If my friends bring an expensive bottle of wine to dinner, should I pay the corkage fee?

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Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Having read your answer to the husband who doesn’t wish to share his expensive wine at a restaurant, I agree with your suggestion that he let the others know he’ll be bringing wine in advance, so that they can bring wine to share as well.

Another possibility for people who are going to accept a friend’s kindness but have brought nothing in return: Offer to pay the corkage fee. Most of my good friends never fail to make that offer, and I would always offer to do the same if I haven’t brought a bottle.

—James, Gibsonia, Pa.

Dear James,

That’s a great idea! I love your suggestion so much that I’m going to share it here—it’s definitely in the spirit of generosity that I appreciate so much among wine lovers.

So, if you find yourself at a restaurant with friends and someone brings a fancy bottle of wine to share, don’t feel bad about coming empty-handed. Just offer to pay the corkage. Love it.

—Dr. Vinny

Ask Dr. Vinny serving-wine corkage-fees

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