Restaurant Accidentally Serves Diner $5,800 Bottle of Wine

And then it makes the most of its dubious moment in the spotlight.


Photo by: helenecanada ©helenecanada

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Here’s one for your “things happen” file – and whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing probably depends on your perspective.

For the unidentified diner at the Hawksmoor Manchester, a steakhouse and cocktail bar in Manchester, England, who ordered a 260 [pound] ($335) bottle of red wine last week and received one that was worth 4500 [pounds] ($5,800), it was probably a very excellent thing.

For the restaurant itself, well, you’d probably say it wasn’t such a good thing, except the restaurant has definitely turned lemons (in the form of a super rare and pricey bottle of wine sold for a relative song) into lemonade (in the form of a tremendous amount of publicity).

“To the customer who accidentally got given a bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol 2001, which is 4500 [pounds] on our menu, last night - hope you enjoyed your evening! To the member of staff who accidentally gave it away, chin up! One-off mistakes happen and we love you anyway,” the restaurant tweeted early Thursday morning.

Hawksmoor Manchester then followed up with a second tweet showing a bottle of the 2001 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande the diner ordered next to the 2001 Chateau le Pin Pomerol they were served. Essentially identically shaped, both bottles have cream-white labels and low-key lettering. Yet, among differences subtle and less so, the foil on one is red, gold on the other.

“THEY LOOK PRETTY SIMILAR OK?!” tweeted the Hawksmoor, punctuating both tweets with a winky-face emoji.

Winky-face indeed -- because the story has been picked up far and wide.

"It was a very busy night at the restaurant and a very simple mistake. A member of staff picked up the wrong bottle, mistaking it for another Bordeaux of the same vintage," a PR rep for the restaurant explained to CNN. "The wine went out and was served to the customer. The customer didn't know and it was only afterward that one of the managers picked up what had happened."

Hawksmoor owner Will Beckett told the BBC that the rare bottle the diners were mistakenly served was “something spectacular,” with a “flavor profile you won’t find anywhere else,” and that they enjoyed it so much they ordered a second bottle. Alas, the restaurant had had only the one.

But the eatery sure has made the most of its moment in the spotlight, responding to the inevitable social-media razzing with unstinting good cheer.

“Who is buying 4500 [pound] bottles of wine?!?” exclaimed one commenter.

“In this case,” the restaurant responded on Twitter, “quite literally no one.”

Well played, Hawksmoor Manchester. Well played indeed.

Photo: iStock

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