Pandora's Bottle
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Pandora's Bottle

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  20 reviews

What happens when you pin your hopes on a single event—and it all goes terribly wrong? When that event is the uncorking of a fabled bottle of 1787 Château Lafite once owned by Thomas Jefferson, the repercussions prove emotional, financial, theatrical and, in every way, unexpected. In this provocative tale of hubris and redemption, aspiration and perseverance, first-time no

Paperback, 230 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Flint Mine Press (first published June 12th 2010)
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Tahlia Newland
Pandora’s Bottle is a delightful and skilfully executed work of contemporary fiction by a talented Awesome Indie author. The story revolves around the purchase and drinking of a very special bottle of wine, and is told from the points of view of various people connected to the events. The owner of the bottle, the owner of the restaurant, the waiter and the girl invited to share the bottle.

Each of these complex characters has their own engaging story that brings them into the sphere of this bott...more
Caren ~ the misfit geek
This was such great fun to read. I enjoyed it start to finish. The author’s writing style pulled me into the book immediately. The scenes were wonderfully detailed without becoming tedious. I could easily picture what was happening without much effort.

The wonderfully quirky cast of characters was what really made the book entertaining. They were so well developed and just delightful to read about. They often made me laugh out loud. They each have their own story that makes a unique contribution...more
Sy Hampton’s bid of half a million dollars at a wine auction wins him a bottle of wine. Yes, one bottle, but what a bottle. A Bordeaux, Chateau Lafite 1787 once owned by Thomas Jefferson, and possibly still drinkable after more than 200 years! The winemaker at that time had experimented with the best barrel of the exceptional 1787 vintage, using extended maceration for 40 days and adding a secret ingredient. “La chose secrète” was still a mystery. No one knew what he had added, but it was suppos...more
readinghearts (Lyn M)
I would class Pandora's Bottle by Joanne Sydney Lessner as a delightful read. Sy Hampton, a millionaire wine connosieur, bids half a million dollars for a bottle of 1787 Chateau LaFite once owned by Thomas Jefferson. It is the last of the batch, and said to have properties that would render it still drinkable 200 years later. Seems pretty straight forward, right? But as Sy looks over his life, he finds that he cannot come up with anyone he knows that he wants to drink it with. When he picks a pe...more
I found it hard to get into this book, but I kept reading anyway. There were a few humorous parts and many interesting discussions on different wines. However, I found the characters lacking substance, I really didn't feel anything towards them. The main character, Valentina, whose favorite word was "um" was utterly annoying. The relationship between Sy and his son was probably the most legitimate part of the book. I picked this book because there were so many 4 and 5 star reviews and I am wonde...more
What would you do to acquire a bottle of wine owned by Thomas Jefferson? Would it still be drinkable? Find out by reading this author's possible version of what happens. Or you could just get a bottle of wine from Becker Vineyards. Nice, light read. Pure entertainment. Very satisfactory ending.
My review from A Book and A Review:

Synopsis: Sy, an incredibly rich, middle aged, wine enthusiast, has purchased a $510, 000, plus tax, bottle of wine. It is the last one Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution. His plans are to share it with Valentina, his secretary and current infatuation. Valentina's idea of wine is to open the bottle, drink it and throw the bottle away! Will she learn enough about wine to not look like a fool to Sy? Will Sy win her heart or is someone else also vying for...more
Review Copy Provided by Author

For me, this book could easily be divided into 2 parts, before the wine and after the wine…and the second part was more interesting than the first. I will say up front that I’m not a huge wine drinker and when I do, I go for the cheap sweet wines – I’ve never been to a tasting class or anything like that. So some of the intricacies of it went over my head. I do think that someone who enjoys wine would probably enjoy the first part more than I did. But secondly, it s...more
Debbie Robson
I don't normally read "popular/beach/holiday" novels but this is a gem. It only took me a page or so to realise that Lessner has really got a handle on her subject. The Lafite is cleverly brought to life and all the main characters are deftly drawn. Sy Hampton is believable, I love the whole wine/restaurant world that Lessner has created. Valentina with her red heart motifs and her trashy friend and Vito and his speech mannerisms. And Tripp of course. My favourite scenes are at the two quite dif...more
Apr 02, 2013 Erin rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
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Richard Levangie
Joanne Lessner's Pandora's Bottle was a fun read because it touched on so many things that I did as a younger man, including stints as a restaurateur and as a food and wine writer. In fact, I was surprised to learn that Joanne has no experience in any of these areas because she nailed down the details perfectly. I've met each of her characters in my own life as a professional wine taster and restaurant critic, and that just brought this story to life. The writing, too, is crisp and tight, and mo...more
An interesting story about wine, but what a horrible name. It made it sound like the book would be much more dramatic than it was....I mean, does the author remember what Pandora's box was? My major complaint was the treatment of a secondary character who was gay but had a wife and kids; I was absolutely offended with the author's shallow judgments about this very real situation.
This was a cute, light story that I did enjoy. I loved how wine and many things related to wine were infused throughout the book, even though I don't really drink wine myself. Although that was part of the attraction - - one of the main characters is similar to me that way, and I could definitely identify with how she reacted to situations she found herself in.
Open Pandora's Bottle, and what do you get? Trouble!!! This is a delightful book of money, trouble, and love. The book is centered around millionaire Sy Hampton and his purchase of an extremely rare bottle of wine. But enough of the spoilers. Ms. Lessner tells a well-written story that kept me interested and involved. A very light, good read.
This was a fun read. I enjoyed it from start to finish. I found the plot to be interesting and it held my attention. I loved all the characters and felt such empathy for both Sy and Valentina. Tripp made me both laugh and cry. Eric was such a sweetheart. I loved how the characters changed and developed throughout. It was truly a great ride.
Peggy Walker
Well, I did learn quite a bit about wine while reading this book, but ultimately that's not enough for me to recommend it. The characters were sort of caricatures...cartoonish, in fact. The cyclical nature of the story and the characters seemed very gimmicky. It was highly rated on a book blog I liked, but I found it definitely lacking.
A unique and delightful read. Loved the premise and the supporting cast of characters. Would definitely read more by this author!
Great fun! Great Idea. Nice characters, well developed. Like to chat with them all. In my library! -M
Lisa R.
I thought that it wasn't as interesting as it could have been. All hopes pinned on a bottle.
Bonnie M. Benson
An interesting read with some great behind the scene views of restaurants and the wine world.
Betty Woodrum
Betty Woodrum marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2014
Laura Dogsmom
Laura Dogsmom marked it as to-read
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Jenn marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2014
Marsha marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2014
Cynthia Jones
Cynthia Jones marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2014
Heather marked it as to-read
Aug 06, 2014
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Joanne Sydney Lessner is the author of PANDORA'S BOTTLE, a novel inspired by the true story of the world's most expensive bottle of wine (Flint Mine Press, 2010), which Paperback Dolls named one of the top five books of 2010. THE TEMPORARY DETECTIVE (Dulcet Press, April 2012) introduces Isobel Spice, aspiring actress and resourceful office temp turned amateur sleuth. Isobel's adventures continue i...more
More about Joanne Sydney Lessner...
The Temporary Detective (Isobel Spice #1) Bad Publicity (An Isobel Spice Novel, #2) And Justice for Some (Isobel Spice #3) Serial Sleuths, Volume I: Haunted

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