Dating in New York can be hard, unless you’re drinking $2,000 wine.
While that’s a pretty steep price on a first date, one couple lucked out when their $18 Pinot Noir was accidentally switched with a significantly more expensive Bordeaux, Chateau Mouton Rothschild. The couple were alerted of the mistake well into their meal — at which point no charge could be made. The young couple reveled in their luck and stuck around to drink the rest of their bottle, enjoying several hundred dollars worth of free sips and pours.
Meanwhile, a few tables away, four Wall Street executives celebrated the $18 Pinot Noir they thought was the Chateau Mouton Rothschild, naming complexities and rejoicing in its “purity.”
On Oct. 21, Balthazar owner and restaurateur Keith McNally took to Instagram to explain how the mistake occurred.
Each table arrived and ordered their wine at nearly the same time. Both requested their bottles be decanted. After each wine was set aside in identical decanters, a manager returned to retrieve the wine for the businessmen. Simultaneously, another manager appeared and took what he thought was the Pinot Noir to the young couple.
At the Wall Street table, the man who requested the Mouton Rothschild (the restaurant’s most expensive wine) said he considered himself a wine connoisseur, and tasted the bottle for the table. He waxed poetic describing the Bordeaux, and the manager left thinking all was fine.
Nearby, the young couple parodied the process and joked about the wine they’d chosen. A few minutes later, the managers realized their mistake and frantically called McNally who rushed over to the restaurant.
At this point, both tables remained in blissful ignorance. McNally was struck with a hard decision but ultimately decided to come clean and tell both tables the truth.
The couple rejoiced, and their evening only grew better. The businessmen paused, and the host responded “I thought that wasn’t a Mouton Rothschild!” before the rest of the table nodded in agreement.