A bottle of wine is an indispensable part of every grand ceremony or celebration. And also because of that exclusive reputation, it’s a victim of counterfeiting too. Not only does it cause damage to the manufacturer but fake wine also negatively affects the drinkers. So, how to identify fake wines? Drinkies PH is here to give you practical advice to prevent these counterfeit beverages from making their way into people’s cellars.

With a few simple tools and a little bit of information, people can catch approximately all signs of counterfeits. Now, it's time to grab a magnifying glass and get ready to start to assess wines for authenticity.

Buy from a trustworthy wine provider

It’s essential to know exactly the person you’re purchasing from. A wise customer looking for high-end wine is the one who performs their accountability for reputable businesses. Hence, to ensure the quality of your drink, it’s advisable not to buy from a broker without a license.   Above all, you should keep a level head. If a deal looks too good to be true, then it probably is worth careful consideration. 

Here at Drinkies, all your worries are now eliminated. As a project in Southeast Asia developed and powered by AB Heineken Philippines, Drinkies guarantees to provide customers with high-quality wine. All our products are under strict supervision, genuine, legally obtained, and fully duty-paid. From the customer-centric point of view, Drinkies can ensure to give your taste buds a treat without any hassle.

Identify a fake wine when checking the label

Blue lights can help evaluate drink authenticity. This is because some coatings used to brighten paper labels of wine, such as silicon, can be easily appear glowing under UV light. So, if you’ve got a bottle shining like you’re in a disco light UV, that is a wine counterfeiting.

Identify a fake wine when checking the label

Another point to look for is the stamp. Stamps from high-profile wines could really tear, fake stamps do not. The reason is right after customs clearance, the import company will have to stamp the counterfeit goods. And after a process of packaging and shipping to the agent, there's a high chance of a stamp being torn. As for fake wine, it is brand new as the seller stamps right before customers buy the drink.

Look at the quality of the printing to spot fake wines

Printing techniques can be a dead gift to help us easily distinguish and get rid of counterfeit wine. Traditionally, brands of wines are usually made with plate presses. Customers can easily see the result of printing plates under magnification as it has an outline.

quality of the printing

On the other hand, as for fake wine, inkjet printers at home are used to make labels. If you notice blotches or smudges on all of your paper, that’s the result of an inkjet printer, and the wine is for sure counterfeited. Also, the printer requires special paper for the ink to grip. Without it, the ink will begin to chip, making the paper look aged. This is the correct way to identify fake wine.

Confirm staining in wines

Confirm staining in wines

You can also consider staining for signs of wine deception. The closure contacting quality wine (wine that ages for several decades) should have a deep stain. Since bottles are usually stored horizontally, stains will extend toward the top of the capsule. Fake wine usually lacks the stain as it is made in a short period of time with poor quality ingredients. 

Check the cock to distinguish fake wine

High-end wines usually come with cocks of 52-55mm long. The cock of each bottle is branded, rather than inked. Check for ‘Ah-so’ marks – the grooves left in the side of a cork by a two-prong cork puller. If you notice that there’s no sign of these marks, chances are the liquid vendor replaced the classic cork to make the bottle look older. 

Check the cock to distinguish fake wine

For corks made from agglomerate, you can look for dirt under the capsule masking the cork champagne to spot fake wines.

Consider sediment to identify fake wines

Consider sediment

Sediment should be present in the old wine. There’s an alarm raising when it comes to a bottle that lacks any solid material. Older wines have been properly stored on their side, and even as the bottle is shaken, there’s still sediment left. However, if you notice that sedimentary phenomena do not move, it could be the result of fraud in heating and baking which simulate the accumulation of material over time.

Get the facts examined

Get the facts examined

Does the label information in line with history? With quality wine, all the numbers are precisely present on the label to inform customers. However, in the case of fake wine, the figures are randomly picked. They usually show no relation to history or the exact year when the wine manufacturer was established.  

Capsules: old or new?

Capsules: old or new?

Over the years, food packaging laws have dictated a switch from lead to tin to aluminum. If the capsule of your newly purchased bottle has multiple creases, it’s probably been reapplied. Other things to look for include thumbprints on wax capsules; residue left from a previous closure; a recycling logo on an old bottle.

Glass to see through the fake wine

Glass to see through the fake wine

Glass can also tell the quality of your wine. For example, a hand-blown bottle from the 19th century tends to wobble on a flat surface. Or another case, French bottles from Post-1930 should have their capacity embossed somewhere on the glass.

Glue: a sticky situation to spot fake wine

Glue in original bottles can be forensically aged. In fact, the classic ‘white’ glue was used from the 1960s. And as an ultra white paper, it can fluoresce under blue light. In addition, you should be attentive to signs of glue stains around label edges, in tears and nicks, and under capsules. Those are suspicious signs to tell a wine is of poor quality.

The takeaway message

Counterfeit wines can damage foreign brand reputation, displace and capture market share from legitimate producers, and cause distrust in consumers who are aware of the problems throughout the country. 

Hope with some useful tips above, you can easily spot fake wine and safely enjoy your cup of quality beverages.