Q. How did you come to write The Bordeaux Betrayal?
A. For several years I followed a news story about the questionable provenance of a cache of bottles of Bordeaux with Thomas Jefferson’s initials etched in them which were discovered in the 1980s behind a bricked-up wall in Paris. The bottles had originally been vetted by Christie’s auction house in London and later sold to wealthy collectors for a significant amount of money. In recent years, however, a man who owned three of the famous bottles began to suspect that he had been duped, so he set out to prove — sparing no expense — that the bottles were fakes. The story had always interested me — but when I learned that after Jefferson returned to America as Ambassador to France, he continued to order his wines from abroad, both for himself and his good friend George Washington, the idea for THE BORDEAUX BETRAYAL came to me. Would a bottle of wine once destined for George Washington that turned up 200 years later — also of dubious provenance — be a wine to die for?