Paris restaurant La Tour d’Argent ‘loses’ more than NZ2.5m worth of wine

Paris restaurant La Tour d’Argent

One of the most famous restaurants in the world – certainly from a wine lover’s perspective – La Tour d’Argent in Paris – appears to missing wines worth around 2.5 million NZ dollars. The restaurant, located on the banks of the Seine with wide views over to Notre-Dame Cathedral, recently did a stocktake of its famed cellar, and discovered that over 80 of its collection were missing.

To put that into perspective, the famous wine cellar of the one-star Michelin restaurant is home to more than 300,000 bottles, and the collection’s worth has been conservatively estimated at over 50 million NZ dollars. However, it is claimed by one of the restaurant’s sommeliers that the missing bottles included trophy wines from the likes of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

Their wine list is actually an enormous book – so weighty that it has its own wheeled cart that is brought to your table. The wine menu specialises in the great French wines – and old vintages at that, with bottles dating back to the 1800s. It lists back vintages of almost every top wine from Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhône, Alsace and the Loire. 

The restaurant has been an icon of Paris ever since it was founded in 1582, and in recent times has been the inspiration for the hit animated film Ratatouille from Pixar. Another great story from the restaurant’s history is the time that late owner Claude Terrail hid many of his most prized bottles behind a fake wall as the Nazis prepared to seize the restaurant in 1940. The Paris police are investigating the missing wines, but there is no evidence of a break-in.

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