An AP story doesn't make it sound too appetizing (old wine bottles covered in black fungus anyone?) but the upcoming auction of wine bottles from the Tour d'Argent restaurant in Paris, France has oenophiles very excited. The restaurant, a landmark that traces its history all the way back to 1582, has a 450,000-bottle cellar and is selling 18,000 bottles at an auction in December. The auction through French auctioneer Piasa will include everything from modest 10-euro bottles of wine to those fungus-covered bottles of 1875 Armagnac Vieux (estimated at 400-500 euros) and other notable oldies.
The restaurant is paring down on its bottles and wants to modernize. Some of the usual suspects at fine wine auctions including vintages from Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Cheval Blanc and Chateau Margaux will also be up for sale and the grand total is expected to be over one million euros. The provenance of the bottles may also be a selling factor not just because the integrity of the bottles, which were bought directly from vinters, can be assured but also because the bottles bear the restaurant's insignia, the famous tower.