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Paris restaurant La Tour d’Argent ‘loses’ more than £1.25m worth of wine

Wine worth more than £1.25m has disappeared from the cellar of celebrated Parisian restaurant La Tour d’Argent.

The one-star Michelin restaurant sits on the banks of the Seine and boasts sweeping views of Notre-Dame Cathedral.

La Tour d’Argent, which provided the inspiration for the film Ratatouille, is renowned for having one of the world’s greatest wine cellars.

The tightly-guarded cellar is home to more than 300,000 bottles, and the collection’s worth has been conservatively estimated at £24m.

Staff recently conducted their first inventory since January 2020, and they discovered that 83 bottles had vanished.

They could have gone missing at any time during the past four years, a sommelier at the 422-year-old restaurant told Le Parisien.

Prestigious wines from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti are among those missing, according to the sommelier.

La Tour d’Argent has filed a complaint to the French police. No evidence of a break-in was discovered but the Third Division of the Paris Judicial Police is investigating the disappearance of the wines.

The restaurant has been an icon of Paris ever since it was founded in 1582. It was frequented by King Henry IV, and it has gone on to welcome famous diners from around the world.

Queen Elizabeth II was the guest of honour in 1948. Other famous visitors include Theodore Roosevelt, Charlie Chaplin and Bill Clinton.

Guests will see pictures of the famous diners when riding the elevator up to the restaurant, which is located on the sixth floor of the Quai de la Tournelle in Paris’ 5th arrondissement.

The wine list is an enormous book, which is so heavy that it needs to be wheeled out on a cart to each table. It specialises in old wines, with vintages dating back to the late 19th century, and it houses back vintages of almost every top wine from Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhône, Alsace and the Loire.

La Tour d’Argent is also famous for late owner Claude Terrail’s quick thinking in 1940, when he hid his most prized bottles behind a fake wall as the Nazis prepared to seize the restaurant.

Yet for many people around the world, the restaurant is primarily known as the inspiration for the hit Pixar animated film Ratatouille, in which a young rat with heightened senses of taste and smell takes over the kitchen and wows Parisian society with his culinary creations.


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