Wine Label Swindlers
"If people who follow 'branda" and makers' names knew of half the swindles perpetrated wifch labels they'd be astonished," said a celebrated English wine merchant to exchange reporter. "Why, I know a maa, a former engraver, who can forge the brand of any wine iu exlstence. This is hls sole occupation, and working in league with him is a clique of rogues who buy up uantities of empty wine and chamagnc bottles from hotels and restaurnts. Soïne of this gang havo been 'ine merchants' asslstants and undertand bottüng, and they fill the bottles with a low priced but drinkable port, laret, champagne, etc, and affix elevrly forged labels of the moet expen:ve brands, bearing the names of forign growers. Not only are the bottles peculiar to each grower used but they even procure the proper gold and silver foil from Franco, and as to corks, they know where to find a cork cutter ta the trade who will stipply any shape and kind required. Seal3 are easily imitated by taking an impjession and putting cobwebs on port wine bottles ie an old dodge. They plant these spurious wines at cmain restaurants and clubs, the wine buyer 'standing in.' I know more than one high class restaurant whsre these imitations are constantly sold t people dining there as genuine brands. So perfe-ot are tho forged labels that a military offlcer actually paia mese sharpers over $500 for some Madeira worth $50 which they advertised as dating from the battle of Waterloo. A very well known nobleman, too, was victimized over some pretended wine to the tune of $1,000, and I could give you the name of a big firm of wine merchants swindled for nearly $15,000 (a few bottles of genuine wine being procured and opened f'4r the men to taste), and dared not 'rosecute, for it would simply have luined their business were it to be come known that they had hundreds of falsely labeled wines in their ccllars, some oL which they had even resold to their i-ustomers."
Ann Arbor Register