A wine merchant showing off a bottle of wine once owned by Thomas Jefferson accidentally hit a serving tray, breaking the bottle and spilling the vintage contents.

Bill Sokolin was showing the bottle of 1787 Chateau Margaux to 300 wine lovers at a tasting Sunday at The Four Seasons restaurant when he hit a tray and felt a liquid running down his leg."I thought someone had spilled coffee," Sokolin told the New York Post. Then he noticed two holes in the bottle and saw that 80 percent of the wine was gone.

Sokolin obtained the bottle in October on consignment for an owner whose identity he would not disclose. He said he had had three offers for the bottle, including one for $300,000.

Sokolin was asking $519,000 for the bottle.

He initially left the bottle at home but returned home to fetch it after arriving at the tasting and seeing the crowd of oenophiles. Sokolin said the bottle was insured.

What remained of the bottle's contents gave Sokolin small consolation.

"It tasted like it still had wine taste, but not very good," he said.