Download E-books The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine PDF

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By Benjamin Wallace

“Part detective tale, half wine background, this can be one juicy story, even for people with no real interest in the fruit of the vine. . . . As scrumptious as a real classic Lafite.” —BusinessWeek

The Billionaire’s Vinegar, now a New York Times bestseller, tells the real tale of a 1787 Château Lafite Bordeaux—supposedly owned through Thomas Jefferson—that bought for $156,000 at public sale and of the eccentrics whose lives intersected with it. used to be it really entombed in a Paris cellar for 2 hundred years? Or did it come from a mystery Nazi bunker? Or from the moldy basement of a devilishly wonderful con artist? As Benjamin Wallace unravels the secret, we meet a gallery of interesting players—from the bicycle-riding British auctioneer who speaks of wines as though they're girls to the obsessive wine collector who stumbled on the bottle. Suspenseful and thrillingly unusual, this can be the classic story of what may be the so much intricate con because the Hitler diaries.

Updated for paperback with a brand new epilogue.

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Then, after seeing a rickety footstool promote at public sale for $290,000, which Sokolin inspiration absurd, he repriced the bottle at a wholly arbitrary $519,750. IT used to be in this lull that Sokolin attended the 4 Seasons occasion. The sponsors have been Chateau & property and Château Margaux. through the past due Nineteen Eighties, an annual U. S. roadshow was once de rigueur for the head growths of Bordeaux. whereas, on a mass scale, the USA had come past due to wine, its high-end creditors had exercised a disproportionate impression out there because the past due Nineteen Sixties. As of 1990, 1 / 4 of all Pétrus and half the creation of the Domaine de los angeles Romanée-Conti, the main esteemed manufacturer in Burgundy, will be going to the U. S. within the spring of 1989, the Margaux crew have been in big apple to advertise the 1986 classic, certainly one of their most powerful showings because the Mentzelopoulos relations had acquired the property greater than a decade past. Corinne Mentzelopoulos all started the night by means of getting up and speaking concerning the designated vintages, 1953 and 1961, that Margaux was once delivering that evening, and in regards to the 1986 wine that will be tasted. Then the meal obtained lower than approach. a couple of classes had already been served whilst Sokolin learned he must have introduced the bottle with him. What greater party to teach off this terribly infrequent bottle of Margaux than at a dinner to honor its makers? He stated as a way to his spouse Gloria. “Don’t be ridiculous,” she stated. “Nope,” he acknowledged. “I’m going to get it. ” Sokolin took a taxi to the prewar construction the place he lived at the top West part, throughout a darkened garden from the Museum of common background. getting into his ninth-floor condo, Sokolin handed an outsized unfashionable poster advert for Mumm’s Champagne and lobby bookcases choked with works approximately wine and Jefferson. He crossed the blond parquet flooring and become the eating room, the place, rather than wallpaper, the ends of wood situations that had as soon as contained nice wines have been prepared in a vinous mosaic. A shelf displayed reproductions of Jefferson’s wineglasses, a huge Lafite bottle opened after Gloria’s mother’s funeral, and an eighteenth-century Madeira decanter Sokolin had opened for the occasion to release his ebook Liquid resources. He retrieved the Jefferson bottle from a freestanding refrigerated wine closet within the nook of the room. while he arrived again on the 4 Seasons, part an hour after he had left, he introduced the bottle on to the Margaux desk and acknowledged to Madame Mentzelopoulos, “I guess you by no means observed a bottle this previous. ” She had, in fact, noticeable this very bottle, in the course of its recorking for Whitwhams. Sokolin left it with the desk for thirty mins. “He was once exhibiting it to everyone,” Julian Niccolini, then the maître d’, recalled later. “Everyone used to be suspicious of this bottle. ” earlier than dessert, Sokolin retrieved it from the Margaux desk and took it to teach to Rusty Staub. Sokolin was once cradling the bottle in a bag, together with his left arm, whilst it occurred. Niccolini observed the whole lot. simply contained in the Pool Room, to the left of the door, stood a gueridon, a low, metal-topped trolley used as a carrier station via waiters.

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