jamie goode's wine blog: Hustle...fake wine on telly

Friday, May 18, 2007

Hustle...fake wine on telly

I was a huge fan of BBC series Hustle when it first came out a few years ago: it was creative, fun, smart and stylish. Haven't seen too much of it in recent series, but fortuitously caught it last night for an episode centred around wine.

For those of you who haven't seen Hustle before, it focuses on a team of con merchants with a difference. Like modern-day Robin Hoods, they only con those who really deserve it. 'You can't con an honest man' is one of their mantras.

Last night they conned an unpleasant manager of a nursing home who herself cons old people out of their homes. They attack her through her weakspot: her love of expensive wine. The only problem is that she's already had someone selling her fake wine at auction, so although the hustle team have a specialist wine faker as one of their acquaintances (who offers them 1947 Petrus, among others), they need to think of a smarter plan. All I'll say is that this involves the purchase at auction of a genuine 1787 Yquem followed by opening of said bottle, a quick swig, and then pouring it all down the drain. Painful to watch.
The price paid by Danny for the Yquem is £47000, which is pretty close to what such a bottle might fetch. Recently one traded hands for US$90000 - the most expensive white wine ever sold. Nice to see wine on the telly again!

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At 3:24 PM, Blogger Robert McIntosh said...

I caught the end of that too (just as they were preparing the scam so took me a while to twig the bottle was real).

As it happens I also watched (on HomeChoice TV on demand) episode 3 the first series of Black Books. Did you ever see that? Very funny and involved wine (real and fake), the Catholic Church, coffee and a fair amount of harm to the body.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Robert McIntosh said...

you can see it on youtube

first part here:

At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Doug said...

The label of the Yquem was in fab condition, the capsule was maroon from memory, the cork didn't crumble and the liquid inside was light yellow - I would say it had aged remarkably well!

The brilliantly ironic thing about the con is that (for what it's worth) you might as well pour the wine down the sink. It's not the drinkability (it ain't for drinking) but the authenticity that counts here - you're paying for liquid history.

The episode of Black Books referred to contains my favourite tasting note of all time. “It’s like looking in the eye of a duck and sucking all the fluid from its beak”.
Dylan Moran – (of drinking a £7000 bottle of claret)

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Was that the episode with the Pope's wine? Utterly brilliant.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Robert McIntosh said...

that's the one!

made from grapes that "miraculously" grew from a rose bush and mysteriously look more like table grapes ... ?

At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Doug said...

Three things to remind ourselves of according to Bernard:

1. The older the wine the gooder it is

2. Don't drink Burgundy is a boat

3. Noone is prepared to admit that wine doesn't actually have a taste

And finally his cogent analysis of new wave oenology:

"To creat a new strain of super wine with a fraction of nature's resources and a fool for an assistant!"

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous domaine547 said...

Can't wait to watch this. Hope it's still on youtube...


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