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The Wine Police Blotter

If you had any doubt about wine's gaining popularity around the world, you need look no further than this: even the criminals want it. And we're not talking about just grabbing bottles off the shelf of a convenience store. These thieves know what they are doing. From the guy in Bellevue, Washington who managed to find eight bottles in a store whose combined value topped $3,400 (his top three were 2000 Chateau Latours) to Canberra, Australia where thieves broke in and took $100,000 worth of wine from a private collection, targeting only the most expensive (top of the list was Penfolds Grange Hermitage), we all have to watch out for thieves with good taste. Just be glad you don't live in Italy where you would have to protect your stash from a group that has struck often enough and consistently enough to be known as the "Banda del Brunello." Luckily those with deep cellars can rest easy in the town of Potenza, because this notorious gang has been "smashed" by the local police. I suspect they were smashed before the police got there.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.