Eight people face charges but no one has been taken into custody, police said, after they found 9,200 bottles of prosecco and a machine used to make the metallic wrappers that cover the top of the bottles.

As well as the already-labelled bottles, which would have fetched about 350,000 euros ($380,000), police said in a statement they found a further 40,000 labels which, if used, could have taken the illicit earnings to more than 1.8 million.

Authentic Bubbles

This is story worth mentioning for obvious reasons. Fake wines are certainly not a new concept, especially among premium producers and brands. Although we’ve heard a lot about fake bluechip wines in the auction houses (anyone who hasn’t should lock themselves into the book ‘Billionaires Vinegar’ for a day or so as an intro), mass produced fake champagne is not so well discussed but probably a lot more lucrative.

A matter of taste?

From a “consumer” point of view, we might say that it must be obvious to tell that it is fake but that is probably not true. Many non-experts really do not know the difference between prosecco and champagne. And many prosecco’s are not that bad at all. Different yes, but still not bad. They make great party wines.

Big numbers, small horde

9200 bottles may sound like a lot but in reality, it’s a tiny amount. Unless of course there are more “factories” for this production in other places. Who knows? Maybe we need to put our taste buds on high alert and fizz lovers should do some comparative blind tasting at home to check they can spot a fake at parties. Perhaps we can do a film on that?

COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

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Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


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