Sunday, May 11, 2008


California's alcoholic beverage code changed a few years back to allow diners to take home any unused bottled wine they didn't consume in the restaurant.

It was a great idea put into practice. Why feel that you have to drink the whole bottle of wine at the table with the understanding that anything left remains at the restaurant? This makes really good sense for single diners.

Wine by the glass in California is 6 bucks for house wine which ranges in taste to interesting to plain old rot gut. It is less expensive to buy wine by the bottle and take what's not consumed home.

When leaving the restaurant the California take out the restaurant your unfinished wine rule is to put the wine in a paper bag and place it in the trunk of the car. Otherwise your paper bag wine is definintely an open container violation to any cop who pulls you over.

Our habit of buying a bottle and taking what's left home has worked well: The wine taken home is enjoyed with another meal. Every California estaurant we've eaten in since the rule change has allowed for this.

Friday we ventured out to a new locally owned Italian restaurant in Cow Town, Caruso's. I had Saltimboca, the wife has some other Italian dish. It was a nice evening complete with antipasto, soup, salad, bread, the entree and a bottle of wine. Come time to leave we asked our server to bag up the leftovers and that we also wanted to take home the left over bottle of wine.

The server came back with the food nicely wrapped and said, "The wine has to stay. It's against the law to take opened wine away from the restaurant."

Wife: Oh crap, here we go (knowing I would probably throw a shit fit).

Me: No, it's not here we go. I'm fine with leaving what's left in the bottle. Why ruin a perfectly fine evening with one of my shit fits?

Long story short, these clowns had not bothered to read the California alcoholic beverages laws that permits opened wine to be taken home. We also spoke to the chef/owner who said that what I was asking for didn't make sense. Does it make sense to drink a bottle of wine and then drive home? And does it make any sense for a chef/restaurant owner new to running his own business to not read the alcoholic beverage laws?

Later, I took from the Internet a copy of the regulation that allows this. The wife, during the course of yesterday's shopping, dropped it off at the restaurant. The chef/owner was busy and didn't have or take the time to speak to her.

Before dining at Caruso's again we'll call to see if they've changed up on open wine leaving their place of business. If not, the wife and I won't be eating there again.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been offered to take home the left over wine. Here in Vegas (Naturally) and in Washington State. How strange!
Of course, it's only on rare occasions that we don't finish our bottle :P

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States