All wrapped up into one book! Several months ago (yes, I’m incredibly delayed on this one) I received a copy of the Billionaire’s Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace from the publisher. I saw a wave of reviews in the blog world, and while I had read my copy, I didn’t have a chance to write up a review of the book until now.
I have never been so captivated by a wine book before. It read like a mystery and I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to keep reading to find out who (if anyone) was guilty and how the final proof was found.
The Billionaire’s Vinegar brought me into a world I cannot even imagine being a part of: wines that cost thousands of dollars, being opened on a regular basis, to “one up” the previous party. Tens of thousands of dollars of wine being opened in one evening. And the crux of the book: the $165,000 (yes, you are reading that correctly) bottle of wine sold at a Christie’s Wine Auction that purportedly belonged to Thomas Jefferson.
At times the book sways into the nitty gritty details of the science of dating wine, the intricacies of how bottles were made at certain time periods, and what distinguishes a fake from a real bottle, but overall, the geeky details made it even more interesting.
And this is no false tale. The stories of the lavish parties, the money thrown around at the upper echelons of wine collecting (or, in my opinion, hoarding), and the mystery of the Jefferson Bottles are all true.
I think the ultimate endorsement for the book comes in the form of my husband Matt. Wine geek he is not, history buff he is. I started to tell him about The Billionaire’s Vinegar and he wanted to read it. And read it he did, in less than an afternoon, he’d devoured the whole thing, and wasn’t even bogged down at all with the details.
If you haven’t had a chance to read this one yet I’d highly recommend it. The Billionaire’s Vinegar would also make a great holiday gift (yes, it’s September, we can start talking about holiday gifts because Christmas is only a few months away now!) for your favorite wine geek or history buff.
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