How much is a bottle of 1989 Mouton-Rothschild worth?

A funny, little story that caught our eye last week: a couple in New York were served a 1989 Château Mouton-Rothschild instead of the 18-dollar Pinot noir they ordered. So just how lucky did they get?

As several newspapers reported, Keith McNally, a well-known New York restaurant owner, recounted on Instagram how a service mistake had once cost him dear: by accident, the host served a 1989 Mouton-Rothschild priced at $2,000 to a young couple who had actually ordered a simple Pinot noir for $18.

“Four Wall Street businessmen ordered the restaurant’s most expensive wine: a $2000 bottle of Château Mouton Rothschild”, he explains. Being the good sommeliers that they are, the team decanted the wine into a carafe…and got it mixed up with a carafe of Pinot noir ordered by another table! The wines were accidentally switched in the hustle and bustle of service.

The clients’ reactions were, on reflection, amusing to behold, with sketch-worthy scenes from both parties. The businessmen, taking themselves to be great wine connoisseurs, were waxing lyrical about the cuvée’s exceptional purity. At the other side of the restaurant, the couple were enjoying what they thought was a nice, little Pinot noir…

Informed by the hosts as soon as they realised their mistake, the owner decided to come clean to his guests. One of the businessmen exclaimed “I THOUGHT that wasn’t a Mouton Rothschild!”, whilst the couple were delighted to learn what had happened, saying it was like the bank had made an error in their favour. If McNally had lost one of his finest bottles, he certainly gained a great gust of publicity!

In any case, we can only dream of being the victims of such an error…

But how much is a bottle of 1989 Mouton-Rothschild actually worth?

On the wine list for $2,000 at the Soho restaurant in question, our estimate at iDealwine places this bottle at “just” €405!

Vintage iDealwine estimate as of 27/10/2020
2015 €516
2010 €669
2000 €1,607
1989 €405
1982 €982


Would you have known that something wasn’t right? Here’s an idea, why not order a Mouton-Rothschild along with a more modest Pinot noir, and taste them blind together! See if you can tell the difference 😉