2 Nov, 2022 @ 15:45
1 min read

Thieves walk out of Michelin-starred restaurant in Madrid with 132 bottles of wine valued at €200,000

Chef Mario Sandoval
The chef Mario Sandoval, from the restaurant Coque.

THIEVES in Spain have managed to pull off another wine heist, this time targeting the Michelin-starred restaurant Coque. On Sunday, the exclusive eatery was relieved of 132 bottles by the criminals, with a total value of more than €200,000. 

The sumiller at Coque, Rafael Sandoval, explained what had happened at the restaurant on Wednesday to Espejo Público, a magazine show on TV channel Antena 3. 

According to his account, the thieves tried to enter the restaurant, which is located in Marqués de Riscal street, via a hole they made in the neighbouring property. 

But when they were unable to gain access that way, they entered a courtyard shared with a pharmacy located next door, and then broke in via a window. 

“More than anything it’s an emotional thing,” Sandoval, whose brother Mario is the chef at the two-Michelin starred restaurant, told Antena 3. “We’ve been working for 40 years to get some of those bottles, they are vintage bottles that even some of the wineries themselves don’t have.

“It was a high-precision robbery, these people could have robbed the bank of Spain,” he added. 

Sandoval also raised the alarm among his colleagues, “because this is happening in a lot of restaurants in Europe”.

The robbery comes in the wake of a high-profile case in Spain’s Cáceres province. In 2021, a couple managed to walk out of the hotel and restaurant Atrio with 45 bottles of wine stolen from the cellar, with a value of €1.6 million. The alleged culprits of that theft were eventually tracked down by police and are being held in custody until their trial. The wine has never been recovered.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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