Trading Standards in the UK have been busy removing fake bottles of Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay from shops around the London area. Havering Council seized 340 bottles of the counterfeit wine from 19 retailers across the borough and have asked retailers to be vigilant on any remaining stock.
It was Pernod Ricard, the owners of Jacob’s Creek, who raised the alarm after receiving complaints about the quality of their product. Although tasting “substandard”, the wine is not supposed to be harmful. In fact, I’m not even sure it was wine. The counterfeit wine in question came from China. The fake and genuine bottles can be told apart as the fraudsters managed to spell ‘Australia’ wrongly on the back label – instead spelling it ‘Austrlia’. Come on lads, at least get the spelling right!
It’s one thing being duped over an inexpensive bottle of supermarket wine, but it’s another if you’ve paid a couple of hundred quid for a collectors item. This is a reasonably common occurrence, but the Jacob’s Creek story evokes memories of the red bicyclette scandal, involving US giant Gallo selling fake Pinot Noir into the US market, although this time it was the consumer who ultimately sniffed out that something wasn’t quite right. It took the French authorities to catch out the Languedoc fraudsters.
Does this say something about the palate of the UK wine consumer vs. that of the US wine consumer, or was this fake from China just pure putrid? Come to think of it, if the French can make a better commercial wine, they’ll probably make a better fake wine.