Couple at NYC eatery served $2,000 Bordeaux in error after ordering cheap wine

A young couple dining at the Big Apple’s iconic Balthazar couldn’t bottle up their emotions after ordering an $18 Pinot Noir – but being served a $2,000 Mouton Rothschild instead by accident, according to a report.

Waiters poured the two wines into identical decanters but the pricey one was mistakenly taken to the couple’s table, the SoHo eatery’s owner Keith McNally said on Instagram, according to

The two-grand Bordeaux First Growth, the most expensive wine offered at Balthazar, had been ordered by four Wall Street businessmen who apparently didn’t notice the error.

In fact, the restaurant’s night manager said the host of the business meeting actually praised the purity of the cheapest wine on the list, while the lucky couple “jokingly pretended to be drinking an expensive wine,” McNally said.

“The young couple were ecstatic by the restaurant’s mistake, and told me it was like the bank making an error in their favor,” said the red-faced owner, who admitted the embarrassing mix-up.

“The trouble was, it was me who was down $2,000, not the bank,” he quipped.

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How to avoid costly mistakes in wine ordering

Mistakes happen. But some mistakes can be pretty expensive. With our wine list on iPad, serving the wrong wine to a customer won’t happen.
Here are two reasons why.

1.Bottle photos : visualize what has been ordered

COENA’s wine list on iPad let restaurants show the bottle of the wines in the wine list on iPad. This enables the customer to see what she/he ordered,
but also the waiter. Nothing more simple to double check the photo in the wine list with the bottle… just to be sure before opening the wine.

Wine List iPad


2. Bottle location in cellar: knowing where the wine is located

Another functionality of COENA’s wine list on iPad is the waiter’s mode, enabling any waiter to check the current stock of the wine ordered, as well as its location in the cellar. This is particularly helpful for some our customers, like Le Cantou in France or Le Gavroche in UK who have more than 1200 wines on the list and more than 7000 bottles in cellar. With that amount of bottles, you better sort your cellar the right way. But sometimes the ordering principle the sommelier built isn’t very easy to understand for the newly hired waiter. That’s the reason why we built our waiter’s mode.

Stock and location of wine in cellar - wine list in iPad

The benefits ? Less errors in bringing back the wrong wine to the table, and 2-3 minutes on average gained for the service.

Want to know more about COENA’s wine list on iPad ? Fill the form below and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours: