Maureen Downey to host wine authentication workshops in HK

Wine authentication expert Maureen Downey will return to Hong Kong this October to host two workshops for trade professionals and wine collectors, after previously casting a somber warning to the Hong Kong wine trade that fraudsters and forgers in Europe are purposely targeting affluent Asian collectors.

Fake wines showcased at Maureen Downey’s previous workshop

The wine fraud and counterfeiting presentation will be held at Grand Hyatt Hotel in Wanchai on 9 October, followed by authentication training level I and part A & B of level II from 9 to 12 October.

This will be the second time this year that the wine authentication expert has visited Hong Kong to speak on wine fraud. Downey, founder of ChaiConsulting and, hosted a similar workshop in February during which she warned wine merchants and collectors that fake wines are moving into Hong Kong at a pace that is “higher than at the height of what Rudy Kurniawan created”.

The presentation on the morning of 9 October will review the history of wine fraud and discuss the common ways fraudsters use to defraud the trade and consumers.

The authentication training level I on the afternoon of the same day will offer first-step training for anyone who collects, or works with fine and rare wine or is curious about wine authentication, according to the company.

The authentication training Level II, broken down into two parts on 10 and 12 October, gears towards more serious wine collectors or professionals who authenticate wines as part of their jobs. The intensive workshop will expand on the subjects covered in level I, and spend more time using trade tools for hands-on comparison of known counterfeits against authentic bottles, according to her website

In addition, the workshop will teach attendees to analyse current anti-fraud efforts and what to look for in assessing “the most highly counterfeited wines in the last two decades”.

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