Using his family's wealth, Mr. Kurniawan became a well-known dealer in the wine world after spending $1 million a month on rare vintages for several years. In 2006, Mr. Kurniawan sold part of his collection at auction for $36 million.
By then, however, suspicions about some of the wines Mr. Kurniawan was selling started to circulate in the wine-collector world. For instance, the labels on some of Mr. Kurniawan's bottles claimed to be produced between 1959 and 1971 included an accent mark that wine collectors later learned wasn't on the genuine bottles until 1976.
According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Kurniawan used his sophisticated palate to mix and blend lower-price wines so they mimicked the taste, color and character of rare and expensive wines.Pause to let that last sentence be pondered (bold by HSIB).
He then poured the mixtures into empty bottles of rare and expensive wines he got from restaurants and other sources and affixed counterfeit wine labels he had created.This story has no mention that anyone could detect the fraud by the taste.
"The public at large needs to know that our food and drink are safe and can trust what's on the label," the judge said, "and not some homemade and potentially unsafe witch's brew."Safety?