Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

The Thomas Jefferson Wine Conundrum

January 8, 2012

thomas jefferson wine

thomas jefferson wine

I have not played at an open mic since Wednesday, and so I went back to looking at my archives of rejected stories. I found one I had forgotten about, that I wrote in December 1987 that I had actually intended to put up in my Brad’s rejected articles space on the blog until I did a little research on the Internet and discovered that the story I wrote about had become a massive affair in the intervening decades, and that there was even a book written about it, called Billionaire’s Vinegar. I am referring to the conundrum, the affair, the potential hoax, of the 200-year-old bottles of great Bordeaux wine allegedly belonging to Thomas Jefferson and sold for record prices at auction at the end of the 1980s. At the time I wrote an article on the potential Jefferson wine hoax based on another story – from the Revue du Vin de France – and mine was rejected even after I rewrote it and did several interviews. It would have been a precursor to what became if not a proven hoax, at least a major scandal. In the end, the affair did inspire me to write a novel called Bacchanalia, which became the first of several novels that I managed to get literary agents to try to sell – but they always received rejections…. 😉


  1. Hi Brad! I was going to send you a sms when I noticed I’ve lost your number! Are you going to the Highlander tonight? There’s this friend of mine coming from the States, you know? She wanted to have some fun, so I thought of an open mic or stuff. Please let me know if you are doing something tonight. I remind you my cellphone number instead of the “e-mail” line. Thank you!

    • Hi James, no, in fact I am not going to the Highlander. I got a huge cold Monday night after the open mics, and I have been trying to recuperate ever since – my voice is dead, I have been doing massive amounts of sleeping – I have to rest….

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