B.C. diners allowed to bring wine to restaurants
Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for alcohol in B.C., announces relaxed rules for bringing wine to restaurants on Thursday, July 19, 2012. (CTV)
CTV British Columbia
Published Thursday, July 19, 2012 1:23PM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 19, 2012 1:38PM PDT
It's news to raise a glass for.
Starting today, B.C. diners can choose to bring their own bottle of wine to drink with dinner at participating restaurants.
Rich Coleman, the minister in charge of alcohol in the province, revealed the relaxed rules on Thursday morning and announced they would be effective immediately.
Patrons will be required to have their wine served in the same manner as wine selected from the menu, however, and businesses may charge a corkage fee for the service.
“Each restaurant can make their own choice with regards to corkage and whether they want to participate, but we’re changing the law that allows this to happen,” Coleman said.
Diners can expect to pay anywhere between $10 and $25 for corkage, depending on the establishment.
B.C. Restaurant and Food Service Association president Ian Tostenson said he expects the flexibility of the Bring Your Own Wine program will encourage people to dine out more often.
“It opens up a world of possibilities in terms of promotions,” Tostenson added. “You can imagine a restaurant on a Tuesday night saying ‘no corkage fees,’ or ‘special corkage fees,’ so a lot of innovation around this will particularly allow small businesses to flourish.”
Licensed establishments are still liable if patrons are over-served or if liquor is provided to minors, and the government says there are no plans to expand the program to include beer and spirits.
The new relaxed rules are similar to others currently in place in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.