Wine a Target for Canny Counterfeiters

The wine industry has seen its fair share of defrauders over the years, with some building up whole identities as wine connoisseurs, capable of fooling renowned professionals and selling million dollar bottles at auctions. Counterfeit wine is becoming more common and is now said to  represent a billion-dollar market. In fact, in China, the counterfeit wine problem has become so common it has been referred to as an epidemic, with The Interprofessional Council of Bordeux Wine estimating that 30,000 bottles of fake imported wine are sold per hour there.

While this still does occur, less expensive brands are also now at risk of having their wines copied and sold illegally, as counterfeiters can easily refill and recork bottles and pass them off as originals. Counterfeiters selling inauthentic wine online can put winemakers at risk of brand infringement offences.

However, many vintners are now taking proactive anti-counterfeit measures to protect their brands from infringement. Frank Cornelissen has invested in a new technology which allows buyers to scan QR-codes to ensure the authenticity of a bottle, as well as using a unique, plastic cork which is much more difficult to imitate than regular corks. Other technology available to brand owners is Kodak’s new system for printing tasteless, odourless labels on bottles that can be scanned exclusively by Kodak’s own scanners.

For those unable to invest in expensive anti-counterfeiting technology, experts recommend getting to know potential sellers and relying on relationships and recommendations from known sources in order to make informed decisions.

The risks to consumers of drinking counterfeit wine and alcohol is extremely serious and can even lead to death. Issues like this is why Yellow Brand Protection is behind its mission for "A Cleaner Internet. A Better Society" and has launched the #ImForReal initiative to make consumers aware about the dangers that counterfeit goods constitutes to people and society.



Understanding Counterfeiting

Preventing Counterfeits

Fight back against counterfeits