In 1985, Malcolm Forbes, the American publisher, paid $156,450 for a bottle of Château Lafite 1787. This made it much too valuable to drink, so he put it on display in a special glass case. Unfortunately, the spotlights that artfully lit the precious bottle caused the ancient cork to shrink and it fell with a $156,450 splash into the bottle. Even worse was the fate of an eighteenth-century Château Margaux reputed to have once been owned by Thomas Jefferson and valued, very precisely, at $519,750. While showing off his acquisition at a New York restaurant in 1989, William Sokolin, a wine merchant, accidentally knocked the bottle against the side of a serving cart and it broke, in an instant converting the world’s most expensive bottle of wine into the world’s most expensive carpet stain. The restaurant manager dipped a finger in the wine and declared that it was no longer drinkable anyway. Bryson, Bill. At Home (p. 399). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. Bryson, Bill. At Home (pp. 398-399). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.


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