Faked world-class wines are in the news enough these days that I can decisively call them trendy. They've already got a book and their own Hollywood movie on the way. But I didn't know just how chic counterfeit wine was until I found out that my friend Lettie Teague (who happens to be the executive wine editor of Food & Wine Magazine) recently spent some time faking a bottle of 1982 Château Mouton Rothschild for a dinner party.
Of course, like many of Teague's most interesting wine-related exploits, this latest adventure was done in the service of a story, which appears in the October issue of Food & Wine. It's worth a read, if only for the chuckle you might get at how bent out of shape some of her friends get when she reveals that the 100 point wine that some of them loved wasn't quite what they thought it was.
Teague goes to a moderate amount of effort to fake her wine, enlisting the help of a winemaker friend in Washington state, but she missed out on the real fun as far as I'm concerned. She bought a real bottle of the stuff, so she didn't get a chance to doctor up a bottle with a fake label and spend hours "distressing" her new creation to make it look authentic. Half the fun would have been figuring out how to fade the ink and where to abrade the paper, not to mention figuring out how to grow a little mold under the capsule.
Despite skipping some of the parts of the counterfeiting process that I would have been most excited about, the story is a fun read. Check it out.
Thanks to my friend Jack at Fork & Bottle for the tip.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Wine and Beauty Explained San Francisco's Lost Sommeliers Finding Pirate Treasure With a Corkscrew Vinography Unboxed: Week of March 1, 2015 Vinography Images: Sonoma Spring Siduri Wines: Rewarding the Search for Flavor Vinography Unboxed: Week of February 22, 2015 Vinography Images: Frost and Fog The Glory of 2013 Napa Cabernet: Tasting Premiere Napa Valley A Dose of Claret: Visiting With 2010 Bordeaux
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune