"The Billionarie's Vinegar" paired with Chateaux La Branne Bordeaux
Our last book in the July Book and wine pairing series is "The Billionaire's Vinegar: the mystery of the world's most expensive bottle of wine" by Benjamin Wallace paired with Chateaux La Branne Bordeaux.
This book is the story abut the the so-called “Jefferson bottles” auctioned by Christie’s in 1985. The title bottle was billed as a 1787 Château Lafite; the initials “Th.J” etched on the side of the bottle were said to prove that it had originally belonged to Thomas Jefferson. Because of the historical significance the bottle, it sold for for a record-breaking amount of $156,000 to Publisher Malcolm Forbes. The story takes us through the life of Thomas Jefferson and through the lives of the current day people that all intersected with the bottle. Wine collector Hardy Rodenstock, a German impresario had an extraordinary knack for finding the rarest of vintages, even so, from the very beginning there were questions about the authenticity of the bottle. Especially since Rodenstock refused to disclose he exact source of his Jefferson bottles. The book goes on to solve the mystery on where the bottle came from. Was it actually a bottle that Thomas Jefferson owned and had been entombed in a Paris basement for over 200 years or did it come from a moldy basement of a con artist or ????
"The Billionaire's Vinegar" is a rich depiction of the history of wine, from the time of Thomas Jefferson until today—its prestige, its chemistry, and its recurring susceptibility to fraudulence. This is a fun, informative and interesting read.
This weeks pairing with "The Billionaire's Vinegar" is Chateau La Branne Bordeaux from Medoc, France, which is also where Chateau Lafite is located. This Bordeaux shows subtle aromas of red and berry fruits and vanilla spices. On the palate flavors of both red and dark fruits shine through with supple tannins. This is a well structured wine with balance. A blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot. 90 Points - Vinous
“Lafite has a soul, a beautiful, generous, kindly soul. Lafite turns bare earth into heaven. Lafite is harmony, a harmony between man and nature, because without our magnificent winegrowers, nothing would be accomplished.” Baron Eric de Rothschild.