants with a liquor license cannot allow BYOB. The fine is $10,000 and sometimes loss of their liquor license, if they get caught and some do get caught. If a restaurant has a beer and wine license only, then they are allowed to have BYOB but many would prefer to sell from their wine list as bad and often inappropriate as they may be, so they don't allow BYOB even though they could.

If you are the least bit curious about the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and their approach, read this article. The retail chain at the end of the TABC's vindictive attack was not allowed to open a store or remodel a store during the period that they were getting jerked around. This is our enforcer of alcoholic beverages in Texas. https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/30 ... -overkill/
Usually, the rationale is that they are protecting the public, especially the children. It's just laughable. The reality is that they are protecting the distribution network. The whole legal structure that is set up in Texas is essentially owned by the distributors with the guise that they are somehow doing it all for the benefit of the citizens of the state. I don't see it changing in my lifetime and I (hopefully) have many yeaisrs to go.
Chris
Special interests will almost always trump the common good especially when a lot of money is involved.’
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#49 Post by K John Joseph » February 17th, 2020, 8:09 am

Pappas Bros is a fascinating place. Great steaks, best and deepest list in town, and they'll run crazy deals at times. They were selling half bottles of Krug for $75 a pop for a while. No shit. At a steakhouse. Burg and Rhone are the best around, and only place remotely close on Burg availability is Bullion.

Sadly, most of the big closing and win dinners skip Pappas Bros because the location is dog crap relative to the business district. Most end up at Del Friscos, Bob's, or Nick & Sam's, where the lists are poorer, the markups massive, and young Napa king.

To echo a few of the other Texans, TABC is awful, and the regs are not consumer friendly. If the restaurant sells liquor, you cannot bring wine. If they do not sell liquor, most will allow corkage or flat no corkage BYO.

Try Billy Jenkins Bock next time you're in Texas. It's way better than Shiner, and a Fort Worth special.
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Re: Texas BYOB Let Down :(

#50 Post by Nathan V. » February 17th, 2020, 9:01 am

William Kelley wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 7:09 am
alan weinberg wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 9:12 pm
www.pappasbros.com has the list on line. What a list. Roumier Amoureuses at 1/3 retail. Crazy list.
The Bizot wines are about 1,000 USD below retail. And there is plenty of Allemand, Clape, great mature Bordeaux and so on. Young Napa Cabernets are clearly the poorest QPRs on the list in terms of pricing.

From my perspective, corkage is about bringing a bottle that's not available off the list and more interesting, or at least special in some way. It isn't about circumventing the mark up on the wine list. It is almost unheard of in France, unless you know the restaurant well or are dining with a winemaker that they know.
Pretty much agree with this statement. The mark-ups are good sized but not criminal and there are plenty of bargains. In France, BYO is an anathema unless you're willing to spend a long time on it.

I didn't really need the distraction of perusing this list this AM...
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