|Richard Siddle: why wine prices are sometimes too good to be true|
|Sunday, 01 July 2012 17:24|
Equally a great deal of business within wines and spirits is still based very much on reputation and the personal relationships that have built up between wineries, suppliers and retailers over many years, regardless of how and where you were brought up.
The pressures now being pushed down the supply chain for wineries to tender for what many in the trade regard as dangerously unrealistic commercial contracts mean the temptation to cut corners can be a hard one to ignore.
The trade is always full of rumours and wink wink stories of wines not being what they should be in the bottle. Buyers will openly talk about wines tasted in a winery not always being the same when later submitted for sale.
But equally such discrepancies can be hard to prove. Like with the current investigation into Burgundy negociant, Labouré-Roi, over the legitimacy of wine produced between October 2005 and September 2008. Although the owners, Louis and Armand Cottin, were detained by French police, they were released and no formal charges have been made.
Yet, it has resulted in some of the UK's biggest retail names removing all wine from those vintages from their shelves.
The issue is particularly bad in China where the level of fraudulent has reached almost pandemic levels. Spot checks in some parts of China reveal half the wine on sale is not what it says it is.
Let's hope this latest scandal a little closer to home moves that debate nearer a workable solution.