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Wine Forger’s Handbook warns of dangers of fake wines

A new eBook warning of the dangers of counterfeit wines has just been published online.

The Wine Forger’s Handbook is by wine journalist Stuart George and art crime expert Dr Noah Charney.

The slim volume gives a short history of forgery and fraud in the wine world, before going on to detail two short case studies covering two of the best known alleged fine wine fraudsters of recent times: Hardy Rodenstock and Rudy Kurniawan.

It also functions as a guide with practical tips and a checklist of actions on how to avoid becoming a victim of counterfeit wine.

The book comes at a time when collector awareness and press interest in the subject of fraud has never been higher, after series of high-profile legal cases.

In a New York court last month, a jubilant Bill Koch was recently awarded US$12m following counterfeit lawsuit against fellow wine collector Eric Greenberg.

Last month, Rudy Kurniawan pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan Federal Court to a two-count indictment of selling counterfeit wines and attempting to defraud a finance company out of US$3m.

His trial date has been set for 9 September. Burgundy producer Laurent Ponsot, Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanée Conti and Christophe Roumier of Domaine Georges Roumier will all give evidence by video link.

There are other anti-fraud guides on the market. Six years ago Russell H Frye, another victim of wine fraud, set up the website www.wineauthentication.com, and in 2011 the UK’s Wine and Spirit Trade Association published an investment guide subtitled, ‘Don’t be a victim of wine fraud’.

‘Today, there are constant reports of fake wine being produced in Asia, resembling full scale counterfeit manufacturing operations,’ warns Frye. ‘In addition, we believe that there are still individuals operating all over the world as Rudy Kurniawan is alleged to have done. The best advice is to verify whenever possible. Caveat emptor.’

Written by John Stimpfig

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