Text Size:-+
09.02.2006

Make Sure That Wine Is Real...

....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.

Read the full story.

Comments (0)

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)
Yes
 

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Pre-Order My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Into the Tank 72 Pinot Noirs on a Sunny Afternoon: Tasting at IPNC 2014 The Great White South: An Introduction to Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Vinography Images: Along the Row Time For The World's Best Prison Wine Coastal Diamonds: The Rieslings of Oregon Vinography Images: The Red Window Taking Celebrity Wine to the Next Level Vinography Images: The Blue Berry 2014 Family Winemakers Tasting: August 17, San Mateo

Favorite Posts From the Archives

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 Királyudvar "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

Archives by Month

 

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.