Between sneezing, coughing, losing my voice to Barry White’s tone and a weekend of wine events that I am managing, I thought I better put down some words.
So with all the chaos (controlled) and manic madness (well-managed), I thought of an interesting story my good friend G shared with me a few weeks back. It is quite an amazing one.
When the wine market in China became a force that simply cannot be underestimated, a force like a black hole that attracted all sorts wine producers, merchants and traders, both good and bad. Stories of fake wine were heard frequently. My dad tried to order a bottle of Bordeaux in a 5-Stars hotel in Shanghai and asked jokingly if the bottle was real. He was told by the Bar Manager (with a straight face) that he would check in the back (a slap on the forehead moment). Dad quickly stopped the Bar Manager and ordered a bottle of beer instead. Nice save and no damaged done in the wallet.
But G was not so lucky. Take a look at the picture (credit to G) and see if you can spot it.
What is a cork from a Burgundy bottle doing in a Bordeaux bottle? Initially when G tasted the wine, he was wondering on it’s really youthful notes, forward upfront fruit and spiciness for a Merlot that was more than 20 years old. Not quite the style of Chateau L’Evangile or even the vintage 1990 which he is very familiar with. He took a look at the cork and was ghastly surprised. Ironically, he is also familiar with the Burgundy that the cork came from.
This picture was taken as proof because he was returning the wine to the wine merchant (a reputable one from the US) he bought the wine from. Over the years, I learnt that fake wines are only produced in China. There are many stories about where and how fakes are produced, but the most interesting one is that there are bottling facilities on ships in international water? Amazing right? It really pays to know what you are drinking. One never knows when the next fake will show up.