Arlington, VA

Starting today, Virginia residents can bring their own bottles of wine to restaurants.

In February, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill allowing the practice, and it was later signed into law by Governor Bob McDonnell.  Restaurants that choose to allow BYOW can charge a corkage fee, which would vary by establishment. No requirements on minimum or maximum prices for the fees were established in the law.

While some are calling this a move that will prevent consumers from paying inflated prices on alcohol in restaurants others, like chefs, believe it could cheapen the dining experience.  Opponents of the practice say bringing wine to a restaurant is the equivalent of bringing outside food into a restaurant.

The District already allows patrons to bring their own wine to restaurants, and Maryland is expected to take up the measure sometime this year.

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