The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine
The Billionaire’s Vinegar, now a New York Times bestseller, tells the true story of a 1787 Château Lafite Bordeaux—supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson—that sold for $156,000 at auction and of ...more
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I love wine - love it - but I honestly don't get this fascination with drinking 50+ year old bottles. And I'm saying this as someone who lives in California and drinks good wine all the time. As I sort of alluded to in another book about wine I reviewed, HEDONIST IN THE CELLAR, I think there comes a point where it stops being about the wine and more about the moolah. Perhaps an eighteenth century bottle of wine tastes amazing (I can barely ...more
The epitome of narrative non-fiction, The Billionaire's Vinegar is the tale of a world gone mad with wine lust, historical infatuation and drunk on self-importance. The Billionaire's Vinegar is much more than the story of a ...more
I read about half of this book and decided it is not for me. While it is well written, the entire book mainly consists of wine and rich people names thrown at me that it made it bit of a slow read. I did not know who is important and besides the Forbes' and Thomas Jefferson, I did not know any of the other people being mentioned.
Jefferson was apparently a huge wine fan, taking trips all around the Europe and sending big boxes of wine back home ...more
Benjamin Wallace's magazine background helps him keep the many narrative threads in The Billionaire's Vinegar tight and engaging. In addition, Wallace exhibits a sharp eye for detail and character: Hardy Rodenstock, in particular,comes across as deliciously deceptive. Exploring what Jefferson's European tour of 1787 must have been like will likely interest even readers without a taste for wine, though connoisseurs will savor the author's descriptions of the clubby (and sometimes comically extrav...more
Unfortunately, I'm considering ranking this two stars -- if I could rank the ending separately, I would -- because it was such a letdown at the end. I had read reviews that the ending seemed rushed, but this was much worse than I had imagined ...more
I could see how captivating it is for people to want to believe they have ...more
By the third chapter you will start feeling the characters desire to taste and smell these antiqued wines. My favorite part is on pages 48&49 when they discuss wine tasting as a " sweetness of death ". That is the most descriptive part that makes you long to grab a glass of old red wine and let the effervescence fill your nose.
The end is as you ...more
Mostly reading like a thriller, The Billionaire's Vinegar is a stunning analysis of oenophilic hubris and the people who prey on the men (and it is for the most part men) who suffer from it.
Shockingly, $156,000 was paid at auction for a supposed bottle of Lafite purportedly once owned by Thomas Jefferson, which had been sealed up in a Paris basement, hidden away from Nazi plunderers. In retrospect, they all should have known, but like other hubristic types, they fell prey to ...more
"The Billionaire's Vinegar" explores the foundation and development of the world's most famous wine region while following the story of the infamous "Jefferson Bottles" found and sold by Hardy Rodenstock. In doing so, it also dives into th ...more
Furthermore, Wallace is a good writer. This ...more
If you know nothing about wine, this modern-day forensics mystery compels with historical twists and turns, scientific discovery and lots of high-class scheudenfraud. (Think Vanity Fair Magazine or the New York Times. This is that article that you wish were a book.) For wine lo ...more
[discussing Kip Forbes]”