Corkage is coming to Virginia and direct shipping is set to debut in Maryland, writes Dave McIntyre at the Washington Post's All We Can Eat blog. As McIntyre notes, like many reforms, the new laws merely make legal the things people are already doing.
Wine lovers in Virginia and Maryland can come out of the shadows this Friday when it becomes legal to do the things we've been doing all along. Virginia's corkage law takes effect on July 1, making it legal for restaurants to allow patrons to bring their own wine.
If you were unaware that Virginia banned BYOB at licensed restaurants, you may be forgiven. The law had never really been enforced…
Across the Potomac, Maryland diners are still not allowed to take their own wine to restaurants; the Maryland legislature blocked an effort to allow that this year. But lawmakers did approve direct shipping, which means we can have bottles shipped from out-of-state wineries straight to our homes. Starting Friday, when the law takes effect, we will no longer need to make furtive trips across the border to retrieve a coveted case delivered to a friend's house (and paying the exorbitant one-bottle "buddy tax"). No more "personal deliveries" to our offices in the District, either. And no more UPS shipments from Napa County prominently marked, "OLIVE OIL".
Whole thing here.
As far as corkage goes, what (besides the right to make the choice) is in it for restaurants? Top Chef alum and Maryland restaurateur Bryan Voltaggio, a big supporter of the failed corkage reform in his state, explains that "it offers a better experience for patrons, and increases traffic to local restaurants."