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Snooth User: Philip James

Tonight: CSI NY investigates Wine Fraud

Posted by Philip James, Mar 21, 2007.

Late notice, and I've no idea how many of Snooth's blog readers actually get CSI, but tonight's show will deal with Wine Fraud.

Wine Fraud is surprisingly prevalent but traditionally hasn't been reported on by the mainstream media. Suddenly, this is a very hot topic. Earlier this month Decanter reported on an FBI investigation into Zachy's of New York and Christie's of London. Estimates for the amount of counterfeit wine on the secondary market vary from 5 to 10%. A shocking fact, that worryingly isn't confined to auction wines. In 1995, for example, Hong Kong police found 12,000 bottles of fake Mouton Cadet (which retails for $10 per bottle) in a supermarket.

Sadly, sometimes the fraud actually occurs at the wineries themselves. Chateau Giscours, one of the top 20 wineries in Bordeaux, was found guilty of wine fraud in 1998 for blending cheaper wines into that of their estate. Interestingly, this wasn't detected by anyone actually tasting the wine, and, if it wasn't for the disgruntled whistle blowing employee, may have gone undiscovered.

More standardization and control in the industry will help to fix issues like this, but it will still take years.

My thanks to Pinotblogger for the tip on this story.


Blog comment by Snooth Blog Fighting fakes, Apr 4, 2007.

[...] days after the CSI episode on wine fraud and its back in the news. This time its an article on what wineries are doing to combat [...]

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