Inside the Shady World of Counterfeit Chinese Wines

December 7, 2011

Wine continues to grow in popularity across mainland China (just like India), often demanding outrageously high prices. Along with the rise in popularity comes the rise in counterfeit offerings. Here are two examples. 

1) Counterfeit Tiger Bone Wine Auction: China has publicly professed a desire to end the trade in endangered animals like tigers, but their actions suggest differently. Guardian writer Jonathan Watts went undercover at an auction featuring wines fortified with tiger, rhino and other animal bones. When he revealed himself as a journalist, he was promptly kicked out and the auction was suspended. "It's a real pity," one man said. "I came here just for the tiger bone wine. It's really good stuff, but I haven't been able to buy any for a long time."

2) Most Complex Wine Counterfeiting Scheme YetCh√Ęteau Lafite Rothschild is one of the finest wines to come from France. Well, apparently Chinese counterfeiters are looking to make a quick buck off the label. They have taken to removing empty bottles from dumpsters outside restaurants, creating a blend of cheap wine, and refilling the bottles at a tremendous markup. Most Chinese customers cannot tell the difference because they have such little experience with wine. 

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