TrueBottle.com Website Addresses Worldwide Counterfeit Wine Problem
The global wealth boom, though generally good for the wine industry, has created a relatively new phenomenon; the increasing incentive to manufacture fraudulent blue-chip wines. Wine industry insider publications have recently postulated that between 70 to 90 percent of all the highly collectible Chateau Lafite bottles now sold in China are counterfeit. With many sought-after bottles now fetching thousands of dollars, wine counterfeiting has become big business as well as a serious problem for wine producers, auction houses, and novice and serious collectors alike.
TrueBottle.com is addressing the growing number of fraudulent bottles by uploading thousands of hyper-resolution wine images of bottles known to be real or “true,” especially images of those bottles that are often replicated and sold by counterfeiters. In addition, TrueBottle.com is currently creating an image library of suspected fraudulent bottles to share with collectors. Wine collectors will have a useful tool to become more educated consumers during a time when the mass production of fakes has hit the market.
“Five years ago I never even thought about whether any of my bottles were fake. But now, I take that into consideration every time I buy,” said Dr. Sabra Eden, a lifelong wine collector from North Carolina who recently joined TrueBottle.com. “What I like about this website is that I can really examine what the wine labels and bottles are supposed to look like depending on the year they were made.”
In addition to presenting hyper-resolution bottle images, TrueBottle.com offers collectors recent wine auction results in a straightforward manner using graphs with trend lines and averages. The website also offers members an advanced interactive wine cellar management system that tracks recent auction values for their collections with the option to “share” their cellars (either with or without prices) on social media platforms, such as FaceBook or Twitter.
TrueBottle.com, which is in both English and Mandarin, is free to use. For a nominal subscription fee, members are permitted access to more comprehensive wine auction searches, a larger number of bottle images and full use of the wine cellar management system.