Swirls: Jefferson’s wine and “liquid” assets

Two items in the news caught my attention today, both involving wine values. No, we’re not talking about inexpensive wines, but wines purchased for investment. First comes the results of a fascinating study on the relative value of an investment wine portfolio versus the performance of a well-known stock index. Let’s just say I hope you didn’t dip too deeply into the Bordeaux collection to relieve the stress when times were at their toughest. The story is covered by The Globe and Mail and Reuters, among others.

And, speaking of Bordeaux, there is the matter of the wines once owned by Thomas Jefferson. Or were they? That is the essential 25b question in a lawsuit filed in federal court in New York this week by the billionaire William Koch, who claims to have evidence that four bottles he bought for hundreds of thousands of dollars through Christie’s International, the auction house, were fakes. Were the initials “Th. J” carved into the bottles in Jefferson’s time or were they made by a modern engraving machine? It’s the latest chapter in a continuing good yarn and the coverage reflected that, ranging from Wine Spectator to New York’s Daily News.

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