Counterfeit Wine Is A Bigger Problem In Ireland Than You Thought

We see counterfeit jewelry, counterfeit bags, and even counterfeit money fooling folks all over the world, but there's one item that many wouldn't rush to authenticate: wine. As it turns out, fraudulent wine is a multibillion-dollar problem in the world, per Forbes, which means some market shelves may not even be stocked with authentic wine. Ireland, in particular, was in the spotlight after the recent seizure of roughly 33,000 bottles of faulty wine in the lively city of Cork. 

The Irish Revenue team discovered the cargo of imposter vino while performing routine profiling, although they've had their eyes on this issue for quite some time now. The Revenue has an open-ended agency focusing specifically on illegal alcohol sales, explains Food & Wine. Their inkling was right in this case, as they unearthed over 6,000 gallons of wine at the Tivoli Container Terminal. The haul, which was enough phony wine to fill a small swimming pool, possibly originated from the Netherlands in an unattended vessel.

Collectors aren't the only ones who lose out when it comes to counterfeit wine

Officials may have saved countless wine collectors from faulty wine, but the government paid the price. With the large tax on alcohol, Ireland would have received around $192,500, according to Food & Wine. Cork, ironically named considering its host of wine cons, isn't the first region to come across counterfeit wine and take a loss. Well known frauds such as Rudy Kurniawan spent over a decade trafficking fake bottles of wine and raking in millions. According to Seven Fifty Daily, $35 million worth of Kurniawan's counterfeit wine was sold in just two Acker Merrall & Condit's auctions.

Meandering over to the "15 and under" section of the wine store is the extent of some people's wine preference, but there is an extravagant world within the wine industry. While some purchase a bottle of wine solely to drink, others purchase a bottle to collect. Some bottles of wine can go for as much as $558,000, according to Town & Country. There are bottles so rare that big league collectors will pay practically any price to add it to their cellar, and swindlers take advantage of that by swapping labels.