Wine Talk

Snooth User: dmcker tried it?

Posted by dmcker, Jun 27, 2017.

This site (app? service?) looks potentially useful in finding more places where you can BYO, and perhaps in promoting their increase. Seems to be new, starting in Southern California, but has anyone already used the site locally? Just did a search and found only two restaurants each covered in Ventura and Thousand Oaks, zero in Santa Barbara, four in Claremont, two in Dana Point, seven in Laguna Beach, 10 in San Diego, six in Malibu, 24 in Beverly Hills and 36 in West Hollywood. Obviously early times, yet can't help but wish them success.


Here's their press release: The First Online Directory Listing Restaurant Corkage Policies For Wine, Beer and Whiskey Launches In Los Angeles

Saving Precious Hours of Scrolling Through Reservation and Review Sites, Corkage Online Delivers Corkage Info In One Easy-To-Use Searchable Directory

The next wave of restaurant directories has arrived with the launch of, an innovative directory for restaurant-goers to easily search for wine, beer and whiskey corkage policies all in one handy place. Restaurants are searchable by name, geographic location or zip code and includes restaurant hours, website, phone number and photos.

“I have spent countless hours hunting for a restaurant’s corkage fees and policies,” said Judi Laing, founder of Corkage Online. “Then a light bulb went off! What if you could just click one button to find where you can bring your bottle of wine, beer or whiskey? We think our fellow foodies and imbibers will appreciate this time-saving directory and we look forward to being a vital part of the hospitality industry.”

And, according to OpenTable’s 2017 Technology & Dining Out study, when it comes to what consumers want from tech before, during and after their dining experience, the very first finding was: “The pre-arrival stage is key: make it easy for guests to get what they want.” couldn’t make it easier to find a restaurant’s corkage fee with its ingenious directory. Restaurants in turn shine by having this pre-arrival information at the ready, while also shining a light on their stellar wine and beer lists.

"At long last, beer and moreover beer enthusiasts, are getting the respect that they deserve outside of the captivity of specialty bars. Corkage Online is a great reference for those of us that want to go places for the food and ambiance and enjoy the beverage of our choice," said Tony Yanow, Artisanal Brewers Collective.

Corkage Online is an innovative directory that lists restaurant’s corkage policies including wine, beer and whiskey in one convenient place saving hours of scrolling through reservation and review sites. Restaurants are searchable by name or geographic location, and includes restaurant hours, website, photos and phone number. Its core audience begins in Southern California, Corkage Online also lists restaurants in Northern California and will continue to grow its database on a national level. Created by Judi Laing, blogger of “a woman walks into a bar...”, who wants to make life easy for her fellow drinking humans.

Corkage Online Media Relations
Elizabeth Johnson
(213) 713-4865


Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jun 27, 2017.

Wish we had it here in Australia


Reply by rckr1951, Jun 28, 2017.

Wish I had a need for it here.

Reply by GregT, Jun 28, 2017.

Good idea but WB keeps a pretty good list by city. if this starts getting some play, it could be a nice idea. Seems like something Snooth could have done.

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jun 29, 2017.

Snooth innovative?

Reply by dmcker, Jun 29, 2017.

With the team back at the turn of the decade could've been possible. Not now, unfortunately.

Reply by GregT, Jun 29, 2017.

Yeah, there is that.

But the app doesn't seem to work well. I put in "California" and it gave me exactly one restaurant in Glen Ellen. Useful for all the folks in LA!

Reply by EMark, Jun 29, 2017.

 I put in "California" and it gave me exactly one restaurant in Glen Ellen.

I've been there.  That is where I first met Outthere and Foxall.  And, I have to add, it's a darned good restaurant.

I am not a fan of "Apps," but I went to the website on my PC, entered "California" and it gave me 10 "matching records" ranging from Glen Ellen in the north and Valencia in the south.

To be honest, I do not see much of a need for this web site--or the WB thread.  I am always going to be dubious of the accuracy ot the information.  So, I'm going to call the restaurant, anyway, to check on their corkage policy.

Then there is the common courtesy of not bringing a wine that is on the restaurant's wine list.  I don't see wine lists on this site.  They do have URL links to the restaurants' websites.  So, with a few additional clicks you might find the wine list there.  Otherwise, you're back to calling the restaurant.

Now, what's neat about this site is that it does list restaurants in different areas.  If I'm driving up to the Central Coast, it might be fun to stop in Los Alamos and check out Pico.  However, their wine list is pretty darned comprehensive.  It would be presumptious of me to think that I had to rely on my collection because I couldn't find a wine off their list to accompany a meal.

All in all, I kinda see that it is a fun site, but I see no need to to bookmark it.

Reply by dmcker, Jun 30, 2017.

As I found when I conducted the searches I posted about at top, you need to refine your criteria down to specific communities to get the best results. And they do make it clear that they're starting from the LA area.

I personally think that if the functionality can be steadily improved it could be a useful site and web/mobile app. Of course it all depends on how often you go out. I would've used it a lot if it existed back when I was entertaining out every night of the week, as mentioned in another thread. And clicking on a phone app is a lot faster, especially when on the fly, than having to make phone calls, as every millennial knows. If the app achieves any success it will become effectively self policing since any restaurant will be aware it's listed and ensure that the info regarding BYO policy is up to date.

Frankly I've never fussed too much about whether a restaurant might have a specific wine I bring on their list, since most restaurants' wine stock is subject to rapid change. That being said, I've almost never duplicated over scores of BYO instances. I just decide from my own stock what I want to drink with the food I know the restaurant to have.

One time I did overlap was at a Michelin-starred French restaurant run by one of the original Iron Chefs (I knew him and his manager well) and I was doing my company's staff-with-family New Year's party (end of the year and beginning of the new year parties are big in this culture) in one of his private rooms. We drank some of their wine, but I had also brought a couple of cases of my own stock ahead of time, so it could rest. As it turned out the 3 bottles of '82 Pavillon Rouge amongst my bottles were on their wine list. Wasn't a problem at all. My wines were not only good matches, but also saved us plenty on the beverage budget, all while ensuring that everyone had a good time. The owner-chef and manager also enjoyed what I'd brought, and they got plenty of my business before and after.  ;-)



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