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[email protected]: Benjamin Wallace

Benjamin Wallace visits Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss his book "The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine." This event took place on June 6, 2008, as part of the [email protected] series. In 1985, at a heated auction by Christie's of London, a 1787 bottle of Ch?teau Lafite Bordeaux—one of a cache of bottles unearthed in a bricked-up Paris cellar and supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson—went for $156,000 to a member of the Forbes family. The discoverer of the bottle was pop-band manager turned wine collector Hardy Rodenstock, who had a knack for finding extremely old and exquisite wines. But rumors about the bottle soon arose. Why wouldn't Rodenstock reveal the exact location where it had been found? Was it part of a smuggled Nazi hoard? Or did his reticence conceal an even darker secret? Benjamin Wallace has written for GQ, Food & Wine, and Philadelphia, where he was the executive editor. He lives in Brooklyn. Visit his website at
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