Source: The Sun
By Tara Evans, Digital Consumer Editor
4th August 2017
British drinkers warned that MILLIONS of bottles of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône might be counterfeit. Bottles of Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape were sold for £20 – £100 a bottle, despite being cheap plonk
BRITISH drinkers are being warned that over 40 million bottles of French wine might be fake.
One of France’s largest wine companies has been accused of passing off cheap wine as bottles Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The bottles of posh plonk are often sold at £20 per bottle, but sometimes for as much £100.
The scam is believed to date back to 2013 but only came to light last year after French customs officials noticed a problem during a routine audit.
The chairman of Raphaël Michel, Guillaume Ryckwaert, 39, has been arrested in France and now faces fraud and deception charges.
It is feared that over 100,000 litres of wine on the French market has been falsely labeled and that some may be on sale in the UK.
Nick Corke, a wine expert with the merchants Thos Peatling, 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.
“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.”
Last year, Raphaël Michel reported annual revenues of more than £70 million. The UK is one of the company’s biggest export markets.
Last month, Asda’s wine expert claimed that the perfect bottle of wine costs between £6 and £8.
In June, industry data showed that wine lovers are facing higher prices than ever for a bottle of plonk as the weak pound pushes up costs.