Friday, July 25, 2014

More on Counterfeiting and Foiling Counterfeiters

Here are two pieces on counterfeit wine to go along with my earlier post, Wine Fraud and Lessons for You...Yes, You!.
Counterfeiting has been in the news a lot lately and with Rudy Kurniawan's sentencing around the corner, it will get even more press soon. As it should. The practice has ramped up to new levels as obscenely high profits can be made while status-hounds (almost always men) chase rare wines.
Alison Griswold's piece for isn't exactly a how-to guide but it does explain how many fakes are made, and how hard it is to verify if the bottle (and the wine within) are the real thing. Who knew there was a market for empty bottles of old Bordeaux? Maybe my family could justify buying some old Bordeaux if we sold the empties from these recent tastings - Part I and Part II.
I love the mention of testing for radioactive elements in wines bottled before we produced a particular kind of radioactivity. I would imagine there are few opportunities to employ this option but it's a fascinating concept.
The other piece to explore is about as complete an analysis of methods of authenticating wine as I have ever seen. Elin McCoy on shares some cutting edge techniques used by wineries are to verify if the wine is the real McCoy (couldn't resist). These include, embossing gold (yes, real gold) onto bottles, special paper, marking inks used to print the labels, unique capsules covering the cork, holograms and more. It's a fascinating, well worth a click.
All of these amazing efforts will, almost certainly, have work-arounds from criminal enterprises.
Enjoy the reads.

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