Like any high-end product in demand among Chinese consumers, fine wine has seen a huge number of counterfeits in recent years. Exceptionally prone to fakes are French varieties—especially Bordeaux, which has actually declined in value compared to Burgundy as a result.
A new Bloomberg video takes a look at the various methods of faking, from the most sophisticated, such as re-bottling with empty bottles, down to the painfully obvious, such as making up vineyards that don’t even exist.
“Since China is the biggest consumer of Bordeaux wines, and China is historically well-known for counterfeiting a lot, we can find a lot of counterfeits in China,” says one expert interviewed.
Actually, fake wine can certainly be found anywhere, and many experts believe that it’s more prevalent in the West than buyers let on because no one wants to admit to being duped. However, the problem is especially prominent in China, where one expert estimated that 70 percent of the bottles he came across in China were fake.
Luckily, Chinese consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about wine, and thus better at spotting fakes. To counter the more sophisticated methods, vineyards are able to employ technology such as QR codes on their new bottles, although this is clearly a solution for the future, and not for countering fakes of older vintages. Watch the video embedded above for visuals of both fakes and the new methods to counter them.