Hawksmoor Manchester said the customer had ordered a £260 bottle of Bordeaux, but was served a bottle “of the same vintage” which was 17 times the price.
Writing on Twitter after the mistake was discovered, the restaurant said it hoped the customer “enjoyed your evening”.
The restaurant advised the member of staff who had made the error to keep their “chin up”, adding that “one-off mistakes happen and we love you anyway”.
The error took place when the unnamed customer ordered the Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2001.
But a member of staff mistook it for another Bordeaux of the same vintage and accidentally gave them a 2001 bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol. The wine was featured on the “rarities” section of the restaurant’s wine list.
A spokesperson for the restaurant said: “It was a very busy night at the restaurant and a very simple mistake.”
They added: “The customer didn’t know and it was only afterwards that one of the managers picked up what had happened.”
The restaurant has subsequently posted a picture on Twitter of the two bottles side by side, with the caption “they look pretty similar OK”.
Hawksmoor Manchester’s tweets sparked a flurry of amused responses, including some by Twitter users jealous of the apparent bargain, and another who speculated that the diner “wouldn’t be able to tell the difference”.
Others praised restaurant managers for “oozing class and understanding” and not “flying off the handle” at the staff member involved.
But some criticised the restaurant for selling “massively overpriced alcohol” while others suggested it was “a cynical publicity stunt”.
And still more contrasted the price of the extremely rare wines with the socio-economic problems suffered by some people in Manchester.
In response to some of these criticisms, the restaurant highlighted the money they have donated to the charity Action Against Hunger, as well as their work with local charities helping people affected by homelessness and poverty.
According to the Cult Wines online tasting guide, only 500 cases of the 2001 Chateau le Pin Pomerol were made.
Tasting notes for the wine on wineinvestment.com read: “Its deep ruby/plum/purple colour is accompanied by an extraordinary perfume of creme de cassis, cherry liqueur, plums, licorice, caramel and sweet toast.”
Additional reporting by PA