Wine Makers Fight Fraud With Smartphones

Staff Writer
A series of new apps allows users to test if their wine is counterfeit

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

While there are tips and tricks to find frauds in handbags or counterfeit bills, it has been increasingly more difficult to find frauds in beverages, particularly in wine.

While there are tips and tricks to find frauds in handbags or counterfeit bills, it has been increasingly more difficult to find frauds in beverages, particularly in wine. It used to be simple to identify fraudulent wine; a simple sniff and swirl would do the tric. But now with the growing technology in the world, wine frauds have improved in quality — and proven to be tricky to sniff out. Fortunately, like most things these days, there's now an app for that. 

New wine apps now allow for consumers to test out counterfeit wines for themselves. For some, the counterfeit wine has an “uglier” label, but others may be harder to spot, according to Raw Story. One wine app, called Cor.kz, lets users scan the barcodes of wines to check for authenticity. For these barcodes, winemakers are borrowing the model from prescription drugs. “In wine there is an enormous problem with counterfeiting,” said Pierre Georget CEO of GS1 France, part of a Brussels-based non-governmental organization, which uses unique bar codes, to Raw Story. “The idea is to use unique identification — a bar code or data matrix bar code— to identify each bottle of wine. This is the same technology we already use for the FDA for drugs in America.” 

But many experts are saying that a bar code is not enough and that the seal must contain an inviolable hologram, according to Raw Story. “GS1 is a good start but it needs to be combined with a physical security feature,” said Damien Guille, sales manager for Tesa Scribos, a German company that produces tesa VeoMark labels, used for brand protection in luxury goods, car parts and wine, to Raw Story. In the meantime, we'll leave it to the experts to scrub out counterfeit wines. 

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