James Suckling has announced his most ambitious move yet, he’s going to attempt to bring Law & Order to China’s wine market. The wine critic has partnered up with COFCO Wine & Wine (state-owned conglomerate), and has plans to introduce an app that will allow COFCO to translate and use Suckling’s tasting notes. The end goal, to educate and drive awareness to create a Starbucks-esque wine drinking culture.
There is a huge demand for such a service, the Inter-Professional Council of Bordeaux Wine recently estimated that almost 30 000 bottles of fake imported wine are sold per hour in China. Jeremy Oliver, an Australian wine critic, was quoted saying that he estimates that 50% of wines retailing for R500 or more in China is fake or counterfeit.
Wine fraud has never been more prominent and everyone is sitting up and taking notice of it. The story of Rudy Kurniawan, captivated American wine drinkers and brought the impact of this practice into the mainstream. His story captivated the media so much so, that Netflix released a documentary titled, Sour Grapes, in order to showcase this remarkable story.
Many believe that Rudi’s situation was not an isolated case and that he brought these practices over with him from the East.
James Suckling hopes his scores and tasting notes will bring stability and security to the market. He stated that the fastest way to communicate to people about quality is through scores and he hopes this will ultimately help consumers make an informed choice.