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How would you fake wine, anyway? You could blend two vintages, say a bottle of ’81 Pétrus (average auction price: $1,194) and a bottle of ’83 Pétrus ($1,288), to make two bottles of ’82 Pétrus ($4,763 each). It would be the right wine and taste the right age; even if it didn’t taste exactly like ’82, it wouldn’t taste exactly like ’81 or ’83 either. Close enough. With lesser wines that didn’t historically brand their corks with the winemaker or vintage, you could simply relabel the bottle as something much more expensive, by laser-printing a new label or soaking an authentic old one off an empty bottle. More riskily, you could tamper with a blank cork, inking it with the winemaker or vintage of your choice.
In case you missed it, New York magazine’s feature on mysterious wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan is an excellent if somewhat horrifying read.
[Pats trusty bottle* of $10 pinot grigio.]