Corkage Free Bill Awaits Governor's Signature

You may soon be able to bring wine into restaurants without paying a corkage fee. Both Washington state house and senate passed the bill allowing restaurants to waive a corkage fee for customers who bring in wine from local vineyards the day they buy it. It was originally formed in Yakima in 2009, so tourists could continue their wine tasting experience at restaurants. The state liquor board ruled in November that it was illegal, because it gives an unfair advantage to certain alcohol distributors.

One of the owners who started waiving corkage fees for customers says it will help local business.

Jar Arcand, of Santiago's restaurant, said, "(restaurants) have to compliment in order to survive in these economic times and this is a perfect tool to do it, with the wine growing region of our valley."

Waiving the corkage fee is voluntary for restaurants under the bill. Representative Charles Ross from Naches sponsored the bill. The bill still has to be signed by the governor, before restaurants can start the program again.