It is rare to see long-form journalism on the web. It’s even harder to find superb investigative journalism in wine writing. Thus the department of fine and rare wine writing just got a path-breaking new entry: “What’s in the Bottle?” published on Slate.com.
In it, Mike Steinberger explores the rarefied and occasionally louche world of supremely expensive wines that the book The Billionaire’s Vinegar made widely known. The cast of characters includes Hardy Rodenstock and billionaire Bill Koch as before, but expands to include a prominent merchant, auctioneers, collectors, and the critical role of Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Consider the piece a must-read. Uncorking a magnum of 1921 Petrus while reading is optional, however.