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View from the Tour d'Argent restaurant in Paris

Photo: Christophe Ena / AP

Over 80 bottles have disappeared from the wine cellar of the Paris restaurant La Tour d'Argent. The wines are worth a total of over 1.5 million euros, according to French media reports. The Parisian restaurant is not only known for its exquisite cuisine and 400-page wine list. It also served as a source of inspiration for several scenes in the Pixar animated film “Ratatouille.”

According to media reports, 83 bottles of wine were stolen from the cellar. There are over three hundred thousand bottles of wine stored there, some of them several hundred years old. In total, the bottles in the restaurant's cellar are worth tens of millions of euros. However, no signs of a break-in have been found so far.

The fact that several bottles were missing was noticed during the inventory. The last inventory was carried out in January 2020. Individual bottles could have been stolen during this period.

A sommelier at the restaurant told the newspaper Le Parisien that the bottles were numbered. So reselling them would be difficult.

The now missing wines also include a bottle from the Romanée Conti site. The wines from Burgundy are among the best wines in the world. A bottle from this location, vintage 1945, sold for 482,000 euros at auction in 2018.

The Tour d'Argent opened its doors in the 16th century. Since then it has been in the same building, right on the banks of the Seine in the 5th arrondissement. The dining room has a direct view of Notre-Dame Cathedral. During the Second World War, the then restaurant boss Claude Terrail hid the most expensive bottles in his wine cellar from the Nazis. He built a partition in the cellar behind which the best wines survived the occupation of Paris.

Today the collection includes around 15,000 wines. The wine list weighs eight kilograms and has to be carted specifically for guests on a cart.

In 2019, wines worth half a million euros were stolen from the Paris restaurant Maison Rostang. The thieves had drilled a hole in the wall of the wine cellar from a construction site. It is still unclear whether the thieves had animal help for their coup.