I don't drink wine yet I found the subject of this book fascinating. The book is a very interesting story about the vintage wine market and centers around discovered bottles that may have belonged to Thomas Jefferson.I could not put this book down till the very last page.You will not be disappointed!
Oct 31, 2008
Red, red wine
Interesting book, there are several themes including: Wine tasting, the business of selling rare wine, fraud and wealth. The wine piece is a bit cumbersome with far too much detail for a casual reader but the real story is fascinating. Mega wealthy "connoisseurs" spend too much money trying to impress each other while a slick hustler takes them for a ride. It was a good read that enhanced my knowledge of fine wine and told a great tale of people with money to burn. The real story however, is of a man who spends an ungodly amount of money purchasing rare wine and then spends even more to prove it is fake. I am going to send it to the few wine "snobs" I know and hope they understand that the joke is on them.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-03-17 The titular bottle, from a cache of allegedly fine, allegedly French wine, allegedly owned by Thomas Jefferson in the 1780s, set a record price when auctioned in 1985. The subsequent brouhaha over the cache's authenticity takes wine journalist Wallace on a piquant journey into the mirage-like world of rare wines. At its center are Hardy Rodenstock, an enigmatic German collector with a suspicious knack for unearthing implausibly old and drinkable wines, and Michael Broadbent, a Christie's wine expert, who auctioned Rodenstock's lucrative finds. The argument over the Jefferson bottles and other rarities aged for decades, flummoxed a wine establishment desperate to keep the cork in a controversy that might deflate the market for antique vintages. (In the author's telling, a 2006 lawsuit almost settles the issue.) Wallace sips the story slowly, taking leisurely digressions into techniques for faking wine and detecting same with everything from Monticello scholarship to nuclear physics. He paints a colorful backdrop of eccentric oenophiles, decadent tastings and overripe flavor rhetoric (Broadbent describes one wine as redolent of chocolate and "schoolgirls' uniforms"). Investigating wines so old and rare they could taste like anything, he playfully questions the very foundations of connoisseurship. (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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