Wine Etiquette: The Six Thousand Dollar Accident

Is any wine worth $6,000, really?
Is any wine worth $6,000, really? Photo: iStockphoto

A curious tale unfolds on the pixely pages of 312 Dining Diva: it seems an anonymous pal of the site was eating at an unnamed Chicago-area steakhouse over the weekend, and in the course of lavish wining and dining found himself, at the end of the night, realizing he’d accidentally ordered, consumed, and was now paying for a $6,000 bottle of wine. 312DD is scandalized that the steakhouse in question let such a pricey order make it all the way through without some kind of confirmation that the order was intentional, though we’re not exactly sure what the restaurant should have done.

A few years ago, the New York Times tackled a near-identical scenario (a diner mistakenly ordered a $2,000 bottle of Screaming Eagle), and the consensus both editorially and in the comments is that there’s little a restaurant can do to double-check that a diner really meant to order a wine that costs as much as an entry-level Kia. A server confirming the bottle’s expense can come off awfully condescending, after all — nothing spoils a multi-grand glass of wine more than the insinuation that you’re not qualified to drink it. Ex post facto, we suppose the diner could tactfully bring up his mistake and ask if the restaurant could knock a few bucks off the markup, but really, what else is there to do?

Here’s Your WTF Wine Story of the Week! [312DD]
The Answer Man: A Mistake on Wine [New York Times/Diner’s Journal]

Wine Etiquette: The Six Thousand Dollar Accident