Zut alors! French thieves nearly pull off $6 million wine heist

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Tuxedos men stand over barrels of wine
Photo: Bill Peters (Getty Images)

While we here at The Takeout cannot condone food crime, there’s something uniquely titillating about this brand of news. Take, for example, the total rando who committed robbery wearing a watermelon for a mask, or the international chocolate thief who scooted down the highway toting 20 tons of Milka. Food crime is objectively the most insane kind of crime, and today’s heist news is no different: According to Food & Wine, an armed French task force recently recovered 900 stolen bottles of wine worth about $6 million.

Damn. Hell of a food crime.

The yearlong operation, officially entitled “Magnum” (!!!!!), culminated in the arrest of about 25 people, according to The Drinks Business. The wines hailed from a variety of fancy-pants French producers including Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (holder of the title of most expensive wine ever). The thieves apparently acquired the bottles through good old-fashioned pilfering from restaurants, warehouses, and shops, although there’s no word on whether anyone was lowered from the rooftop on a thin wire.


Food & Wine reports that the average price of each bottle “easily eclipses $6,000,” making this an impressive feather in even the most seasoned heist organizer’s cap. French authorities suspect that the thieves were all part of a Danny Ocean–style organized crime group. “These are professionals who know how to foil security measures; from cameras to alarms or motion detectors,” Patrick Leonard, Bordeaux’s interregional chief of police, was quoted as saying. And they would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for OPERATION MAGNUM. Sorry, I still can’t get over that. Anyway, I’ll be clutching my $6 bottle of Trader Joe’s merlot a little tighter tonight.