IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND, THERE ARE MANY RESTAURANTS WITH "BYO" SIGNS AT THE ENTRANCE.
In some countries, restaurants are also considered to be retail liquor outlets and require a retail liquor license in order to sell wine and other alcoholic beverages on the premises. In countries such as the United States and Australia, where alcohol consumption is highly regulated, obtaining such a commercial liquor licence is not easy and can be very expensive, so some restaurants with limited funds do not have a liquor licence and encourage customers to bring their own bottles. Some restaurants that cannot afford it do not have a liquor licence and encourage customers to bring their own bottles.
"BYO" stands for "Bring Your Own (Wine)", which means "please bring your own wine (as we do not sell alcohol in the restaurant)". The customer usually buys the wine of their choice at a nearby wine shop and brings it to the restaurant. Not only can they enjoy wine at a discounted price because they do not have to pay a margin to the restaurant, but they can also bring their wine from their cellar at home and enjoy their meal in the restaurant as if it were an extension of their home table.
There are also a number of restaurants that sell wine on the premises but will allow you to bring your own wine for a small corkage fee. Lyon d'Or in Bordeaux's Médoc is one of the most difficult restaurants to book, not only because of its excellent local cuisine, but also because it allows diners to bring their own wine in free of charge. It is the most difficult restaurant in Bordeaux to book. This is one of the most difficult restaurants in Bordeaux to get a reservation for, as wine professionals, even if they don't know each other, exchange and critique the wines they have brought.
ALTHOUGH NOT ACTIVELY ENCOURAGED BY RESTAURANTS, BYO IS AVAILABLE IN MOST RESTAURANTS IN CALIFORNIA, WHICH HAS A HUGE WINE INDUSTRY. IT'S BEST TO ASK THE RESTAURANT AT THE TIME OF BOOKING, BUT EVEN IF YOU DON'T TELL THEM BEFOREHAND, SIMPLY PLACE YOUR BOTTLE ON THE TABLE WHERE YOU ARE SEATED AND THE WAITER WILL SAY SOMETHING LIKE, "OUR CORKAGE IS $15 PER BOTTLE, IS THAT OK?" YOU DON'T HAVE TO TELL THEM BEFOREHAND.
The situation in Japan
More and more restaurants are allowing you to bring your own food. If you search the internet, you will find several websites that introduce restaurants that allow BYO. For example, Winomy, run by the Hankyu Department Store, lists around 240 restaurants, mostly in Tokyo, and you can make reservations through the site by registering as a free member. A corkage in Japan generally costs between 1,500 and 5,000 yen, and the more expensive the wine, the cheaper it is, given that the price of wine in restaurants is two to three times the retail price in wine shops.
MY RECOMMENDATION IS TO FIRST FIND A RESTAURANT THAT YOU LIKE, GO THERE A FEW TIMES, GET TO KNOW IT, AND THEN ASK THE SOMMELIER OR MANAGER FOR A BYO. THIS IS BECAUSE WE BELIEVE THAT WHETHER THE FOOD IS GOOD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHETHER YOU CAN BRING YOUR OWN WINE. I PERSONALLY ASK SEVERAL RESTAURANTS IN TOKYO TO BRING THEIR OWN WINE ON A REGULAR BASIS.
Some restaurants have a membership scheme where, for a small rental fee, you can rent a section of the cellar to store your own bottles and enjoy them in the main dining room or at the bar. At Rohrabush, located in a quiet residential area of Minami-Aoyama, a cosy Western-style restaurant popular for wedding receptions, members have free use of a private lounge and private rooms, and can rent a private section of the cellar in the basement that can hold 12 to 18 bottles. The members' lounge can be used until late at night, which is very useful for after parties.
BYO IS A GREAT SYSTEM FOR THE CONSUMER, BUT IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT IT IS ONLY A FAVOUR TO THE RESTAURANT. IN MY WORK, I FREQUENTLY BRING WINE INTO RESTAURANTS, BUT I ALWAYS MAKE SURE TO OBSERVE THE FOLLOWING RULES
1. Do not ask to bring your own food to a restaurant you are visiting for the first time.
2.Do not bring in wines that are sold in the restaurant or that have a retail value of less than 5,000 yen.
3. Deliver your wine in advance by courier or, if you bring it on the day, give it to a member of staff out of sight of other diners.
4. Always ask for a bring-your-own fee.
5. Leave at least one glass of wine for the restaurant staff to taste.
AT BYO, YOU CAN ADD TO YOUR WINE PLEASURE BY BRINGING YOUR OWN WINE, RATHER THAN CHOOSING FROM THE RESTAURANT'S LIMITED WINE LIST. FOR EXAMPLE, YOU CAN PREPARE A WINE FROM THE YEAR OF YOUR GIRLFRIEND'S BIRTH, THE YEAR YOU GOT MARRIED OR FROM THE PLACE YOU VISITED ON YOUR HONEYMOON, WHICH WILL MAKE THE EVENING'S DINNER MORE MEMORABLE AND GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO DRINK EXPENSIVE WINES THAT YOU HAVE BOUGHT YOURSELF BUT HAVE NOT HAD THE PLEASURE OF POPPING THE CORK ON.