This week in wine fraud

What, just because Rudy Kurniawan is behind bars you think wine fraud is kaput? Think again! Here is the latest in wine fraud this week:

1. Rudy Kurniawan, found guilty by a jury of wine counterfeiting late last year, had his lawyers lodge a letter with the judge prior to his May 29 sentencing. In it, they claim, essentially, that fakes are pervasive in the world of high-end wine, Kurniawan was a big buyer, and, even though he did sell some wines that ended up being fake, it’s not the worst thing in the world since the victims were rich. Oh, and he loved the adulation from collectors and hanging out with the Burghound Allen Meadows and Jackie Chan.

2. The Danish magazine “gastro” has published a piece on a Danish couple they say scammed the wine world with–wait for it–cheaper wine in expensive bottles. According to this account on (using the estimable Google Translate), they had a wine club dubbed The White Club that carried about $25,000 a year in dues for lavish dinners staged around the world. Attendees thought were tasting the finest wines including one DRC blowout in December 2012.

3. “Fake Bordeaux in China being made on offshore boats,” says a headline in Decanter. Not too many details on this nautical-vinous scheme, however, as the story veers into the machinations of building a third-party certification against fraud. Bonne chance, mes amis!

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7 Responses to “This week in wine fraud”

  1. There’s more discussion of the White Club over on WB:

    Including a critic who wrote of one of the bottles “This is probably one of the finest bottles of Petrus I have encountered.”

  2. “This is probably one of the finest bottles of Petrus I have encountered.”

    Not hard to imagine why wine fraud is so easy to pull off.

  3. […] This week in wine fraud […]

  4. […] fraud increasing together with the popularity of the wine in the world. Dr. Vino has a number of latest and greatest updates to support this “mind-boggliness”. First of all, you can learn that Kurniawan’s […]

  5. A fool and his fake wine are a match made in heaven

  6. […] Last week, a story broke about The White Club, a group with $25k annual dues that staged lavish, wine-centric dinners around the world. We mentioned the fill-and-refill scam in Friday’s post about fake wine. […]

  7. More troubling is why Meadows continues to associate with Acker. Does he get paid by them to conduct those tastings tied to auctions? One has to question his judgment but maybe people simply don’t care and he knows it.


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