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3 Checks for Spotting Fake Wine
1) Check the label paper & printing
Blue UV lights can prove useful to assess authenticity as well as loop magnifiers (50 to 500x).
Digital or inkjet printing was only introduced in the 70s for commercial purpose so every Petrus or Lafite from the 1960s with gross digital printing simply can’t exist. Furthermore the leading wine properties were and are still using different printing techniques, such as plate press.
UV light can help you to recognize the latest subtleties introduced by the leading estates, such as DRC, Rousseau, Petrus, Yquem, etc over the last past year with the inclusion of invisible ink on wine labels (such as banknotes).
These tools are useful as they will never replace the human eyes, but will provide an extra analytical support when checking a bottle.
2) Check the capsule & cork
Though a label and the glass of a bottle can be totally legitimate, several crooks have used several techniques to refill bottles (with cheaper wines), put a neutral cork, change the vintage on the cork by partially erasing it, or re-glue the capsule or waxing it instead of a regular capsule. It requires an attentive eye and lots of scrutiny to spot the fake wines but it is always important for rare and expensive bottle to check available data on the internet to trusted merchants, auction house.
3) Check the source
This might be the most obvious of all parameters to consider but as people are looking for bargains, they tend to forget this element. Know your wine merchants, ask for provenance history on bottles, ask how they are running their own due diligence on bottles.