Waiter Accidentally Switched A $2,000 Bottle Of Wine With An $18 Bottle And Shocker… Nobody Noticed

A bottle of wine and glasses on a table

I’m just going to preface this by saying: I hate wine.

Now, I haven’t always hated wine. Up until one fateful night when I was 21 that my friends still refer to as “wine night,” I drank wine all the time. Not the good shit, obviously, but I’ve had my share of Franzia and other assorted cheap wines. And I’ve had a few good ones too. But I could never tell the good wine from the bad. It all kinda tasted like shit to me, but it did the job so I drank it. I even had a theory that all wine was the same and people just bought the more expensive bottles to flex on their friends and act like they could tell a difference.

Well, it looks like I might have been right.

A New York restaurant recently made a costly mistake and accidentally switched a $2,000 bottle of wine with an $18 bottle. The staff at Balthazar, an upscale French restaurant in Lower Manhattan, poured both wines in identical decanters. Then when they went to deliver the wines to their tables, the waiter took the $2,000 bottle of Mouton Rothschild 1989 to the table of a young couple that had ordered an $18 bottle of Pinot. The Pinot, meanwhile, went to a table of four Wall Street businessmen who were obviously trying to impress somebody with how much money they make or close a big deal or whatever Wall Street businessmen do when they go to dinner.

Now obviously this is a pretty shitty situation for the restaurant. A group of wealthy Wall Street businessmen come in and order the most expensive bottle of wine on the menu and you serve them something that you’d find at a college fraternity house’s Catalina Wine Mixer night. Not great.

But nobody even noticed.

According to Decanter, the host of the business dinner complimented the cheap swill’s “purity,” while the young couple who just unknowingly hit the jackpot “jokingly pretended to be drinking an expensive wine.”

See? It. All. Tastes. The. Same.

After the manager realized the restaurant’s mistake, he called the owner, who rushed down to apologize to both tables for the mixup. And it was only the businessman replied that he had “thought the wine wasn’t a Mouton.” Ok, sure. You thought you got shafted on a $2,000 bottle of wine, but you don’t say anything until the restaurant fesses up? Just admit you can’t tell the difference and you only dropped the money to big dick the other guys at dinner.

The young couple, on the other hand, was “ecstatic” by the mistake, especially because the owner let them keep the expensive wine.

I’ve been saying it all along, and this just proves it: All wine tastes the same. And to me, it’s all shit. Even if it costs $2,000 per bottle.

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One night at Balthazar four Wall Street businessmen ordered the restaurant’s most expensive red wine: a $2000 bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild. One of the two managers transferred the Bordeaux into a decanter at a waiter’s station. Simultaneously, a young couple ordered the restaurant’s cheapest red wine, a $18 Pinot Noir, which they wanted pouring into a decanter. These two very different wines were now in identical decanters. Mistaking the $18 decanted wine for the $2000 Rothschild, the first manager formally poured the cheap wine to the businessmen. According to the manager, the host considered himself a wine connoisseur, and showing off to his guests, tasted the cheap wine before bursting into raptures about its ‘purity’. The young couple who ordered the $18 Pinot Noir were inadvertently served the $2000 Chateau Mouton Rothschild. On taking their first sips of what they believed was cheap wine, they jokingly pretended to be drinking an expensive wine and parodied all the mannerisms of a wine snob. Five minutes later the two managers discovered their error and, horrified, phoned me at home. I rushed to Balthazar. The businessmen’s celebratory mood was clearly enhanced by the wine they had mistakenly thought was the restaurant’s most expensive. This put me in a dilemma: whether to come clean and admit the manager’s mistake, or allow him to continue drinking the cheap wine in blissful ignorance. Taking the latter route would certainly be the easiest. Also the cheapest. It was unthinkable at this point to pull the real Bordeaux from the young couple’s table. Besides, they were having too much fun acting out drinking a $2000 bottle of wine. I decided to veer from my normal behaviour, and tell both parties the truth. The Wall St. businessman responded by saying, “I THOUGHT that wasn’t a Mouton Rothschild!” The others at the table nodded their heads in servile agreement. The young couple were ecstatic by the restaurant’s mistake, and told me it was like the bank making an error in their favour. The trouble was, it was me who was down $2000, not the bank. Both parties left Balthazar happy that night, but the younger of the two left happier.

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A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock