File this under “mistakes you do not want to make, ever.” According to a story broken by nj.com, recently a customer at Bobby Flay Steak at the Borgata in Atlantic City ordered what he thought was a $37.50 bottle of wine, only to find when the bill came that the bottle was $3750. A bit of a shock, to say the least.
Joe Lentini, the diner in question, apparently asked the waitress to pick something for his group. She pointed to a bottle on the list, and when he asked how much it was, said, “Thirty-seven fifty.” Lentini, who says that he had forgotten his glasses and couldn’t read the list, ok’d the choice. Turns out the wine was the 2011 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, a sought-after super-rarity that his group downed without much concern, at least until the check arrived. Then, of course, they freaked.
There’s a lot of he-said-she-said to this story—the restaurant claims the server and the sommelier verified the request before opening the bottle, Lentini claims he and his group were rooked—but either way, Lentini's pals ended up paying way more than they wanted to for a bottle of wine. (And, to add insult to injury, 2011 is probably the weakest vintage in Napa in years.) Here are five strategies on how to make sure you don't pay more than you want to for wine in a restaurant.