Arguments over a $3,750 Bottle of Wine

Bobby Flay winesWhen a diner at Bobbie Flay Steak at the Borgata in Atlantic City heard the price of a wine, he thought it was $37.50, not $3,570. The host asked Joe Lentini to order a bottle, and here's how he explained the situation to

"I asked the waitress if she could recommend something decent because I don't have experience with wine. She pointed to a bottle on the menu. I didn't have my glasses. I asked how much and she said, 'Thirty-seven fifty.'"

Lentini then tasted the Screaming Eagle, Oakville 2011, from the sommelier: "It was okay. It was good. It wasn't great. It wasn't terrible. It was fine."

Borgata executive vice president Joseph Lupo insists that protocol was followed:

"As the leading culinary destination in this region, we consistently serve as many, if not more high-end wine and spirits without incident. In this isolated case, both the server and sommelier verified the bottle requested with the patron."

Lupo also said:

"Due to these factors along with very detailed accounts from multiple sources regarding the incident, Borgata is confident there was no misunderstanding regarding the selection. We simply will not allow the threat of a negative story that includes so many unaccounted and questionable statements to disparage our integrity and standards, which Borgata takes great pride in practicing every day."

The wine list shows wines in the hundreds but plenty in the $30 - $50 range too. The Screaming Eagle was by far one of the most expensive wines in the restaurant.

Discussion Starters:

  • Some believe the server should be held responsible. What do you think? Does seeing the wine list influence your thinking?
  • What should guests do to avoid this situation? What should servers do?