Eat Out on Less with BYOB

Your dining out budget is tight, and adding a wine to the tab may put it over the edge. You may have noticed your favorite $10 bottle selling for $25 on the wine list. It’s not a typo. Restaurants typically charge more than double the retail price for a bottle. (The markup on a glass can be even higher.)

Luckily, plenty of eating establishments allow you to bring your own. Here’s how to BYOB with confidence:

Call ahead. Make sure the restaurant allows BYOB, and ask about the corkage fee so there are no surprises.

Keep it simple. Unless you’re eating somewhere fancy, it’s uncool to show up with your own wine and demand a bunch of extras like a decanter and special glasses.

Tip your server a little extra, since you’re not padding the bill (and therefore the tip) by ordering beverages.

Be careful with leftovers. Some states allow you to recork leftover wine and tote it home; others don’t. Here’s the state-by-state skinny from

Clink! Do you think BYOB to a restaurant is tacky?

Gretchen Roberts writes about wine for Cooking Light, Wine Enthusiast.