BOOKINGS: 020 8288 0314

Refreshingly fun tasting events
ThirtyFifty - Hens

Wine News

Could 50% of Russian wine be fake?

A top Russian alcohol market official says half of all wine and 70 percent of the cognac on that country’s store shelves is counterfeit. Vladislav Spirin, a policy official at Reh Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation, says the fake wine and cognac is made out of “concentrates, aromatisers, and alcohol”.

It is said that alcohol abuse kills around 500,000 Russians annually and greatly impacts male life expectancy, which is lower than in such developing countries as Bangladesh and Honduras, according to official figures. Food shops and convenience stores in Russian towns frequently offer a dazzling range of alcoholic drinks, sometimes in very elaborate bottles and packages. But as Russia's interior minister pointed out, what they contain is sometimes not vodka, cognac or wine, but any number of potentially fatal substances.

The minister also repeated claims from the Russian ministry of health, that much, if not most, of the wine from Georgia and Moldova is counterfeit and potentially harmful. The governments of both those countries are convinced that the Russian ban on their wine, one of their few lucrative exports, is politically motivated, and actually designed to punish them for their pro-Western policies.