A famed Paris restaurant is auctioning off a bottle of booze that dates to 1788.

By Gillie Houston
Updated May 24, 2017
© Artcurial

Would you drink booze that was bottled in the 18th century? A famed Paris restaurant announced it will be auctioning off a bottle of Grande Fine Clos du Griffier Cognac that dates back to before the French Revolution: 1788, to be exact.

The restaurant in question, the Tour d'Argent, is one of the oldest and well-known restaurants in Paris, a "temple of haute cuisine," as The Washington Post describes them, with larger-than-life prices and microscopic dishes.

The Tour d'Argent itself dates back to 1582, and claims be "the actual site where the fork was used for the first time on planet Earth." So, yeah... they're kind of a big deal. The venerable restaurant is known for its unchanging atmosphere and pomp throughout the ages. But now, facing some planned renovations, they are auctioning off some prized cooking appliances, large portion of their silver, glassware, and china collections, along with bottles from their wine cellar—dating back to 1850—and that ancient bottle of Cognac.

The bottle, which was produced the year before the revolution began, is anticipated to sell for at least $23,000. For that same amount, you could buy almost 800 bottles of Hennessy VS. The auction is expected to fetch upwards of $500,000 overall, a nice chuck of change to assist with renovations.

Owner Andre Terrail hopes that the revamping of the Tour d'Argent will help return the restaurant to its former place at the top of the Parisian gastronomic scene, after dropping from three Michelin stars first to two in 1996, and then down to one in 2006. "We wish to inscribe the Tour d'Argent in its own times as much as in the continuity of the past," Terrail said. The first step towards modernization? Ditching the centuries-old Cognac.