I have been lucky enough to dine at Allain Ducasse’s three-Michelin stared restaurant at Hôtel de Paris in Monte-Carlo a number of times and have always enjoyed the tremendous food as well as wine served there. I have been always wondering how is the hotel’s wine cellar. There are two magnificent restaurants at the Hôtel de Paris, together holding five Michelin stars, so the cellar must be something out of ordinary, I had always thought.
Now, I can confirm, it is something big size-wise as well as content-wise. Located deep underground its long old tunnels and dim lamps evoke slightly nostalgic and mysterious feelings. One really feels as if time had stopped a long time ago and never started passing again. The only think reminding you are not in the 19th century are surprisingly the liquid assets of the cellar – the wines.
There are, indeed, some very old wines in the cellar, but the sommelier taking us around was doubtful whether most of these reaching back into the 19th century were still drinkable. The oldest wine stored at a wine cellar known to me, that is accessible to the public, is at Palais Coburg in Vienna (I made a short video there) so in these terms Hôtel de Paris does not compete. Yet, as I mentioned in some very old cases the high age starts to be less desirable.
There are some centenary bottles Château D’Yquem, which should be magnificent now as this sweet wine is one of the best aging on the world. But, what makes this cellar exceptional are the quantities of the same vintage of rare wines such as Petrus (Bordeaux) and Domaine de La Romanèe Conti (Burgundy). As the sommelier confessed: “I have been working at many high-end restaurants across France, but I have never seen so many bottles of one vintage of Petrus anywhere.” It is very hard to get hold of these rare wines itself and these in the wine business would confirm that getting 20 or 30 bottles of some wines is like looking for a precious diamond owned by a member of a royal family.
I wonder if there is any individual on the world having a cellar like this down under his house? If you know about someone, drop me an email, as I will offer a cleaning of it (a thorough) free of charge ;-).