It took awhile, but the D.C. Council joined most other state legislatures this summer in passing a law that allows restaurant patrons to take home partially consumed bottles of wine without running afoul of laws against carrying open bottles. D.C. lawyer Andrew Kline, general counsel of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington for the last seven years, says, “We’ve gotten more positive feedback about this legislation than anything I’ve seen before.” The association lobbied for the "wine doggie bag" law.
The new ordinance, similar to existing laws in Virginia and Maryland, makes a lot of safety sense, relieving the imperative to drain that bottle to get every penny’s worth before leaving the restaurant and driving home. Under the law the bottle must be resealed and packaged in a way that would make tampering visible.
Restaurants are encouraging customers to take advantage of the law. For example, the wine-centric restaurant Proof, which we wrote about last year, is offering free bags with special adhesive seals that comply with the law -- encouraging customers to “splurge on a special bottle of wine… without pressure to finish off their purchase at dinner."