These criminals may lack scruples, but they do have pretty good taste.
Last weekend thieves made off with about 132 bottles of rare wine from the Michelin two-star Coque in Spain, Decanter reported on Thursday. In total, the wines were worth at least 150,000 euros (about the same in US dollars), with some estimates reaching closer to $200,000, according to Food & Wine.
Cristina Pérez Olmos, the communications director for the restaurant, told Decanter that the thieves were able to get around security measures that Coque had in place. Apparently, they were able to enter the building next door, and then used a shared courtyard to gain access to the restaurant.
“I don’t know whether the insurance will cover this but it won’t cover the sentimental aspect of things,” said Rafael Sandoval, the restaurant’s sommelier and one of the three brothers who own Coque. “We are very concerned and hurt by what happened, not because of an economic issue, but because some of the stolen bottles belonged to my grandfather from very old vintages such as 1925 or 1936. There were bottles that have passed from generation to generation and that not even the wineries themselves have. We are very bitter about losing these bottles that we held so dear.”
The burglars targeted only the wine, taking nothing else at the restaurant, and only the very best vintages were purloined from the 30,000-bottle collection. Those aspects of the crime—along with the timing, which occurred when Coque was closed and nobody would notice until it reopened a couple of days later—have led some to suspect that a person close to the restaurant may have been involved.
This isn’t the first time a Michelin-starred establishment has been targeted for its fine wines. Last year, the Michelin two-star Atrio, also in Spain, had about $1.6 million in wine stolen from its cellar, Food & Wine noted. A couple was arrested earlier this year in connection with that theft.
For now, the Coque thieves remain unidentified. If you yourself want a taste of the Spanish restaurant’s wine collection, though, may we suggest simply making a reservation.