I just finished a book about the wine business called “The Billionaire’s Vinegar”. The book is centered around a find of 200 year-old wine that allegedly belonged to Thomas Jefferson. The author then uses this find as a starting point to go over the development of the big wine auctions and the “wine scene” in London and New York.
One of the central tales (and how the book got its name) is how Malcom Forbes bought the first of these bottles to go to auction, a 1787 Lafite, for $156,000. Significant time is also spent on the fake wine problems that the auction houses encountered.
I very much liked the book but, like anything that gives you a peek into the lives of the very priviledged, it is a bit of a culture shock. In my experience, wine tastings are always nice affairs but the book discusses incredible vertical tastings of prominent vineyards like Latour, Lafite and Petrus. I’ve had exactly one bottle of Latour and these guy are tasting several dozen in a row.
It’s a good book and the tales are interesting but not exactly a barn burner. If you’re looking for a page turner, go get thee some pulp. Maybe a Patterson…:)