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The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine

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The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine Cover

ISBN13: 9780307338785
ISBN10: 0307338789
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Billionaire's Vinegar tells the true story of a 1787 Chateau Lafite Bordeaux — supposedly Thomas Jefferson's — that sold for $156,000 at auction, and the eccentrics who intersected with it. Was it truly entombed in a Paris cellar for two hundred years? Or did it come from a secret Nazi bunker? Or from the moldy basement of a devilishly brilliant con artist?

As Benjamin Wallace unravels the mystery, we meet a gallery of intriguing players — from Michael Broadbent, the bicycle-riding British auctioneer who speaks of wines as if they are women; to Serena Sutcliffe, Broadbent's elegant archrival at Sotheby's; to Hardy Rodenstock, the obsessive wine collector who discovered the bottle; to Bill Koch, the Florida tycoon who is bent on exposing the truth about Rodenstock.

Review:

"Part detective story, part wine history, this is one juicy tale....as delicious as a true vintage Lafite." Business Week

Review:

"Splendid...A delicious mystery that winds through musty European cellars, Jefferson-era France and Monticello, engravers' shops, a nuclear physics lab, rival auction houses and legendary multi-day tastings conducted by the shadowy German who had discovered the Jefferson collection...Ripe for Hollywood." USA Today

Review:

"This is a gripping story, expertly handled by Benjamin Wallace who writes with wit and verve, drawing the reader into a subculture strewn with eccentrics and monomaniacs...Full of detail that will delight wine lovers. It will also appeal to anyone who merely savours a great tale, well told." The Economist

Review:

"A page-turner — What makes Wallace's book worth reading is the way he fleshes out the tale with entertaining digressions into Jefferson's wine adventures, how to fake wines (who knew a shotgun blast could make a bottle look old?) and dead-on portraits of several major wine personalities who intersected unhappily with the wines." Bloomberg

Review:

"Wallace's depiction of rabid oenophiles staging almost decadent events to swill rare wine, knowingly depleting the reserves, are as much fun as the mystery." The New York Daily News

Synopsis:

“Part detective story, part wine history, this is one juicy tale, even for those with no interest in the fruit of the vine. . . . As delicious as a true vintage Lafite.” —BusinessWeek

The Billionaire’s Vinegar tells the true story of a 1787 Château Lafite Bordeaux—supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson—that sold for $156,000 at auction and of the eccentrics whose lives intersected with it. Was it truly entombed in a Paris cellar for two hundred years? Or did it come from a secret Nazi bunker? Or from the moldy basement of a devilishly brilliant con artist? As Benjamin Wallace unravels the mystery, we meet a gallery of intriguing players—from the bicycle-riding British auctioneer who speaks of wines as if they are women to the obsessive wine collector who discovered the bottle. Suspenseful and thrillingly strange, this is the vintage tale of what could be the most elaborate con since the Hitler diaries. Updated for paperback with a new epilogue.

About the Author

Benjamin Wallace has written for GQ, the Washington Post, Food and Wine, and Philadelphia, where he was the executive editor. He lives in Brooklyn. Visit his website at BenjaminWallace.net.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Gregory Gallardo, September 16, 2009 (view all comments by Gregory Gallardo)
The Billionaire's Vinegar is a fine true-crime story, but gentler than most since the victim is an old bottle of wine. From the onset the reader knows that the bottles of wine attributed to Thomas Jefferson are probably fake, and the chief suspect appears early on, but the details of the recherche world of fine wines compel further reading. The two centuries of history of Bordeaux and its wines is in itself a worthwhile read. As with any good non-fiction, it is the people who bring the story alive. There are good guys and bad guys and at least one character that could go either way. The only frustration of the book is that the perpetrators of the crimes are not brought to justice.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307338785
Author:
Wallace, Benjamin
Publisher:
Three Rivers Press (CA)
Subject:
Beverages - Wine & Spirits
Subject:
History
Subject:
General
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Cooking and Food-Wines of the World
Subject:
Wine
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20090431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
7.94x5.26x.71 in. .53 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Beverages » Bartending and Liquor
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wine » General
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wine » Wines of the World
Cooking and Food » Beverages » Wines and Beer
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
Featured Titles » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Antiques » General

The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Three Rivers Press (CA) - English 9780307338785 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Part detective story, part wine history, this is one juicy tale....as delicious as a true vintage Lafite."
"Review" by , "Splendid...A delicious mystery that winds through musty European cellars, Jefferson-era France and Monticello, engravers' shops, a nuclear physics lab, rival auction houses and legendary multi-day tastings conducted by the shadowy German who had discovered the Jefferson collection...Ripe for Hollywood." USA Today
"Review" by , "This is a gripping story, expertly handled by Benjamin Wallace who writes with wit and verve, drawing the reader into a subculture strewn with eccentrics and monomaniacs...Full of detail that will delight wine lovers. It will also appeal to anyone who merely savours a great tale, well told."
"Review" by , "A page-turner — What makes Wallace's book worth reading is the way he fleshes out the tale with entertaining digressions into Jefferson's wine adventures, how to fake wines (who knew a shotgun blast could make a bottle look old?) and dead-on portraits of several major wine personalities who intersected unhappily with the wines."
"Review" by , "Wallace's depiction of rabid oenophiles staging almost decadent events to swill rare wine, knowingly depleting the reserves, are as much fun as the mystery."
"Synopsis" by , “Part detective story, part wine history, this is one juicy tale, even for those with no interest in the fruit of the vine. . . . As delicious as a true vintage Lafite.” —BusinessWeek

The Billionaire’s Vinegar tells the true story of a 1787 Château Lafite Bordeaux—supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson—that sold for $156,000 at auction and of the eccentrics whose lives intersected with it. Was it truly entombed in a Paris cellar for two hundred years? Or did it come from a secret Nazi bunker? Or from the moldy basement of a devilishly brilliant con artist? As Benjamin Wallace unravels the mystery, we meet a gallery of intriguing players—from the bicycle-riding British auctioneer who speaks of wines as if they are women to the obsessive wine collector who discovered the bottle. Suspenseful and thrillingly strange, this is the vintage tale of what could be the most elaborate con since the Hitler diaries. Updated for paperback with a new epilogue.

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