In this episode of the SOMM TV podcast, Jason Wise chats with Matthew Kaner about the wine scam executed by Rudy Kurniawan. Kurniawan is the subject of Sour Grapes, a 2016 documentary available to watch on SOMM TV. The film retells the events leading up to Kurniawan’s arrest on March 8, 2012. During an FBI search scene, agents find notes intending to pass off Napa wines as older vintages of Bordeaux. The scene also shows a kitchen riddled with corks, stamps, labels, and other tools involved in counterfeiting wine.
Kurniawan was convicted of wine fraud and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 2013. His charges also included several counts of mail fraud and wire fraud. He was released in November of 2020 and deported to Thailand. Authorities believe there are upwards of 10 thousand counterfeit bottles in the hands of private collectors that Kurniawan passed off as authentic during wine auctions.
In this episode, Wise and Kaner dive into the subject of counterfeiting wine and share their personal experiences with Kurniawan.
Matthew Kaner is a host & producer for the SOMM TV Network. Kaner is a wine industry veteran since 2005. His experiences range from working retail to owning wine bars & restaurants. He continues to take consulting projects across the industry.
Nicole MacKay in the Managing Editor of the SOMM TV Online Magazine. She holds her WSET 3 and is a Spanish Wine Scholar through the Wine Scholar Guild. With a passion for food and travel, she's often found in her kitchen adjusting perfectly good recipes to be gluten-free and plant-based.