4 Jul, 2023 @ 13:30
1 min read

Top sommelier gets prison sentence for the misappropriation of high-end wine bottles in the Basque Country 

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A TOP sommelier has been given a two-year prison sentence for the misappropriation of luxury wine bottles in Spain’s Basque Country. 

Guillermo Cruz, who was named the best sommelier in Spain in 2014, sold a number of high-end bottles from a two-star Michelin restaurant where he worked in Gipuzkoa. 

The 39-year-old wine expert worked at Mugaritz restaurant from 2012 to 2019, where he was the dining room manager. 

Cruz has now been sentenced for selling a number of expensive bottles worth €22,487 that belonged to the restaurant to third parties. 

The accused admitted selling a number of wine bottles, but he said that these belonged to him and that the restaurant knew it and gave its consent. 

Cruz added that he had his own wine collection at the restaurant’s cellar and that he even bought some of them from the establishment. 

He bought over 200 bottles of wine from Mugaritz, which he paid with cash.

But the court ruled that the sommelier ‘was not authorised to sell wine bottles from the restaurant for his own benefit’. 

However, it could not be proved that all the bottles he sold belonged to the two-star restaurant. 

Mugaritz initially asked for a compensation of over €60,000, but Cruz would only need to pay €22,487 in the end. 

But the sentence is not final and the well-known wine expert can appeal to the High Court of Justice of the Basque Country.

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