Text Size:-+

Look For The High Priced Hologram

I love Brunello. I really do. These Sangiovese based wines of Tuscany have a special place in my heart and when well made, can be utterly absorbing and fantastic. However, they have become in the last 10 years, increasingly overpriced. Perhaps they are following the popular lead of Barolo, which has become consistently the highest priced wine in Italy. Regardless, it's hard to find a decent Brunello these days for under fifty or sixty bucks, making what was once the hearty red of Tuscan farmers now the crystal decanted collectors' wine.

And now, it seems, this high-priced wine is now going to have expensive fraud detection. Billed as a "High tech innovation used to protect wine's authenticity" Brunello producers can now seal their wines with holographic images built into the foil caps. I have a hard time figuring out why this is really necessary. Perhaps some Tuscan producer can chime in here and tell me that their sales have taken a nosedive recently due to a flood of fake Brunello flooding the market, but last time I checked, fraudulent versions of this relatively small production wine (in the scope of many appellations in Italy) wasn't really an issue.

So barring any significant threat to authenticity, these shiny little additions to bottles seem like just the next great wine gadget. There's nothing wrong with that of course -- I'm all for experimentation with technology -- but I can't help think that this high tech addition to every bottle comes with a corresponding increase in price. Winemakers may be investing in this technology, but they expect their wine sales to generate a return on that investment, and barring larger production levels, or cheaper production costs, the only way to make that happen is to raise prices.

So I ask my Italian friends: do you really need a hologram on your wine?

Read the full story.

Comments (2)

Susingeshi wrote:
02.27.06 at 5:59 PM


Is the hologram wrap supposed to benefit the consumer, distributor, and/or the vineyard itself?? Cause', like, I'm thinkin'...the "average" consumer wouldn't have a clue whether or not their wine bottle's holographic image was authentic or not. However, holograms could be thought of as eye-catching, and they have been used as a protective mechanism on many important products. This sounds to me like a marketing "genius" at work... Whatever the case...it made for an interesting post, as usual. I really enjoyed reading about the Kizakura Sake, and the ensuing comments. Thanks again, Susingeshi

Alder wrote:
02.28.06 at 6:43 PM


The idea, I believe, is to benefit the consumer the winery and the region. The winery and the region benefit from not having fake Brunello on the market which might lead to lower demand, and the consumer theoretically benefits from a better guarantee of authenticity. But when was the last time you heard of anyone being worried about getting a "fake" Brunello? Not really a problem as far as I can tell. So all they are doing is adding to the cost of every already expensive bottle.

Luckily it's not a mandatory thing, so wineries can choose whether to use these holograms or not.

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Putting a Cork in Your Thanksgiving Wine Anxiety Plumbing the Depths of Portugal: A Tasting Journey Vinography Images: Rain at Last The Mysterious Art of Selling Direct Critical Consolidation in Wine What Has California Got Against Wineries? Dirty Money for a Legendary Brand Vinography Images: Tendrils Highlights from Tasting Champagne with the Masters Off to Portugal for a Drink

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.