In Vino Veritas?
Many hope the 10-year jail term handed to Indonesian wine fraudster Rudy Kurniawan in the United States in August will have a salutary effect on the wine market, stabilising the top end and focusing interest on quality drinkable wines. The 37-year-old collector, who was convicted of producing and selling counterfeit fine wines, was also ordered to pay US$28.4 million in restitution to seven of his victims through the sale of his property, including two houses in Los Angeles, works of modern art and fine timepieces. The scandal, however, is likely to leave the market for old and rare wines scarred for some time, with buyers sceptical of the authenticity and provenance of aged bottles. One has to wonder about the thousands of bottles Kurniawan sold in the late 1990s and 2000s in the US and abroad. Many are still out there.