This is high-stakes hospitality.
A waiter at the upscale British steakhouse Hawskmoor in Manchester accidentally served a customer a £4,500 (about $5,700 US) bottle of red wine.
The lucky customer had asked for the 2001 Chateau Pichon Longueville Contesse de Lalande — a £260 (about $330 US) bottle of red — but ended up with the “rare” 2001 Chateau le Pin Pomerol. When the patron polished that off and requested a second bottle, the mortified server discovered it was a one-of-a-kind at the restaurant.
Hawksmoor bosses managed to find humor in the gaff, sharing the news via Twitter.
“To the customer who accidentally got given a bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol 2001, which is £4500 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,” @HawksmoorMCR tweets.
“It’s just a one-off mistake,” Hawksmoor co-founder Will Beckett tells the Daily Mail. “If she had done it twice I would’ve been furious, but she’s so great and I’m not annoyed.”
Only 400-600 cases of the Chateau le Pin Pomerol were produced when the drink was bottled in 2001. Listed under the “Rarities” section on the menu, it is indeed the most expensive at Hawksmoor. The restaurant, voted second best in Manchester by Time Out, describes the top notch Bordeaux red: “Its deep ruby/plum/purple colour is accompanied by an extraordinary perfume of creme de cassis, cherry liqueur, plums, liquorice, caramel, and sweet toast,” it says.
People on Twitter are joking about that the unsuspecting customers probably had no idea exactly what they were drinking.
“I definitely wouldn’t have had a bloody clue, other than ‘this wine’s quite nice isn’t it,’ ” tweets British food blogger Chris Pople.
Others replied to the Hawksmoor Twitter account to ask if they could be seated with the hapless waiter during their reservation.
“I’m coming on the 2nd June…. Can I specifically request that staff member as my waiter?? ??,” writes @ginger_tweeter.
Some savvy shoppers, such as Scottish journalist John Dingwall, did some sleuthing to reveal the restaurant’s 200 percent up-charge on the lavish vino: “They have it in @AldiUK for £2250. That’s a helluva mark up.”
One sticker-shocked tweeter asked the steakhouse, “Who is buying £4500 bottles of wine?!?”
“In this case, Laura, quite literally no one,” @HawksmoorMCR responded.
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