In The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine, Benjamin Wallace combines the knowledge of a sommelier with an investigative reporter’s tenacity mixed in with a heavy dose of a Hollywood thriller writer.
Wallace’s work has appeared in GQ, Food & Wine, and he was the executive editor for Philadelphia Magazine. But it was during his tenure as wine writer for the magazine that he discovered the controversial tale about a 1787 bottle of Chateau Lafite Bordeaux owned by Thomas Jefferson that fetched $156,000 at auction. Intrigued by the rumors and mysteries surrounding the bottle, Wallace investigated not just that one specific transaction, but the entire ostentatious world of wine collecting in the mid-eighties.
What he uncovered and wrote about was a cast of eccentric characters who regularly consumed wine worth tens of thousands of dollars. And, some of them may have been tempted to cheat a bit in order to secure their place in the wine world. The Billionaire’s Vinegar instructs the novice drinker without boring the experts and has the compelling story of the best page-turners.
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