The Billionaire's Vinegar

by Karen Zarker

17 December 2008


I know someone who collects wine as an ‘investment’. Saving a bottle for years seems like a waste of a perfectly good wine to me, and not nearly as fun as enjoying this afternoon’s purchase with this evening’s dinner. On the rare occasion when I pour wine-turned-vinegar down the drain, I know my retirement savings aren’t going down the drain with it. But some find the lure of an ideal irresistible, and thus allow themselves to be transported to a drunken realm well past the time when others had switched to coffee. Wallace’s erudite approach to otherwise intelligent minds that have fermented a little too long on an elusive bottle of Cháteau Lafite Bordeaux purportedly owned by Thomas Jefferson (a man whom, it seems, wasn’t one to save a bottle for tomorrow that could be enjoyed today, either) is wickedly delightful cultural history best enjoyed with a spicy Shiraz.


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