Wine counterfeiting on CBS Sunday morning

CBS Sunday Morning ran a 10-minute segment on wine fraud yesterday. The full segment is embedded above.

It centers on Bill Koch, including having the CBS correspondent walking around his cavernous cellar at his Palm Beach home, discussing his various counterfeit bottles. The segment also mentions the Kurniawan trial, talks with Maureen Downey, and examines some anti-counterfeiting technology at Opus One.

While it is an important and interesting subject, the piece could have been stronger. Interviewing other collectors, auction houses, some of the three Burgundy producers who testified at the trial or a wine critic would have made for a stronger segment–while Opus One may be faked in China, Bill Koch does not complain of having fave bottles of it in his cellar, so it would have made a tighter segment to have one of the producers involved his his story.

At any rate, it’s good to see the story getting reaching a broader audience. I was at a Christmas party over the weekend where people were talking about the trial, so it’s good the story is getting out there. A lot of people said it would make a great movie and I agree–maybe one day it will reach the silver screen.

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7 Responses to “Wine counterfeiting on CBS Sunday morning”

  1. I’m surprised they didn’t use Bill Plante, since he is a world class wino himself and knows quite a bit about wine.

  2. Bill Plante has been trying to get a story together about this saga for a few years. We met for coffee in SF right after Rudy was arrested. Fascinating guy. He would make a great piece with his knowledge.
    I have to say, I was also a bit surprised with the piece. They interviewed me for over 5 hours about the meat of the subject, and none of that made it in. Some of that info would have made the piece much meatier for wine folks, but could likely have skimmed over the heads of onlookers without proper context.
    I heard from many of the press folks who packed the courtroom that without a strong draw, it’s a hard story to sell to non-winos, and Bill Koch getting screwed in unfortunately a strong draw.
    During the trial, he was front page news. In a wine world, Aubert de Villaine, Christophe Roumier and Laurent Ponsot all testifying on the same day would be front page news. It’s interesting to note that French press were much more interested in the meat of the story, so those articles and reports will be interesting to see.

    But at least they covered it! The more light we can shine in the problem, the better!


  3. Fascinating! So proud of our friend Maureen Downey and all the great work she is doing to help expose counterfeit wines!

  4. Interesting clip. Nice to see the people involved with the situation. Hard to imagine Bill Koch not buying wine anymore.

  5. As a wine drinker I really don’t care about these rich trophey label collectors.

  6. […] the counterfeited wines, Rudy Kurniawan trial and more. Just go and read (and watch) them – CBS Sunday Morning episode, Outtakes form the trial, the […]

  7. As a wine drinker I really don’t care about these rich trophey label collectors.


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