Remy, the main protagonist in the film 'Ratatouille', gazing at Paris' skyline
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Iconic restaurant that inspired ‘Ratatouille’ loses £1.3m worth of wine

The beloved Disney Pixar film Ratatouille transported audiences into a captivating world, inspiring a desire to experience the culinary wonders of Parisian dining. However, the real-life restaurant, La Tour d’Argent, that inspired this cinematic masterpiece finds itself confronting a significant setback. Recent reports reveal that the iconic establishment has incurred a substantial loss of more than €1.5 million (£1.28 million) worth of wine.

The loss was discovered during a routine inventory check of La Tour d’Argent’s wine cellar, which boasts a collection of approximately 300,000 offerings, including rare selections dating back to pre-revolutionary France. An estimated 83 bottles are believed to be missing, as per the last inventory conducted in 2020. Following the discovery, the restaurant promptly filed a complaint with the authorities, although no signs of forced entry into the cellar were reported, suggesting a more intricate scenario surrounding the disappearance.

Among the missing bottles are prized wines from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC), a renowned Burgundy estate known for producing some of the world’s most coveted and expensive vintages. Notable examples include a 1945 Romanée-Conti that sold for €482,000 (£410,905) in 2018, setting a record for the most expensive bottle at the time. Such wines often command five-figure prices, as evidenced by estimates placing a 1999 DRC Grand Cru at around €28,000 (£24,000).

Will the restaurant be able to replenish its collection of fine wines, and what measures will be taken to prevent such incidents in the future?

The 442-year-old institution underwent a major renovation in 2022 and reopened late last summer. As part of its reopening, the restaurant compiled a comprehensive ‘wine bible’ cataloguing its cellar contents, weighing approximately 8kg and presented to diners on a trolley. However, with the loss of these prized bottles, the catalogue now weighs significantly less.

Over the years, this renowned restaurant has welcomed heads of state, A-list celebrities, and royalty, including the Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II who dined at the restaurant in 1948 and received a gift of Cognac dating back to circa 1830. Notable patrons have included Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Charlie Chaplin, Salvador Dalí, John Travolta, Steven Spielberg, Bill Clinton, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie.

Looking ahead, questions arise about the future of La Tour d’Argent’s wine cellar and how the establishment plans to address this loss. Will the restaurant be able to replenish its collection of fine wines, and what measures will be taken to prevent such incidents in the future?


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