Do You Dare Bring Your Own Stemware into a Restaurant?

In California, as in many states, it’s legal to bring wine into a restaurant for your personal enjoyment. Most restaurants charge an uncorking fee to cover the use of wine glasses and wine service, which I find acceptable. I’m perfectly comfortable bringing wine into a restaurant since I have an extensive cellar to draw from. I’ve even invested in proper carriers to fashionably transport the bottles.

But what about bringing your own stemware? I’ve been tempted, but it’s not something I can bring myself to do for fear others will perceive it as pretentious and snobby and an affront to the management.

We’ve all been to restaurants, usually small ones where wine is not a priority, where it’s served in small bistro glasses, water glasses, or canning jars. Horrors! There’s no question these glasses prevent the proper enjoyment of wine. But after considering my options, I’ve decided not to frequent these restaurants, or if I must, simply order another beverage.

Still, the temptation to take my fine Riedel or Zalto stemware into an eatery gnaws at me, and I’m very close to giving in after reading about the Riedel Wine Glass Carry Bag.

This padded and durable black canvas carry bag has a handle and shoulder strap and holds both wine glasses and bottles. The combinations include 4 bottles of wine or 4 wine glasses or 2 wine bottles and 2 wine stems. The carry bag, made by Riedel, will hold 3 oversized Riedel Grand Cru wineglasses. A lock-ready zipper secures the contents.

With this dual purpose bag, I can bring my wine into a restaurant and also my own wineglasses if the situation is appropriate and I’m feeling brave.

Visit or where the Riedel Wine Glass Carry Bag is priced at $84.95 (full retail is $99.95 direct from Riedel).

Tell us your thoughts on bringing your own wine stemware to a restaurant. Have you ever done it, and if so, what was the reaction?

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