Thirsty Thursday and Leftover Wine

March 10, 2011

Selling wine by the glass in restaurants is a phenomenon that has exploded over the last 20 years. In order to get two varieties of wine among two people or perhaps to limit themselves to one glass, customers now often pick the glass over the bottle. Some states are experimenting with "corking fees," which would allow customers to take a bottle home with them if they can't finish. Virginia just passed legislation that enables customers to bring their own wine to restaurants. In spite of these efforts, many restaurants now face the question of what to do with unfinished bottles of wine. Many have thought of some pretty creative solutions:

  • Camino restaurant has launched red and white wine vinegars. Demand has grown so high that the owner plans to launch a third barrel for aging.
  • Salumeria Rossi in NYC gives any bottle of wine with one glass or less remaining to the kitchen. The wine gets turned into marinades for meats for the next day's specials.
  • Arrows Restaurant turns leftover sweet wines into sorbets and granitas.

The chefs interviewed for the piece ascribe to the philosophy that no good kitchen should waste food. That's something we should all get behind. Photo by Walt Stoneburner French Vinaigrette



Jadeno's picture

Here in British Columbia, you can take the wine you don't finish home with you. The cork has to be inserted as effeciently as possible and the bottle itself has to be transported in the trunk of a vehicle, but other than that, it's pretty straightforward... No extra corkage fees. That seems silly. You paid for it! A corking fee is what you pay to have your own wine (not purchased at the restaurant) served to you by staff at a restaurant.