Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

BYO, stands for ‘Bring Your Own’ (Wine) and is a type of restaurant most common in Australia and New Zealand, where the term was coined. The term is associated with maximum wine-drinking pleasure at minimum cost to the restaurant-goer (in tandem with reduced profit to the restaurateur). New Zealanders claim that the BYO name and concept was born in 1976 when the New Zealand authorities, still notably cautious about the distribution of alcoholic drinks, devised the Bring Your Own licence for restaurants at which diners would be allowed to take their own wine. Australians in the state of Victoria, also famously restrictive in its legislative attitude to alcoholic drinks, maintain that Melbourne had BYO establishments in the 1960s. Wherever its origins, this arrangement has become common for a wide range of restaurants in Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere, the wine often being bought in a nearby retail establishment. corkage is sometimes but not always charged. The expression in the US is BYOB as in ‘Bring Your Own Bottle’, most commonly encouraged here and elsewhere either in restaurants too new to have a liquor licence and during quiet periods such as Mondays or when regular customers are on holiday.