By Maureen Post Special to Published Oct 02, 2009 at 5:05 AM

With the chill of fall rolling in, people everywhere are thinking about places to cozy up, nibble on comfort food and sip on a glass of red wine.

Wine, as a culture, beverage and interest, is on the rise. Better wines at more affordable prices have allowed people at all income levels to enjoy the world of whites and reds.

But what about bringing your own bottle to the table?

In larger cities, like New York and Philadelphia, bring-your-own-beer (BYOB) is the norm. Small hole-in-the-wall restaurants lacking a legit liquor license invite diners to bring their own beverages, equipping eaters with desired drinks without the hassle of gaining a license or keeping an inventory.

Is this so different from bringing your own bottle of wine? In most Milwaukee restaurants, customers can bring their own bottle of wine and, for a corkage fee, drink their personal vino at the dinner table. Liquor and beer won't make it past the front door, but wine from your personal cellar is a welcomed addition to the menu... for a price.

More often than not, a corkage fee is incurred when you uncork your own bottle. Similar to a cake-cutting fee when you bring your own dessert, the corkage fee attempts to make up for the restaurant's lost revenue. But is this necessary? And do all restaurants allow you to bring in your own bottle? What is the fair middle ground?

Use the Talkback feature below to uncork your opinion.


Maureen Post Special to staff writer Maureen Post grew up in Wauwatosa. A lover of international and urban culture, Maureen received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

After living on the east side of Madison for several years, Maureen returned to Milwaukee in 2006.

After a brief stint of travel, Maureen joined as the city’s oldest intern and has been hooked ever since. Combining her three key infatuations, Milwaukee’s great music, incredible food and inspiring art (and yes, in that order), Maureen’s job just about fits her perfectly.

Residing in Bay View, Maureen vehemently believes the city can become fresh and new with a simple move across town.