When your wine costs £4500 ($NZD8800) a bottle you might want to savour every drop.

But the diners who were accidentally served a restaurant's most expensive bottle might not have got the chance – as they apparently didn't even notice.

A group of three businessmen were eating in the bar of the Hawksmoor in Manchester when they ordered a £260 ($NZD507) bottle of Bordeaux to accompany their meal.

But a trainee manager accidentally picked up the much pricier bottle of 2001 Bordeaux, with the restaurant later saying that they "looked pretty similar".

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The gaffe only came to light when the diners asked for a second bottle and another member of staff realised but didn't publicly admit the mistake.

The restaurant later tweeted: "To the customer who accidentally got given a bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol 2001, which is £4500 on our menu, last night - hope you enjoyed your evening! To the member of staff who accidentally gave it away, chin up! One-off mistakes happen and we love you anyway."

The restaurant's message sparked a flurry of amused responses on social media, while others praised Hawksmoor for its gentle response to the staff member involved.

When people questioned who would pay that much money for a bottle of wine, the steakhouse replied: "In this case quite literally no one."

The unidentified group had walked into the Hawksmoor's bar on a busy Tuesday night whilst the restaurant had its hands full with 170 other diners.

"It was an usually very busy night for us," restaurant manager Dale Clovey said. "The Biba conference is currently taking place in Manchester at the moment, so we think they came from that. They were suited businessmen."

Alongside a 350g ribeye steak, two 300g fillet steaks and a side of mash potatoes, they asked the waitresses for a 2001 bottle of Chateau Pichon Longueville Contesse de Lalande, which has a price tag of £260.


The waitress asked a manager, who was visiting from another store doing some training, if she could fetch it for her but she picked up the wrong bottle.

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A £4,500 bottle of Château Le Pin, Pomerol, 2001 was sent to the table instead.

Will Beckett, 41, a co-founder of Hawksmoor, said: "Another manager picked up on it when they asked for a second bottle."

Not wanting to cause a fuss the staff member "gently steered the customers toward another bottle of wine and kept quiet", he said.

The steakhouse only has a single bottle of the Château Le Pin in stock at any one time, with only 500 cases of the vintage ever made.

It is on their "rarities" menu and costs almost £3,000 more than any other bottle available.

Mr Beckett said: "I think if it was me I would have told the customer 'by the way you have just drunk a £4,500 bottle of wine'. But the staff member at the time decided to style it out."

The final bill for the three men came to just over £400 – less than a tenth of the cost of the wine.

When the shift was over the other manager sat their colleague down and told her that it was actually the restaurant's most expensive bottle which she had sent out.

Mr Beckett said that the manager involved is an "incredible" member of staff and there have been no recriminations.

"There is no point in being angry about a mistake. I have spoken to her this morning and she is mortified and I have a feeling that this is not a mistake she will make twice. These things happen," he added.

The restaurant has since attempted to track the businessmen down, but has been unable to.