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Wine fraud is one of the most challenging menaces in the wine industry. Even though authorities have increased vigilance to reduce occurrences, counterfeit wines are still a reality. There are different types of counterfeit wines based on production.

Some of the common fake wines are powdered wine made from the evaporated grape residue, mixed with water, alcohol, and flavorings. A synthetic wine made of alcohol, yeast and other ingredients without grapes is also a common one. Some manufacturers add water and sugar to wine, which reduces the quality, while others also include glycerol and alkaline additives.

Counterfeit winemaking methods are extensive. Some mix high quality and poor quality for better taste. Some dealers also include dye in wine for coloring or sell low-quality wines with different labels and plugs. 

Some of these fake wines can make you sick because of harmful additives like dyes. To protect yourself and to ensure you get your money’s worth  purchase wine from reputable sources. A licensed dealer will only stock legitimate product. If you’re serious about wine you may want to consider joining a wine club.

Tips to Spot Counterfeit Wine 

Here are some of the other factors to consider when purchasing wine to help you avoid buying fake ones:

Printing Quality 

Use a magnifying glass to observe the little details of on the small prints. Top-quality wines use plate press printing that comes with a clear outline. Counterfeits, on the other hand, use inkjet, which leaves traces of ink and colored spots on the paper. The ink that starts to chip off after some time is also a sign of low-quality printing.


Before you take your bottle of wine from the store, carefully assess the bottle to confirm the quality. For the 19th century wine, the container should wobble on a flat surface. The latest wine bottles come with capacity engravings.  

Label Color 

Ensure that the label matches the year of manufacture. Also, note the changes in the color of the label as the wine ages. A legit wine label changes color after some time due to oxidation and the changes in brightness occur uniformly across the label. Drips and stains on the label is also an indication of poor quality. 

Cork Staining and Branding 

The cork from real wine will have a deep stain. Confirm that the stain is more concentrated towards the top as most outlets store wine on their sides. The presence of ink on the cork instead of branding is also an indication of fake wine. The cork must also be free of dirt and alterations to the branding.

Other Home Test Remedies Methods

Other than observing the wine and its features, there are several home tesst to determine a fake wine. A natural wine changes color when mixed with baking soda due to the presence of grape starch.

A fake wine changes the color of a piece of chalk due to the presence of dye, while a change in color when you introduce glyceryl means the wine is fake.


For the sake of your health and money, use these tips to spot counterfeit wines. Stay vigilant and always purchase your wine from reputable stores..