Many of us have succumbed reluctantly to the outrageous $35-50 corkage fees of some "destination" restaurants. An upscale Italian trattoria in La Jolla, Ca. that I used to frequent (it’s now closed), offered a bit of sorely needed comic relief on corkage policies that went something like this:
- If you bring in a bottle of French wine, you are either too intelligent to be dining here or a wine snob. Corkage is the alcoholic content of the wine, times the square root of pi, divided by two, rounded off to the nearest dollar.
- If you bring in a very old bottle of Italian white wine (older than 10 years), you should know better. We feel sorry for your guests, thus, there will be no corkage for them. You, however, must pay $20 to use a glass.
- If you bring in a very special bottle of Italian red wine we know you are a very savvy wine connoisseur…and undoubtedly a very well off one. So, whatever we charge you for corkage will be a trivial matter. Trivial to us is $20.
- If you bring in a sparkling wine, well now we are talking about something special. It is $20 for Italian or domestic, and $30 for French.
- If you bring in a bottle with a Costco bar code still on it, corkage is the total of the numbers on the bar code.
- If you bring in a bottle of “Two Buck Chuck” from Trader Joe’s, you should be severely reprimanded by your guests. Corkage is the retail price of the wine times ten.
- Not withstanding anything written above, guests will pay just $20 in corkage per 750 ml bottle, double for magnums.