Tom Wark: Michigan; We Hate You Wine Lovers
The headline for this story comes from Tom Wark’s Fermentation Wine Blog, which is one of nation’s largest wine blogs. (Popular wine blogs like incendiary headlines.) Tom’s story about corkage fees in Michigan is good reading.
In Chicago, where I live, there is a proposal to charge BYOB restaurants an annual licensing fee. This proposal is more a revenue grab by the City than an effort by distributors to discourage BYOB.
Also, a lot of restaurants in Chicago that do pay licensing fees don’t like how customers can drink in BYOB restaurants that don’t pay liquor license fees. This seems like an understandable position for the licensed restaurants to take.
In regard to the Michigan situation, the restaurant and the retailer pay the same wholesale price for wine. Unless, I’m missing something, why would a wholesaler care if someone bought wine at a retailer and brought it to a restaurant? The wholesaler gets his cut either way. More likely, the push for higher corkage fees in Michigan is coming from restaurants who have a legitimate beef about BYOB.
As a wine consumer, I wish they would all just let me drink in peace.