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Wine Counterfeiters Get Sloppy

It used to be that spotting the counterfeit wine was pretty tricky. You had to look for a cork that was just slightly too new; a label that was just a little too glossy; or perhaps even a vintage that was never made at the winery.

These days? Just look for the used piece of bubble gum floating in the wine.

Image courtesy of BBC News

According to the BBC, someone has been foisting off some cheap wines on a Liverpool, England liquor store. This is only the latest in a series of counterfeit wine scams that seem to have hit England in recent months. The latest involved some fake wine from Australia that was discovered only after someone noticed that whoever designed the label had misspelled the name of the country.

Counterfeit wine has probably always existed, at all levels of the price spectrum, but up until recently, we only heard much about the most egregious incidents in the fine wine world.

Apparently there's some question about whether the fake Blossom Hill White Zinfandel (a brand expressly created for the UK market by Diageo) was even wine at all. Even without the used chewing gum, it was apparently a bit of a nasty surprise for anyone looking for a cheap, pink bit of plonk.

Read the full story.

Comments (24)

Wineguy999 wrote:
06.24.11 at 4:58 AM

The saddest part to me is that the BBC referred to White Zin as rose, perpetuating the myth that this crap is in the same league as the likes of Tavel.

Christopher Robinson wrote:
06.26.11 at 7:18 PM

Alder, you have just managed to reveal a well kept Californian wine industry secret. How do you think that sweet white Zin gets that bubble gum aromatics? Blossom Hill must be kicking themsleves and their QC people for allowing this bottle to go through and blow a trade secret.

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