Corkage, modernly, has evolved into one of those haute things. What used to be a courtesy charge for the actual extra labor involved in having the house staff take the time to deal with brought-in bottles of wine has taken on another dimension entirely, to the point where the highest of "high-end" restaurants are charging $30, $60, or even upwards of $80 for the simple act of uncorking your own bottle of wine and pouring it into glasses for you. Though, to be sure, those same restaurants are the ones charging into the high hundreds of dollars per bottle if you buy one from their stock. And the sort of people who not only patronize them, but bring their own bottles of wine to them as well, quite possibly paid thousands of dollars more again for the bottles they bothered to bring. There is undoubtedly some prestige thought bought by the conspicuousness of bringing to the haughtiest of eateries a bottle of wine even more up-ticket than any of their offerings, and doling out what would for most be more than the price of a regular restaurant meal simply to see it poured.

Cork"age (-?j), n.

The charge made by innkeepers for drawing the cork and taking care of bottles of wine bought elsewhere by a guest.


© Webster 1913.

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