take home the rest

September 6, 2009

Ever been to a restaurant for dinner and ordered a bottle of wine for two people? When I do, I drink a couple of glasses with dinner and there is often a third of the bottle left especially if I am driving. The person not driving typically finishes the bottle even if it is more than he or she might have wanted to drink. I have always wondered if we can just take it home like leftover food. It seems likely to reduce driving while under the influence of alcohol and to encourage a healthy relationship to wine.

I found out that since 2005 Ontario has a Take Home The Rest (THTR) program that allows it. I am not sure why this program is not publicized by the LCBO, the AGCO, the government or restaurants. According to the AGCO, any licensee (with no changes to their existing licence) can offer THTR if they seal an unfinished bottle of wine with a cork that is flush with the top of the bottle.

Obviously, restaurants can refuse the program if they cannot (on don’t want to) seal an opened bottle of wine. It is our job to encourage restaurants to offer it in some capacity so that we can enjoy wines not offered by the glass and still drink responsibly. The restaurants should benefit with higher wine sales but may not offer THTR because they are averse to change. I plan on asking from now on.

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