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Alleged wine heist decanted by police after four high-end bottles were stolen from downtown restaurant

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Update: Court records state the criminal charge against Nocas was reduced to a misdemeanor in March 2017 and was dismissed and expunged in November 2017.

There’s an old phrase that says “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

In the case of Granada Hotel and Bistro, the downtown establishment that recently went upscale, that may not be entirely true. Employees of the bar and restaurant got quite a shock while doing the monthly inventory of their adult beverage selection.

- CORKED:  Matthew Paul Nocas was arrested Dec. 2 on suspicion of felony commercial burglary after police reported finding four high-end bottles of wine in his garage following their disappearance from the Granada Hotel and Bistro sometime in the previous week. -  - PHOTO COURTSY OF SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY JAIL
  • PHOTO COURTSY OF SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY JAIL
  • CORKED: Matthew Paul Nocas was arrested Dec. 2 on suspicion of felony commercial burglary after police reported finding four high-end bottles of wine in his garage following their disappearance from the Granada Hotel and Bistro sometime in the previous week.

While doing the routine check, it was discovered that four of their most expensive bottles of wine were missing, including a highly regarded pinot noir valued at $1,400.

The bistro notified the San Luis Police Department and reviewed recent video footage from the security system, in which they noticed a man entering the building and heading toward the wine cellar.

After further investigation, the man was identified as a former employee of the restaurant, who at one point oversaw the restaurant’s wine program. Police reported discovering the missing wine in the garage of the man’s residence on Dec. 2, and took Matthew Paul Nocas into custody, arresting and booking him into SLO County Jail on suspicion of felony commercial burglary.

How exactly Nocas allegedly got into the restaurant and accessed the wine is unclear. The bistro’s general manager declined to comment for this article.

New Times was able to confirm that the four bottles of wine that were stolen and subsequently recovered. The main prize was a 2008 St. Vivant pinot noir from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in France valued at $1,400; a 2009 Côte Rôtie La Mouline syrah from E. Guigal, also in France, valued at $450; a 1980 Viña Tondonia tempranillo-based blend from R. López Heredia in Spain, valued just less than $400; and a late-2000 magnum bottle of Rioja from Bodegas Muga in Spain, valued at around $150.

According to police, the bottles have safely made their way back to their rightful resting place in the Granada Hotel and Bistro. As of Dec. 9, the district attorney’s office hadn’t filed any charges against Nocas.

— Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay


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