The Billionaire's Vinegar - The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine-logo

The Billionaire's Vinegar - The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine

Benjamin Wallace

It was the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold. In 1985, at a heated auction by Christie's of London, a 1787 bottle of Château Lafite Bordeaux-one of a cache of bottles unearthed in a bricked-up Paris cellar and supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson-went for $156,000 to a member of the Forbes family. The discoverer of the bottle was pop-band manager turned wine collector Hardy Rodenstock, who had a knack for finding extremely old and exquisite wines. But rumors about the bottle soon arose. Why wouldn't Rodenstock reveal the exact location where it had been found? Was it part of a smuggled Nazi hoard? Or did his reticence conceal an even darker secret? It would take more than two decades for those questions to be answered and involve a gallery of intriguing players-among them Michael Broadbent, the bicycle-riding British auctioneer who speaks of wines as if they are women and staked his reputation on the record-setting sale; Serena Sutcliffe, Broadbent's elegant archrival, whose palate is covered by a hefty insurance policy; and Bill Koch, the extravagant Florida tycoon bent on exposing the truth about Rodenstock. Pursuing the story from Monticello to London to Zurich to Munich and beyond, Benjamin Wallace also offers a mesmerizing history of wine, complete with vivid accounts of subterranean European laboratories where old vintages are dated and of Jefferson's colorful, wine-soaked days in France, where he literally drank up the culture. Suspenseful, witty, and thrillingly strange, The Billionaire's Vinegar is the vintage tale of what could be the most elaborate con since the Hitler diaries. It is also the debut of an exceptionally powerful new voice in narrative non-fiction. From the Hardcover edition.

It was the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold. In 1985, at a heated auction by Christie's of London, a 1787 bottle of Château Lafite Bordeaux-one of a cache of bottles unearthed in a bricked-up Paris cellar and supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson-went for $156,000 to a member of the Forbes family. The discoverer of the bottle was pop-band manager turned wine collector Hardy Rodenstock, who had a knack for finding extremely old and exquisite wines. But rumors about the bottle soon arose. Why wouldn't Rodenstock reveal the exact location where it had been found? Was it part of a smuggled Nazi hoard? Or did his reticence conceal an even darker secret? It would take more than two decades for those questions to be answered and involve a gallery of intriguing players-among them Michael Broadbent, the bicycle-riding British auctioneer who speaks of wines as if they are women and staked his reputation on the record-setting sale; Serena Sutcliffe, Broadbent's elegant archrival, whose palate is covered by a hefty insurance policy; and Bill Koch, the extravagant Florida tycoon bent on exposing the truth about Rodenstock. Pursuing the story from Monticello to London to Zurich to Munich and beyond, Benjamin Wallace also offers a mesmerizing history of wine, complete with vivid accounts of subterranean European laboratories where old vintages are dated and of Jefferson's colorful, wine-soaked days in France, where he literally drank up the culture. Suspenseful, witty, and thrillingly strange, The Billionaire's Vinegar is the vintage tale of what could be the most elaborate con since the Hitler diaries. It is also the debut of an exceptionally powerful new voice in narrative non-fiction. From the Hardcover edition.
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Description:

It was the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold. In 1985, at a heated auction by Christie's of London, a 1787 bottle of Château Lafite Bordeaux-one of a cache of bottles unearthed in a bricked-up Paris cellar and supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson-went for $156,000 to a member of the Forbes family. The discoverer of the bottle was pop-band manager turned wine collector Hardy Rodenstock, who had a knack for finding extremely old and exquisite wines. But rumors about the bottle soon arose. Why wouldn't Rodenstock reveal the exact location where it had been found? Was it part of a smuggled Nazi hoard? Or did his reticence conceal an even darker secret? It would take more than two decades for those questions to be answered and involve a gallery of intriguing players-among them Michael Broadbent, the bicycle-riding British auctioneer who speaks of wines as if they are women and staked his reputation on the record-setting sale; Serena Sutcliffe, Broadbent's elegant archrival, whose palate is covered by a hefty insurance policy; and Bill Koch, the extravagant Florida tycoon bent on exposing the truth about Rodenstock. Pursuing the story from Monticello to London to Zurich to Munich and beyond, Benjamin Wallace also offers a mesmerizing history of wine, complete with vivid accounts of subterranean European laboratories where old vintages are dated and of Jefferson's colorful, wine-soaked days in France, where he literally drank up the culture. Suspenseful, witty, and thrillingly strange, The Billionaire's Vinegar is the vintage tale of what could be the most elaborate con since the Hitler diaries. It is also the debut of an exceptionally powerful new voice in narrative non-fiction. From the Hardcover edition.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Dennis Boutsikaris

Length:

5h 51m


Chapters

Free Sample

03:45

Introduction
Introduction

00:16


Chapter 1
Chapter 1

03:47


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

03:51


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

03:23


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

03:18


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

04:01


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

04:15


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

03:40


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

04:24


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

02:42


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

03:17


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

03:32


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

03:27


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

03:12


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

03:35


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

02:46


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

02:41


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

03:04


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

03:02


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

03:25


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

04:43


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

04:03


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

04:53


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

05:05


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

04:51


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

03:58


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

03:22


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

03:27


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

03:24


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

04:25


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

04:06


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

04:24


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

03:10


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

04:08


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

03:34


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

04:09


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

04:42


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

04:12


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

03:37


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

03:42


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

03:51


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

03:09


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

03:03


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

04:37


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

04:49


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

04:07


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

03:11


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

04:30


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

05:08


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

04:40


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

04:21


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

03:10


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

02:55


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

04:06


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

04:27


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

04:11


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

01:28


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

04:33


Chapter 58
Chapter 58

03:20


Chapter 59
Chapter 59

04:01


Chapter 60
Chapter 60

03:39


Chapter 61
Chapter 61

03:57


Chapter 62
Chapter 62

03:20


Chapter 63
Chapter 63

04:11


Chapter 64
Chapter 64

03:25


Chapter 65
Chapter 65

03:58


Chapter 66
Chapter 66

03:25


Chapter 67
Chapter 67

03:11


Chapter 68
Chapter 68

02:37


Chapter 69
Chapter 69

02:51


Chapter 70
Chapter 70

03:33


Chapter 71
Chapter 71

03:19


Chapter 72
Chapter 72

02:52


Chapter 73
Chapter 73

03:24


Chapter 74
Chapter 74

04:31


Chapter 75
Chapter 75

02:52


Chapter 76
Chapter 76

03:19


Chapter 77
Chapter 77

02:39


Chapter 78
Chapter 78

02:56


Chapter 79
Chapter 79

03:14


Chapter 80
Chapter 80

04:29


Chapter 81
Chapter 81

03:53


Chapter 82
Chapter 82

03:14


Chapter 83
Chapter 83

03:17


Chapter 84
Chapter 84

03:36


Chapter 85
Chapter 85

03:18


Chapter 86
Chapter 86

04:21


Chapter 87
Chapter 87

04:23


Chapter 88
Chapter 88

03:51


Chapter 89
Chapter 89

03:28


Chapter 90
Chapter 90

03:51


Chapter 91
Chapter 91

04:20


Chapter 92
Chapter 92

04:43


Chapter 93
Chapter 93

04:04


Chapter 94
Chapter 94

04:18


Chapter 95
Chapter 95

00:27