Wine Fraud: Rudy Kurniawan Saga with Author Peter Hellman

wine fraud

Wine fraud is an ever-increasing problem for winemakers and wine lovers. And it often goes undetected. To quote Peter Hellman’s In Vino Duplicitas, “A good con man never takes your money. Instead, you thrust it into his hands.” ⚠️

Be sure to register for my FREE virtual event (THIS Tuesday, 8pm ET) with Peter, who covered the Rudy Kurniawan saga from the very beginning for Wine Spectator and published the award-winning book, In Vino Duplicitas: The Rise and Fall of a Wine Forger Extraordinaire (Workman Publishing/The Experiment). We will get into the mind of the most notorious forger 💀 in wine history and learn the inside scoop on Hellman’s extensive research. And Peter will share some rare primary materials relating to the Kurniawan affair. I’ll also reveal a bottle of “Rudy wine” that I personally tasted.

If you’d like, sip along with a special wine (just make sure it is the real thing). Register for this FREE virtual wine tasting here.

In Vino Duplicitas is the best account of fraudster Rudy Kurniawan to date. Riveting, deftly-researched, entertaining, it’s a page-turner that reveals all sorts of new details about the largest wine fraud in history. Purchase it here

And I write about wine fraud and one of the Rudy bottles I’ve had in this piece for Bloomberg Pursuits.

See all of my upcoming virtual wine tastings here.



Celebrity Wine: Brad Pitt’s Rosé Triumphs in “War of the Rosés”

celebrity wine

With the height of rosé season upon us and celebrity wines flooding the marketplace, this week I hosted a virtual “Celebrity Rosé Deathmatch” to determine which celebrity rosés were worthy of the vinous A-list.

With 471 households logged in via Zoom, I instructed the group on how to evaluate rosé wine and then presented the seven contenders. Under scrutiny were the pink drinks by Pitt & Jolie, John Legend, Francis Ford Coppola, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, and Post Malone. Attendees purchased the wines in advance of the tasting.

Participants voted through Zoom’s online polling system, and the results were as follows:

1] Miraval Rosé 2019 (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie) (29%) (winner)

2] tie) Hampton Water Rosé 2019 (Bon Jovi) (20%)

2] tie) LVE Cotes de Provence Rosé 2018 (John Legend) (20%)

4] tie) Maison No. 9 Rosé 2019 (16%) (Post Malone) (16%)

4] tie) Sofia Rosé 2019 (Francis Ford Coppola) (16%)

6] Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato 2019 (Mary J Blige) (8%)

7] Invivo X Rosé 2019 (Sarah Jessica Parker) (7%)

The Miraval was prized for its zesty, delicate personality and notes of red berry, melon, and tangerine. One could argue that this gorgeous rosé is one of the best things to come out of Brangelina’s marriage. Jon Bon Jovi and John Legend’s pink rosé also fared well in the competition.

I also asked participants to vote for the best rosé packaging. Francis Ford Coppola’s Sofia Rosé, named for Coppola’s movie-director daughter, won the day with its long, bowling-pin bottle shape and floral label. Close behind were the squat, cognac-shaped designs of John Legend and Pitt & Jolie. Also performing well was the slender, bat-shaped bottle and gothic design from relative upstart Post Malone.

1] Sofia Rosé 2019 (Francis Ford Coppola) (24%) (winner)

2] tie) LVE Cotes de Provence Rosé 2018  (21%) (John Legend)

2] tie) Maison No. 9 Rosé 2019 (Post Malone) (21%)

2] tie) Miraval Rosé 2019 (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie) (21%)

5] Hampton Water Rosé 2019 (Bon Jovi) (16%)

6] Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato 2019 (Mary J Blige) (11%)

7] Invivo X Rosé 2019 (Sarah Jessica Parker) (3%)

Despite some experts’ disdain for celebrity wine, all of these rosés had charm and refreshment value, even the ones ranked lower.

The next celebrity wine tasting happens on August 18th, when I hosts a “Celebrity White Wine Showdown” in which the white wines of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Dave Matthews, Sting, Lisa Vanderpump, and Zac Brown will battle it out for supremacy.

Next week, on August 11th, I also host “Mind of a Wine Fraudster” with Peter Hellman, author of the award-winning In Vino Duplicitas. We will discuss Hellman’s research into the motivations behind the crimes of notorious wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan

These virtual tastings are free to those who register. To sign up or to see a full listing of virtual wine tastings, please visit this page.

Wine Competition: Celebrity Rosé Deathmatch (Aug 4, free!)

wine competition

A Wine Competition Like No Other

It’s the War of the Rosés 🥊: a free virtual wine competition like no other – 7 celebrity rosés, 1 winner 🏆. You decide.

Bon Jovi. Parker. Legend. Malone. Pitt & Jolie. Coppola. Blige. Which is worthy of rosé all day? ☀️

Join me for it this August 4th at 8pm ET/ 5pm Hollywood Time. ⭐️

The wine competition consists of:

Wine 1: Hampton Water Rosé 2019 (Bon Jovi)
Wine 2: Invivo X Rosé 2019 (Sarah Jessica Parker)
Wine 3: LVE Cotes de Provence Rosé 2018 (John Legend)
Wine 4: Maison No. 9 Rosé 2019 (Post Malone)
Wine 5: Miraval Rosé 2019 (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie)
Wine 6: Sofia Rosé 2019 (Francis Ford Coppola)
Wine 7: Sun Goddess Pinot Grigio Ramato 2019 (Mary J Blige)


Many folks are ordering all seven wines from and hosting a blushing get-together (socially distanced, of course). Or bring your own bottle and taste along.

This is a virtual wine competition you won’t want to miss. If you haven’t completed your free registration, you can do so here.

For more virtual wine tastings, please visit this page.

wine competition

Wine Myths – June 17 | Mark Oldman Virtual Wine Tastings

wine myths

Join me for this highly informative, fun, and unbiased virtual tasting covering the 11 most compelling wine myths and misconceptions. You will never look at wine the same. The webinar is one hour and offered at the affordable ‘pandemic price’ of $20.

Bring your own bottle, OR taste along with the exact wines that I will be presenting (though this is not a prerequisite).

To register, please go here.

To see the full series of virtual wine events, please visit this page.