Counterfeiting wine: low-end edition

The British tabloid The Sun reports on wine fraud at a British supermarket: a wine consumer in Britain says he bought an obviously fake bottle of Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé on closeout at Tesco. The consumer says that the label was so bad that it “looked photocopied” and had a screwcap instead of the normal cork closure. Moreover, he told The Sun, that it didn’t pass his taste test at home: “Instead of a nice French Burgundy, this was a cheap German Hock or Liebfraumilch.” A Tesco spokesperson admitted to finding “a small number of counterfeit bottles” and said that they were investigating the matter. (Click for label photos.)

Most wine counterfeiting seems to happen with supremely expensive wines, where the profits can be great on a very few number of units sold. Also, fewer people are aware of what a ’21 Petrus label should look like let alone what it should taste like. But with a supermarket brands, it seems that fraud could be more easily spotted given the large number of bottles that would need to be sold (thus more eyeballs) and consumer expectations for consistency, either in the label art or the taste. Generally, people want a fake Rolex, not a fake Timex.

But passing off cheap red wine as pinot noir, that’s another story…

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5 Responses to “Counterfeiting wine: low-end edition”

  1. Note to self: Invest in color printer when faking wine labels.

  2. Interesting label. It looks like the lot bound for the US market got diverted to the UK market. Note the ‘Kobrand’ name on the label. Another case of ‘let’s ship it to the US, they wouldn’t know pee from fuissee’.

  3. The label image is available on the web. Instead of a photocopy, it may be a black and white print of the image file.

  4. At last, an area where China is ahead of everyone else in the wine world. You generally won’t find fake labels so amateurish here, though I say that with a “Benfold’s” bag sitting on my desk.

    Cheers, Jim
    (In Beijing)

  5. Funny, Jim. Picture! Picture!

    Posting these could be a recurring theme on your blog.


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