PARIS, Dec 5, 2009 (AFP) -Cognacs bottled before the French Revolution and vintages tippled by the rich and famous -- Paris' famed 16th century eatery, the Tour d'Argent, puts 18,000 bottles of its best up for sale this month.
“I don't even know if I could afford some of the bottles,” said 29-year-old Andre Terrail, part of the third generation of his family to run a restaurant variously known as the world's “oldest”, “greatest” or “most famous”.
On taking over after his father's death three years ago, the fresh-faced restaurateur launched a relatively cheap set menu at 160 euros (241 dollars), yet some vintage champagnes still go for well over 2,000 euros a bottle.
And the wine list itself is worth a visit. Weighing eight kilos (17-and-a-half pounds), it lists 15,000 wines over 400 pages: The Tour d'Argent boasts one of the largest private cellars in the world, and certainly one of the great historical collections of wine.
“It is a heritage my father contributed to and which I must pass on,”Terrail told AFP. “We must keep it alive and build on it.