Wine and dine at your favorite restaurant

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A new bill could soon have you wining and dining for less. It would allow you to bring your own bottle of wine to a restaurant.

Right now only restaurants with private rooms can allow customers to bring their own wine. Some establishments said that wasn't fair and cost them business, so this bill was drawn up and it's now headed to the governor's desk.

"Several restaurants came to me with this issue of unfairness that if they didn't have a private room, they were not allowed to have folks come in and bring a bottle of wine," said Senator, Jeff McWaters.

McWaters is in support of this new bill that has already passed in the House and Senate. Under it, restaurant owners could charge a corking fee to their guests, but not everyone is in support of the idea.

"If people are allowed to come in and bring the kind of wine they want they are not going to come in and buy the $100 bottle of wine from us, they'd just bring it themselves," said Amici Ristorante owner, Carlo Gaione.

Gaione isn't so sure about whether he'd want customers bringing in their own wine. His restaurant has a long list of wines for guests and that's how he makes a profit.

"We bought all those expensive wines to make, to have the outstanding wine list and now what are we going to do?" asked Gaione.

The new bill would make it optional for restaurants to allow customers to B.Y.O.W. For McWaters, the idea will help Virginia's wine industry and help encourage the restaurants business. The bill only applies to wine and not other alcoholic beverages. The corking fee would be determined by the restaurant owner.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.