When Valerie Beauvais, author of a book on Thomas Jefferson’s travels through the wine regions of France and Italy, turns up dead near Lucie Montgomery’s Virginia vineyard, Lucie is certain Valerie’s murder has something to do with a 200-year-old bottle of Bordeaux Jefferson may once have purchased for his good friend George Washington. Though Lucie plans to auction off the valuable bottle at a charity auction, others have different plans for what’s becoming a wine to die for. As Lucie and her eccentric winemaker Quinn Santori bring in the last grapes of the season, Quinn’s controversial past becomes intertwined with Valerie’s death and the rare Bordeaux. As Lucie unravels the secrets of a long-forgotten wine scandal involving fraud and betrayal, she discovers a web of deceit affecting not only the international wine world, but her own world as well.
For those interested in the riveting, real-life account of the now-famous “Jefferson bottles” — a cache of wine discovered behind a bricked-up wall in Paris in the 1980s — I recommend The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine by Benjamin Wallace. The true story behind the priceless, controversial bottles was the basis for The Bordeaux Betrayal and has been reported on in the press for a number of years. Wallace’s meticulously researched book, which pulls the story together, will keep you up reading past your bedtime.