Anyone ever tricked a wine snob by refilling a bottle

Just a curious thought

I was readling about gifting expensive wines to people who don’t appreciate, this led me to another thought. Has anyone ever decanted a cheaper wine back into expensive bottle to shut up or trick a wine bore/snob ? im not talking about Rudy type Fraud but a simple deception amongst ones friends


I had a friend do just the opposite many years ago. He filled an old bottle of crummy wine with a bottle of Romanee Conti. Then, after a few sips, he told us it was not what the bottle said. We eventually guessed a Rhone. It was an off year and it was done in the early 80’s.

We still get a kick out of that.

but aren’t we all wine snobs?

I did do this at an offline, I filled an empty '88 Mouton Rothschild bottle with “delicious red” from the supermarket.

Adam Lee did that to Rajat Parr? IIRC his intent was not to embarrass the guy, but to poke a stick at the dogma surrounding stated alcohol volumes and food pairings.

In a blind Cab tasting, I once served a Charles Shaw in a decanter. The woman who chose that as her WOTN still has not lived it down.

I did this once as well. No one was a big fan, but it wasn’t rated as the worst either.

We’re supposed to trick ourselves? [scratch.gif]


I’ve always avoided that, because I don’t want to embarrass anyone, but if you had the right group who would take it the right way, it would be pretty hilarious.

David Zylberberg has probably tasted Texier out of a dozen different producers’ bottles by now, but he has never (at least that he has admitted) been fooled. Of course, he knows to be on the lookout for it too. [cheers.gif]

I’ve never really understood these types of exercises. What is really gained? The potential for disaster seems to far outweigh any enjoyment, and really, that’s what wine should be about. Pleasure and enjoyment.

The guy at our local wine shop did this for a tasting on April Fools’ Day several years ago. He swapped a $2 Chuck with some ~$45 Merlot from Napa, I don’t remember which winery. The funny thing was, we totally hated the Merlot, but the trick was lost on us because we went in expecting to hate it anyway. Out of politeness we didn’t want to slam his expensive bottle, but Lori whispered to me, “first time I’ve ever wanted to pour out one of his wines.” The wine he poured from the Charles Shaw was surprisingly not bad at all, so when he revealed his trick it all made sense.

If the point of the exercise is to embarrass someone then I agree. However, to some degree, we all have label bias. To this extent, a swap can occasionally remind us of our preconceived inclinations.

I think it is a good exercise to do once in a while.
It reminds people to focus on the wine itself instead of just being a label chaser.


I’m considering putting together a $15 or $50 blind tasting. . . if all parties go in knowing the possible outcomes, I think it could be instructional.

You mean besides Rudy?

Oops - just read the OP in full… newhere

Did this as well, but the Chuck was roundly panned.

In the same tasting I served two halves of a magnum at different points of the tasting. Wildly different results.

This was done to me once, and I identified that the wine wasn’t what was on the bottle.

I’ve been served plenty of blind Texiers, and I’ve never really liked one (though I do believe I thought one was OK but not great).

I agree. I can’t remember anyone doing this to me, but I wish they would.
The closest I recall is someone serving a 10+yo Marquis Phillips Cab blind among $50+ Napa and Washington Cabs.
It was not bad, and a hell of a lot more tasty than one brett tainted Napa entry.

P Hickner

It’s plenty easy to remove those preconceptions by serving a wine blind. I think serving it out of a different bottle can only serve to confuse and embarrass people, so I don’t see any point.