What’s in a Wine Name?

There’s nothing like a nice cool glass of rosé on a balmy summers evening. Whether you’re an adventurous type who likes to try a new wine every time or you have your go-to favourites, you put your trust in producers and retailers to deliver the products that they claim to be – but are they? Fraud in the food and beverage industry is becoming an all too common problem, whether it’s lower quality honey claiming to be Manuka, cheap oils passed off as extra virgin olive oil or even horse meat masquerading as beef, they’ve all hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.

“We were alerted to the ‘Frenchification’ of Spanish wine at the end of 2015. So, we launched an inquiry at all levels, from producers to importers to restaurants and distributors.”

Some food fakery is easier for a consumer to detect than others – glaringly obvious spelling mistakes on packaging is an immediate red flag, but for many consumers the only option is to take products at face value.

Do you really know what you’re sipping this summer?

In response to suggestions of cheap imports being passed off as French wines, the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) based in France, undertook a survey to examine wines imported into France, especially from Spain.For French wine producers that lack protected geographical indication (Indication Géographique Protégée-IGP) status, competition can be tough. Spanish producers are challenging them, especially in varietal entry level wines. As such, temptation exists to pass off cheaper Spanish imports under their own brands [ . . . ]

Continue at TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS: What’s in a Wine Name? | Technology Networks

Pas de Merde has more stories about Wine fraud and less scandalous articles about wine in our Food & Wine category. Bon Appétit!


Bordeaux Wine Firm Found Guilty of Fraud

A leading Bordeaux négociant firm has been found guilty of fraud for passing off table wine as more lucrative appellation wine, and for illegally mixing appellations, vintages and châteaus to the extent that the labels no longer represented what was in the bottle. Bordeaux’s Criminal Tribunal handed down the guilty verdict April 5 against Grands Vins de Gironde (GVG), fining the company nearly $500,000 (with half the fine suspended).”It is a substantial offense,” said Judge Caroline Baret, telling the courtroom that the victims were both supermarket shoppers, who were being unfairly duped, and the image of French wine, which risked being tarnished in foreign markets.Eric Marin, GVG’s former director of purchasing and cellar manager, was also found guilty and given an $18,000 suspended fine. Charges related to a period when he was no longer in his post were dropped [ . . . ]

More at: Bordeaux Wine Firm Found Guilty of Fraud | News | News & Features | Wine Spectator

Massive Rhône Valley Wine Fraud Reported by French Authorities

French anti-fraud authorities allege that a Rhône Valley wine merchant mislabeled more than 5 million cases of table wine as more expensive appellations like Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Between October 2013 and June 2016, Raphaël Michel, a bulk-wine merchant in France’s Rhône Valley, allegedly sold the equivalent of 13 Olympic-size swimming pools of cheap French table wine while claiming it was some of the best wine of the Southern Rhône Valley.

Those details and more emerged with the release of the annual report of the DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control), France’s powerful anti-fraud agency. While the report does not name Raphaël Michel, the details match precisely with the investigation first reported last July by Wine Spectator. Independent sources confirm that Raphaël Michel is the unnamed company in the report.

According to the DGCCRF report, between 2013 and 2016, the merchant sold around 20 million liters of table wine—the equivalent of 2.23 million cases—as more lucratively priced appellation-level wines including Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône-Villages and even 108,000 cases of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

When investigators dug deeper, the scam grew even larger, encompassing even more kinds of wine. “In total, the fraud touched more than 48 million liters of wine,” reads the report. That is the equivalent of 5.33 million cases of fake wine, 15 percent of the Côtes du Rhône production during those years [ . . . ]

Read full story at: WINE SPECTATOR Massive Rhône Valley Wine Fraud Reported by French Authorities | News | News & Features | Wine Spectator