THE defence team for Rudy Kurniawan, found guilty last week in New York for selling millions of dollars of fake wines at auction, had claimed that he was simply an innocent player caught up in a business where “counterfeit wines are rampant”. One of Burgundy’s leading producers, Laurent Ponsot, said at the trial that ( at auctions) “some 80 per cent of wine supposedly from some of Burgundy’s top names might, in fact, be counterfeit”. Another expert witness said, “Out of the thousands of bottles I have checked, 1433 are counterfeit” while one of the world’s largest wine collectors now estimates that a quarter of the value of his cellar is made up of fake wines bought at auction. New Year’s resolution? Caveat Emptor!