Technology and old bottles

by Eve Resnick on September 11, 2008

in General

Many collectors faced the horrible possibility of fakes: it is such a disgrace (and a sorrow) to buy a fake wine. Unfortunately it is very difficult – even for an experienced collector – to detect a fake.

Fortunately technology is coming to their rescue: Arcane, a nuclear study center in Bordeaux, developed, in partnership with London’s Antique Wine Company, a merchant specializing in older vintages, a process that works by measuring the radiation emitted when a wine bottle is placed under an ion beam. The result measures the age of the bottle and its contents. It is then compared to results from bottles known to be authentic(those stored in the cellars of their producers, for example).

The validity of this technology is already challenged by Russell H. Frye in decanter.com whose company specializes in the identification of counterfeit wine: “It is important that your readers understand that one of the most common techniques for counterfeiting wine is to refill or re-label bottles from the same period as the bottle that they wish to fake. Thus, an analysis of the glass will be of virtually no benefit in those situations. In addition, the database of authentic bottles that is referred to in the article would have to be developed by an independent authority that is not involved in selling these same bottles.”

Let’s the specialists debate between themselves! I’m only interested by the fact that technology is getting more and more available to the wine industry and that the wine industry is ready to use it extensively.

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