Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fake wine in China

As I told you in a previous article it is difficult to sell wine in China since many wines are fake. And customers can not distinguish between fake and real wine...

I found all these wine in the Gaoqao, the professionnal market in Changsha.
Most of these shops have no clue that they sell fake wine.
They themselves bought these wines from the internet at very very low price.

Fake Castel wines
I think that most of these wines are fake but I am not sure.

Judging from its color this wine is fake
Also I am suspicious: the bottle is wrapped in plastic film. Is this normal? I have doubts.

I am not sure about the red one?

The price of Castel wines are rather low 100-120rmb.
I am not sure you can sell real Castel imported french wine at this price?

The outside packaging are clearly fake.
There is not space left in the french writting: it should be COTEAUX DU LANGUEDOC.

Now this box must be fake with it Eiffel Tower.

If the packaging are fake then the wines should be fake too.

It is very interesting to see that outside most of the advertisements are Castel advertisements. I am not sure how much it costs the company... But many shops seem to sell fake Castel wine: not very effective advertisements!
This underlines a common issue in China: some brands develop a strong brand image but they are prey to copies and imitations.

This advertisement is for french wine.
But I am a fool if this man on the advertisement is french!

Various fake wine

Eglise d'Auteuil is a Paris subway station...

Chemin vert, another Paris subway station

Another Subway station Mairie des Lilas!

Meilot instead of Merlot!

Another a weird label

The writting from the original label is a mixture of french english: no doubt that this wine is fake!

Still you can notice that there is also a Chinese label and code bar! Even though this fake wine was not imported but bottled localy in mainland China, it added a Chinese label in order not to avoid trouble in case of control from the tax administration.

La Seigneuse... hummm

Chinese wine at 10rmb
Gomanee! no not Romanee. This kind of label can easily confuse customers.

Miribeau instead of Mirabeau!

There are also many fake liquors sold in all bars and KTV.
I will show you this in another article.

Some facebook comment tells me that Castel wine leaves the producers at 1,20 to 2,50 euros. Therefore the price 100-120 is normal. Also it appears the bottle don't look fake.

However I believe the rosé is too old judging from the weird color. It was probably wasted by the cork...

Another thing is that Castel bottles its wine in China so that the price can stay low.

As for the advertisement it is not paid by Castel Group but by the distributors.


  1. This is a great post, well done. I'm looking in to a way to prevent this type of fakery. "Watch this space"

  2. Thanks. I will try to write more about this. All (or almost) ktv, disco bar sell fake. I discussed with some owner and they told me: "why pay 120 rmb a real when I can pay 10rmb a fake and customers don't see the difference".

  3. "the guy on the advertisement was not french"...Dude..that means NOTHING.

    Also relabelling is quite common here as well as importing in BULK and rebottling wines....does not make them all fake.....

  4. Yes you are right it means nothing.
    And many wine are imported in bulk and bottled in China.

    Still I believe many of the wine here are fake and these are wine that you find at the professionnal market.

    But I will show you some wine we find in the wine shop: it is the same story and these wine are sold directly to individuals at much higher prices.

    Even though it is not easy to take pictures I tell you! This is another hint that the wines are not all true.

  5. WOW! This is really an exclusive and attractive post about Fake wine in China . I appreciate your posted wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post.

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    1. Thanks a lot ;-) In fact I gathered more knowledge about fake wine since this publication.

      You see fake wine are in fact real wine embottled in fake bottle with fake labels.

      This matters a lot!
      As many/ the vast majority of Chinese people can not distinguish wine as long as it makes them drunk... In the end fake imported wine is sold as prices as low as 20rmb/ bottle or less...Therefore the wine market remains limited...