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British Columbia allows diners to bring their own wine

Photography by TL Macdonald (tlmacdonald.com)

People can now bring their own wine to participating restaurants in BC as part of the new Bring Your Own Wine program. The wine people bring to restaurants will be served the same way as wine on the menu -- with a possible "corking fee." Diners can, however, bring home what they don't finish.

According to Corkage Toronto, a website aggregating corkage fees in Toronto, fees range from $0 to $50. 

The voluntary program is now in effect. At the announcement, Minister Rich Coleman stated that restaurants still have to follow existing laws about not over-serving alcohol and not serving to minors, regardless of whether the wine was brought from outside. 

“We want to provide our restaurant industry with greater flexibility in terms of the services it can offer to its customers,” Coleman said in a press release. “Today’s change does just that – it allows customers to pair their favourite wine with their favourite restaurant.”

Six other Canadian provinces already allow patrons to bring their own wines to restaurants: Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick Manitoba and Nova Scotia.

The new program only includes wine, and the government said that it does not plan on broadening the program to beer or spirits.

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