Buyers will be able to check fake wines.The end could be in sight for wine scammers with the launch of a new system that tracks bottles from the winery to the ultimate owner's cellar.
Chai Vault, which is run by leading wine authentication expert Maureen Downey, released its latest anti-fraud solution that will allow consumers and the wine trade to verify the authenticity and provenance of a bottle online before purchase.
The process starts by entering the details of a bottle into the Chai Vault system via the company's TCM inspection protocol, which lists 90 individual identifiers, from producer and vintage to fill level and bottle shape. The information is then loaded into the Chai Vault ledger system and protected by blockchain technology. Whenever the bottle changes hands the details are updated.
For wines already in the market, there is a further step. Once TCM authenticators have established the bottle in question is genuine, a clear plastic caplet is affixed, containing a tamper-proof combination of RFID, QR code and hologram technology, Downey said, adding that the technology was the ultimate solution to the never-ending waves of fake wines and spirits flooding the market and it would allow potential buyers to check out a wine or auction lot before shelling out big bucks.