....before you spend half a million dollars on it. File this under "problems we would all like to have." Florida millionaire Bill Koch was very excited 18 years ago. He had gotten his hands on a couple of dusty bottles with the initials "TH.J" engraved on them. Discovered in the cellar of a wealthy old wine family in Paris, the bottles were auctioned off as wine made for the library of none other than Thomas Jefferson, who had a habit of ordering French wine directly from producers.
Koch proudly added the bottles to his 35,000 bottle cellar. But then doubts began to surface, little bits of information here and there, enough for Koch to believe he might not have gotten the genuine article. So what is a suspicious millionaire wine lover do? Koch spent nearly another half-million dollars investigating his bottles.
The end result? Turns out the engraving was made with an electric tool, not, um, whatever it was they used back in the 1700s (acid etching?). So now Florida has an unhappy millionaire wine lover and one big lawsuit. Turns out Koch wasn't the only one fooled. Malcolm Forbes (yes THAT Forbes) also paid an astronomical sum for a bottle.
So let this be a lesson to you. Next time you go buying a 17th century wine, bring along some folks from a history museum to set you straight.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Vinography Images: Vineyard Reflections The Fake Tongue Illusion and Wine Tasting 2014 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: October 21, San Francisco Cool Beauty: Tasting the Wines of the Western Sonoma Coast Vinography Images: Shaggy Companions 2014 Pinot on the River Tasting: October 26, Healdsburg Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 21, 2014 The Essence of Wine is Ready to Buy! Vinography Images: Spring Carpet California Law and Wine: Ups and Downs
Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 KirÃ¡lyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy