The biggest story of the year has to be Rudy Kurniawan’s trial and conviction for counterfeiting fine wines. While this may have the most limited impact of all the stories on this list, focused primarily at the very top of the market, it is the most broadly reported story here as well.
The conviction of Kurniawan for manufacturing premium bottles, millions of dollars worth, by refilling and relabelling some of the most collectable wines in the world has shaken the confidence in not only old wines, but also the auction houses that were, we are lead to believe, unwitting participants in his scheme. This should have profound effects on future sales of collectible wines. Those with proven provenance should become even more collectable and producers of the most sought after wines will have to enact anti-counterfeiting measure in the future. There is already talk of creating registries for these wines, so that they can be tracked throughout their lives, until consumption.