Beef (& Horse) Burgers - Wine Scandels

Posted on January 17, 2013 by John McCabe

The very recent Horse (& Pig) 'Beef' burger story got me thinking about Wine scandels!

Without getting involved in googling for reminders, here's a few of the ones I do remember. There is a prize of Dinner for 2 with Wine in The Gables for the person who reminds me of the best scandel ( I don't mean the most serious, just the daftest/funniest etc). Just email us at with your story.

Restricted to bulk wines, some of this Austrian wine with 'added ingredients' was blended with German wines to compound the error!
While some were fined for fraud etc, nobody died as a result of this scandel, but the Austrian wine export market collapsed.

Serious scandel. 8 people died and lots hospitalised.  They had added Methyl alcohol (used in Antifreeze) to some cheap versions of, I think, Barbera & Dolcetto.   Despite the deaths etc, more people seem to remember the Austrian one!

Do you remember 'Sideways' and how are American cousins all started drinking Pinot Noir? The main wine involved  think was Gallo's Red Bicyclette which turned out not to be Pinot, but Merlot & Syrah. The French Government noticed that Gallo were buying more Lanquedoc Pinot than was produced, but at the end of the day nobody cared. Doesn't say much for Gallo quality control though!

2008     US Auction of Ponsot wines
Despite M. Ponsot intervening and warning the Auction house that there were forgeries, they still attempted to auction them as genuine. The problem was M. Ponsot arrived in the New York restaurant where the auction was taking place and highlighted that the Ponsot Clos St Denis (I think) couldn't be genuine as they didn't bottle it under their own name til 10 years later.
M. Ponsot claimed that over 80% of pre 1980 burgundies at auction were forgeries!!



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