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The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most… (2009)

by Benjamin Wallace

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7813719,873 (3.49)36
It was the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold. In 1985, a 1787 bottle of Cha^teau Lafite Bordeaux--one of a cache unearthed in a bricked-up Paris cellar and supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson--sold at auction for $156,000. The discoverer of the bottle was pop-band manager turned wine collector Hardy Rodenstock, who had a knack for finding extremely old and exquisite wines. But rumors soon arose. Why wouldn't Rodenstock reveal the exact location where it had been found? Was it part of a smuggled Nazi hoard? Or did his reticence conceal an even darker secret? Author Wallace also offers a history of wine, complete with vivid accounts of subterranean European laboratories where old vintages are dated and of Jefferson's colorful, wine-soaked days in France. This tale of what could be the most elaborate con since the Hitler diaries is also the debut of a new voice in narrative non-fiction.--From publisher description.… (more)
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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Fascinating world but so irrelevant and too long for the subject ( )
  ibkennedy | Jan 17, 2020 |
This is nonfiction about a 1787 bottle of wine that supposedly belonged to Thomas Jefferson, and wine collecting, with 31 pages of end notes. It was more interesting than it sounds.
1 vote riofriotex | Oct 2, 2019 |
UGH. I can't even finish this one. I am truly shocked by all the good reviews this book got on Goodreads. I guess I just didn't "get it". Reading this book is like watching a movie where all the characters look alike and it's full of low lighting and low voices so you can never really be sure what's going on. Way too many wine facts and not enough plot to keep me turning the pages. ( )
  LizBurkhart | Sep 5, 2019 |
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.
  JRCornell | Dec 8, 2018 |
An entertaining read about the world of wine collecting. At its heart is a ridiculously expensive bottle of wine purported to have been owned by Thomas Jefferson. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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To my parents,

and in memory of Claire Wickham Woodroffe
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A hush had come over the West Room. Photographers' flashes strobed the standing-room-only crowd sliently, and the lone sound was the crisp voice of the auctioneer.
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