Bogus Vintage Wine

Status: Counterfeiting scam
The Washington Post reports on a growing problem in the vintage wine business: bogus vintage wines. Apparently many collectors who shell out thousands of dollars for a rare bottle of wine are discovering that what they bought is a fake:

"The cloud of shame over the last 10 years has been the market for counterfeit trophy wine." Sutcliffe [head of the international wine department at Sotheby's] said there was a psychological block to dealing with the problem because real vintage wine makers in Europe prefer to ignore what is going on as they are afraid of being tarnished with the same brush. "Asian (buyers) tend to ignore the problem because they don't want to lose face, but in America they are waking up to it."

Unfortunately the article doesn't discuss how people discover they've got a bogus vintage wine. Do they taste it and realize that it's plonk? Personally, I doubt I would be able to tell the difference (which is why I'm not a wine collector... though I enjoy wine).


Posted on Sun Feb 12, 2006


just an assumption but I think what happens is after buying this so called "vintage wine" they have it appraised or just show it off to someone "in the know" and are then advised that the labeling is not correct, the type of bottle or cork is not accurate or any one of a 100 different things.

Just like art, there are numerous tell tale signs that the work in question is counterfeit.

Though, some probably have opened and tasted the wines in question I think the scenarios above are the most likely explanation of just how the wines are determined to be bogus.
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Mon Feb 13, 2006  at  06:27 AM
A while ago I was chatting with someone who was a true wine collector. Had 1000's of bottles, completely renovated his basement to make it climate controlled,went wine tasting most weekends etc.
He knew all the things to look for to appraise a wine. I the art analogy is the best one here - if you pay a lot of money for art (or wine) without it being appraised, then chances are you will be ripped off.
I guess people like feeling 'upper class' by collecting posh things.
Posted by AussieBruce  on  Mon Feb 13, 2006  at  06:58 AM
I'm trying to feel sorry for these victims, but something tells me it serves them right if they pay thousands of dollars for a bottle of wine.
How about using that money to drill a well for people who have nothing at all to drink?
At least that way you could be sure you're getting real water.
Posted by Big Gary, late for feeding time  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Mon Feb 13, 2006  at  11:55 AM
Im sure that u can't just pick up a coupla tools and head off to drill a well for people who have no access to clean water like in Africa. It would cost more than any expensive bottle of wine...the irrigation process is a lot more complicated than Gary makes out..i think. Although yr point has been taken give the money where its due...
Posted by merve  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  01:01 AM
I have to disagree with you there, merve. It's definitely possible to drill a decent well for a few thousand dollars, which is the price of a high-end bottle of wine.
Maybe that wine really is incredibly delicious (I guess I'm not likley ever to taste it myself!), but its nutritional value is probably about the same as that of the bottle of wine I bought for $2.99, which tasted pretty good.
Posted by Big Gary, late for feeding time  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  04:27 PM
Why don't you give that 2,99 to a homeless person to buy a sandwich you selfish prick?
Posted by Melissa  on  Wed Feb 15, 2006  at  06:57 PM
Actually, I did give a homeless person a sandwich, just the other day. He might have preferred a $2.99 bottle of wine, though.
Posted by Big Gary, on another quail hunt  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Thu Feb 16, 2006  at  12:11 PM
lmao BG smile I am reminded of the time I gave a homeless person a sandwich and he threw it at me...guess he would have preferred wine as well
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Thu Feb 16, 2006  at  02:09 PM
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