When journalist Benjamin Wallace first heard about the sale of a 1787 bordeaux belonging to Thomas Jefferson, he didn’t realize the intrigue behind the bottle’s record-setting $156,000 price tag. Questions about the wine’s authenticity — and the enigmatic German collector who discovered it — sent the Philly Mag editor-at-large from Monticello to Munich in search of the truth. The result is The Billionaire’s Vinegar (Crown; $24.95), a rich blend of historical narrative and page-flipping mystery that will keep both oenophiles and teetotalers riveted.
Pulse: 60-Second Critic: Give Me Your Most Expensive Bottle
Originally published in Philadelphia Magazine, May 2008