About our Wine Exchanges

The Pittsburgh TasteBuds host wine exchanges throughout the year at select BYOB restaurants in the Pittsburgh area.  They are a fun, creative way to meet new people, try new restaurants and go home with a surprise wine.  Typically they are coordinated on Facebook and although RSVPs are required for a headcount, they are open for anyone to attend.  Contact us via Urbanspoon for details and to RSVP.

General Guidelines:

  • Bring 1 bottle of wine in a wine bag or wrapped to be exchanged.
  • Bring 1 bottle of wine to have with your meal.
  • Follow the “theme” of the night.  Each party has a theme – maybe a wardrobe color or accessory.  Participate and you may get a special group giveaway.
  • Please drink responsibly.


History of our wine exchanges:
  • Cinco De Mayo – May 2010
    To be hosted at the Fajita Grill.
  • Mardi Gras – Feburary 2010
    Hosted at River Moon Cafe, the chef/owner worked with us to create a custom Cajun/Creole fixe-prix menu inspired by the French Quarter.  We gave beads to everyone in attendance.  The experience even featured a one of a kind live-music performance!  Thank you Josephine!
  • Holiday Wine Exchange – December 2009
    Abay Restaurant was generous to give our entire group a fixe-price menu which included their combination platter.  Happy Holidays – all corkage fees were on us!  We celebrated great holiday cheer and exposed 16 new people to Ethiopian food.  Thank you Jamie!

Wine Exchange FAQs

What is a Wine Exchange?
Much like your typical gift exchange, you bring a wrapped or bagged bottle of wine.  There is no set price range for the wine, but it is typically recommended to be around $15 so that the recipients are getting a wine of similar quality that they are gifting.

Do I have to bring two bottles?
You don’t have to.  But we recommend it.  Because of the format of the exchanges, we don’t always get to opening the gifted bottles until partially through the evening.  Therefore, we recommend

What is corkage?
Corkage is the discretionary fee (approx. $2.50 – $10) that an establishments chooses to charge to open each bottle.  This doesn’t mean you should just open it yourself though.  Corkage includes the service for providing you a wine glass as well.  As a bonus, some places will offer to chill certain wines upon request.

Not every restaurant charges a corkage fee for groups of our size.  More often, we are charged a flat per person fee for the group, approx. $1-5 per person.

Please drink responsibly.


While "TasteBud B" doesn't feel very photogenic, he certainly gets out and about to snap pictures of his food. He's passionate about sharing Pittsburgh events, food talk topics, restaurant recommendations and travel destination finds. (@PghTasteBudB On Twitter)

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