A $3,750 bottle of wine is what one customer ordered at Bobby Flay Steak at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, but he still has to pay the dispute.
What happened next was the sticker shock when he received the bill, according to The Inquisitr. Joe Lentini said he isn’t a big drinker and he’ll maybe drink a glass of the grapes once a month. He’ll probably think twice about drinking that again after he and two others of his party of 10 share a bottle.
“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.’”
The drinkers at the table agreed to the price and they ordered. Soon, the waitress from Bobby Flay Steak popped the cork and presented it at the table. Lentini was having conversation with his companions and didn’t really pay attention, but he approved of the bottle. A taste was served for him to sample. He approved and the $3,750 bottle was placed on the table.
“It was okay. It was good … It wasn’t great. It wasn’t terrible. It was fine.”
When dinner was over, the check was handed to the host, who was sitting opposite Lentini at the round table. On it was the bottle they purchased.
“[The host] was sitting across from me and he handed the bill to person next to him, who handed it to the next person until it got to me … I showed the gentleman next to me and we were shocked. We couldn’t believe it.”
The total bill was $4,700.61, including tax and a $3,750 bottle of wine. Lentini thought the price was $37.50. He then called the waitress over and said there was a problem. He explained that he never would have ordered such an expensive bottle of wine, and repeated that when he asked about the price, the waitress said “thirty-seven fifty,” not “three-thousand, seven-hundred-and-fifty.”
The waitress disagreed, and a manager was called over. Lentini explained the problem again, saying there was a miscommunication on the price. The manager offered to give separate bills, so the dinner bill, which wasn’t being disputed, could be paid, according to Examiner.
But the problem $3,750 bottle of wine was far from over. Lentini was told the best price the restaurant could offer was $2,200. Lentini couldn’t afford that, but to be able to leave, he and two other diners agreed to split the $2,200 bill.
The diner sitting to Lentini’s left at the table, Don Chin, said he heard what Lentini heard when the bottle was ordered.
“Joe had asked for a suggestion on the wine and the waitress pointed to a wine … Joe asked the price and she said ‘thirty-seven fifty,’ not ‘three-thousand, seven-hundred and fifty,’ which is what I would have said, so we all thought it was $37.50.”
The price of an expensive bottle of wine reflects a few things. First up are the costs of production, or how much it costs to make it. There are the raw materials of grapes, barrels and bottles, plus utilities and labor. You also have to factor in administrative, sales and marketing costs.
An expensive bottle of wine isn’t sold directly to a consumer, then distributors, wholesalers and retailers all look to make a profit on every unit sold, so there are markups along the way. Buying wine in a restaurant? It could cost you $3,750 for a bottle, and those are often the biggest markups. There is also the variable of Mother Nature–some vintages can vary dramatically in their yields, affecting the whole supply/demand factor, and some challenging vintages bring higher labor costs.
Also, keep in mind that expensive bottle of wines are expensive because they can be. This is a phenomenon known as “perceived value,” in which how much a consumer is willing to pay affects the price of a good or service. This is particularly true when it comes to things that fall into the “luxury” category. The production costs simply aren’t the whole story when high-end perfumes or fashions are priced.
Similarly, some wines may carry a $500 or $3,750 price tag and sell out every year. A bottle can even fetch two or three times that amount on the secondary market. Of course, value is also subjective. You might get a lot of enjoyment from an expensive bottle of wine, or you might find one over $20 doesn’t give you more than $20 worth of enjoyment.
When you walk into a five-star restaurant, there is an underlying expectation that you’ll be making some hefty purchases, which explains the overblown price tags. Sometimes a good bottle becomes an astronomically expensive one because it’s in a Park Avenue wine cellar.
Generally, very expensive wines share a few basic characteristics: They have been aged for many years to reach their peak in quality; they are from outstanding vintages relative to their geographical area; they are scarce due to minimal yearly production rates; and the producer has a world-class reputation sought after by serious wine buyers and collectors.
Experts will always tell you that a higher price bottle is optional. Wine drinking is a subjective art. You don’t always have to judge a bottle of wine by its price.
Ultimately, the price of a bottle of wine is not just a function of quality but of other factors as well. As is often the case, a name goes a long way to send a wine into the ultra-expensive range.
A $3,750 bottle of wine is more than what a typical person makes in a month. It’s a lot of money for a bottle of wine. However, there are people at Bobby Flay Steak who are willing to spend that, and there are those who will only spend $37.50.