Friday, May 2, 2008

Restaurants and Corkage

The bowling banquet went very well and it was nice to see people we hadn't seen for at least a year, some even longer because they didn't make it last year. I took a few pictures on my cell phone, forgot to take my camera which would take better pictures. Other people took pictures so I requested copies. We already have the date for next year although it does clash with a Travel League date so might be changed.

We were discussing mark ups on wine in restaurants. Particularly in reference to the $18 glasses of wine we had on Saturday. As I mentioned before, the Malivoire Pinot Noir is $38 a bottle which is not a cheap wine, but to charge $18 for a 6 oz. glass is extortionate. If one bought the whole bottle it would have been $74 a horrendous price. I understand that the corkage has to cover some of their costs, but virtually a 100% markup is really not justified. You could say more fool us for having paid it, but once we were there for dinner, we do enjoy a glass of wine with our food so we were kind of stuck with it. Nowadays in some restaurants you can take in your own bottle of wine, but you still have to pay corkage, I have no idea how much. I know they have been doing this in Australia for a number of years. I should ask my friend to comment on the subject. Most of us think $8 a glass is bad enough. This is one of the reasons Matt and I tend to cook and drink at home because of these mark ups. We both cook pretty well and can rival quite a few of the restaurants we have ever been to. In fact to me, not having a dishwasher, the main advantage of eating out is not having to clear up afterwards. I do get tired of food preparation and decisions on "what shall we have for supper" on a daily basis, but to cook a dinner for friends is always enjoyable for us or even to do something special for ourselves which we often do on a Saturday night. That is when we are likely to open our Malivoire Pinot Noir.

Did you know, the first Indiana Jones movie in 20 years opens this month. I saw the others many years ago, I will probably end up seeing this one. The picture shows his current image, Harrison Ford is not exactly a youngster any more, I am not sure how many, if any, stunts he did himself. Apparently there are crystal skulls in a couple of museums, but none are genuine, so the legends of crystal skulls have never yet been proved or disproved. However, Troy was once a legend.

The following timbales were one of Matt's inventions based on several he had seen on TV and read in cookbooks. They are delicious and make a good starter, or a finger food for a party.

Chicken & Artichoke Timbales
Serves: 4

6 oz chicken breast
6 oz artichoke hearts
2 tbs low fat cottage cheese
1 tbs toasted pignole nuts
1 tbs capers
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
6 lettuce leaves, blanched

Broil chicken breast, allow to cool. Skin and debone.

Drain artichoke hearts. Saute shallots and garlic in oil. Blend everything but lettuce in processor. Place lettuce leaves in ramekins, sprayed with non fat spray, fill with mixture, fold lettuce over top. Chill. Unmould and decorate with pimento strips to serve.


  1. The new Indiana Jones is opening here too this week.

    Have you ever tried a Cabernet d'Anjou, the rose? (Can't type the accent here on google, so know I'm not talking about wine made from roses.) It's really good and not expensive.

  2. Who makes it, I've not come across it, we may not get it in Canada.

    To do the accent you hold the alt key and type 0233 et voila é. I have a programme called AllChars which gives you all the accents and signs. It was free and is a Windows programme.

  3. BYO (Bring Your Own)wine varies a lot around Australia. In Victoria and New South Wales, I think in the ACT as well, the restaurant crowd expects it as a matter of course, so there are heaps of BYO restaurants. In South Australia, I can't think of any restaurant that advertises itself as BYO, but whenever we do take a bottle or two along, the restaurants, and even a wine bar, are perfectly happy about it. Since most wines now have screw caps, they don't dare charge much corkage!

    Wine-by-the-glass here is around $5 - $8 depending on the place or the wine. Of course everything in the food line is going up in price; Adelaide's had an upper 'ceiling' of around $25 - 27 for main courses, usually much less especially in Asian restaurants, but it's been forecast that a main course in Sydney will cost at least $50 by next month, and that in Adelaide we'll see our ceiling raised much higher.

  4. I never thought of screw tops instead of corks. Nor am I aware of any restaurants that do allow BYO wine, I wonder if you could go into a winery restaurant in Niagara and take in a competitive wine LOL.

    Can't you take your own corkscrew? I suppose you still have to have glasses from the restaurant though.

  5. I suppose you could take your own corkscrew *and* your own glasses...but then I bet there'd be various kinds of insurance issues: what if you flipped the corkscrew into someone's eye, what if one of your guests doubled up and died after tasting, what if one of your glasses broke - does the restaurant pay or do you?

    If you're not sure whether a restaurant will accept BYO, just give it a try, or ring them beforehand and asks - they can only say no! In my experience, they're often very interested in a new wine they haven't heard of.

  6. I must admit, the insurance side of it never occurred to me. We could always take a screw top bottle!!! Its due to insurance our catering business never got off the ground. We had just never considered that someone could get sick and blame our food and subsequently sue.