Chinese and French wine experts trying to put a cork in counterfeit wine

Chinese and French wine authorities are working together to conduct random visits to Chinese supermarkets in an effort to crack down on counterfeit wines and help maintain consumer confidence in a burgeoning industry.

In an interview with wine specialist publication Decanter magazine, Thomas Jullien of the Conseil Interprofessionel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) said the move was initiated by Chinese authorities who approached the Bordeaux wine trade body looking for advice on how to curtail the growing problem.

Experts at the CIVB have begun paying visits to local wine shops and grocery stores, compiling a database of counterfeit names and investigating links between the sellers and fraudulent producers, the article says.

A photo on Decanter.com shows seized cases bearing the labels Forlatour, a Margaux Grande Reserve and Chateau French Tour.

Meanwhile, experts say one of the easiest ways to detect a fake bottle is to scan the label for sloppy spelling mistakes.

For serious wine drinkers, collector Russell Frye also created Wineauthentication.com, a website that provides the latest news and information that includes a section on the most recent counterfeits reported. Limited subscription access is free, but fees for complete access range between $20 to $4,000 a year.

Earlier this year, scientists in Leicester, England also said they were developing a counterfeit wine and spirit detector that works on unopened bottles. The handheld device works using a technique that relies on detecting the differences between the characteristics of light reflected from printed packaging.

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