The Best Way to Enjoy Wine
On Wednesday, a court in southwest France found 12 wine producers guilty of fraud for selling millions of gallons of fake Pinot Noir to America’s E. & J. Gallo Winery, among others. The producers received suspended prison sentences and tens of thousands of Euros in fines. French customs officials figured out the scam, according to the BBC, when they noted that the amount of Pinot Noir being sold to Gallo exceeded the amount produced in the region. But would anyone have figured it out otherwise?
The scheme ran for years. But, as one French winemaker’s lawyer sniffed to the BBC: “Not a single American consumer complained.” [and the French wonder why we think they’re arrogant]
And why would they have? While this fraud may be grabbing headlines, less noticed is the overarching fraud that underpins the entire wine industry: The idea that the average consumer — or even wine experts — can reliably tell the difference between higher- and lower-quality wines.
I wonder why Gallo didn’t catch on that they were being shipped “more wine than produced in the region”? Being in the business they ought to have access to that sort of information.
As “not a single American complained” – is there a fake wine hotline in Paris we should all be aware of? Maybe thousands who imbibed the psseudo-pinot complained at restaurants.