The Billionaire's Vinegar

The Billionaire's Vinegar

The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine

Paperback - 2008
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In 1985 a bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafite Bordeaux supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson was sold for the sum of $156,000. Benjamin Wallace goes on the trail of this most expensive of wines, and meets along the way Nazis, conspiracies and millionaires.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c2008.
ISBN: 9780307338778
Branch Call Number: 641.2223
Characteristics: 319 p. ; 25 cm.


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Nov 28, 2016

I've shelved this book as "Curiosity" to signify that it cannot fit into any of the usual shelves; it appears to lie somewhere between social commentary (reflecting bizarre or outlandish human behavior) and outright fiction (despite the fact that the events recounted really happened). It purports to be a mystery but the only thing mysterious is the readiness of supposedly sophisticated people to be hoodwinked into paying completely outrageous sums for bottles of wine that in many cases were likely to be undrinkable and to believe (or pretend to believe) fanciful claims about the origin of the items offered for sale -- all of this in pursuit of some kind of one-upmanship over their peers.
The tale told here has no relationship to the ordinary pleasure of enjoying a decent glass of wine. This is all about what Noel Coward famously termed "wretched excess". The saving grace is that the men who were taken in were willing participants in the scheme, they could certainly afford to do so and they got what they deserved.

Mar 12, 2011

Even if your only connection with wine is an occasional glass of merlot with dinner, this book will keep you interested and turning pages!


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