Counterfeiters Sell 400 Bottles of “Swill” as $12,000 French Wine

An Italian father-and-son team are in custody.

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

If you’re going to do something illegal, you might as well reach for the stars. European authorities are tracking a group of wine counterfeiters who fake one of the world’s most expensive wines: Romanée-Conti.

The alarm began last year when the winery, located in the Burgundy area in central France, called the authorities to act upon their suspicions that fake wine was being sold as their product. When the bottles were tested, the lab found table wine in place of the famed $12,000 vino.

After a lengthy chase, European authorities have two Italian men in custody for questioning. The French government has requested that the two be extradited. Authorities estimate that the ring has sold more than 400 fake bottles, which is a 2 million euro profit.

The wine is “a forceful bouquet of violet mixed with a scent of cherry, a lively and profound ruby robe, a suaveness of exceptional finesse” according to the 1931 edition of The Great Wines Of France by Paul Ramain.

This fake wine scandal is part of a series of counterfeit food busts that have occurred across Europe and Asia. Perhaps the food industry is finally taking down the fakes.

[via Bloomberg, The Daily Mail]

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