Concerns raised over ‘fake wine’ after one of France’s largest wine companies is accused of selling cheap wine labelled as a popular, more expensive one…

Who doesn’t love a large glass of wine paired with a home-cooked meal or decadent cheese board? It is one of life’s simplest and loveliest pleasures.

While you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to enjoy a quality glass of vino these days, if you do decide to splash out on a special bottle you expect impeccable quality. Yet it seems some people could be capitalising on our brand loyalty.

One of France’s biggest suppliers of wine has been accused selling ‘fake’ wine!

There are claims that they are passing off cheap wine as bottles of the popular Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

These bottles of red usually retail for around £20 but can sometimes be sold for as much as £100 depending on the vintage.

wine descriptions Fake wine scandal

The CEO of Raphaël Michel, 39-year-old Guillaume Ryckwaert, is believed to be the mastermind behind the ‘fake wine’ scam. He has been released on a €1 million bail but faces fraud and deception charges.

It has been reported that the scam could date back to 2013 and was only spotted in March last year. Up to 30 million litres of wine could be involved – which is around 40 million bottles! So there is a big chance that some of it is on sale in the UK.


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Wine expert Nick Corke told The Times: “There is every chance that some of this wine has come across the Channel. Several French shippers send these sorts of wines to the UK. It is simply cheap wine that is being passed off as expensive wine.”

He added: “The trade buyers may have tasted it before buying, but there is no guarantee that it was the same wine they were getting in the bottles they bought.”

Best stick to the great tasting, bargain priced supermarket wines then! For example, one of the best rosé wines in the world is just £5.99 – just saying!

Earlier this year it was revealed that on average we consume over 21 litres of wine per person per year. No wonder the UK is one of Raphaël Michel’s biggest export markets.