I was going to resurect the faulty wines refund thread but this is not about refunds.
M&S have, or had a very good award winning (silver medal) Decanter, Spanish carignan red on offer and I availed myself of some bottles for everyday drinking, all was well until I got a bad bottle, nothing intrinsically wrong just nowhere near the same as the other bottles, and I have a few more to go so have no idea if it is a batch problem.
As my good lady was going into town to visit M&S for other items ! I tagged along and took the offending bottle back for a refund, and this is where it got interesting.
Customer services had no problem giving the refund but the manager in charge of the wine in this big store happened to be on hand and again no problem but he spoke about “bad” bottles.
This would appear to be a not infrequent occurence outside of the tainted, corked segment, and he openly stated that they often get batches that in honesty it would be difficult to believe were the same wine.
It is something I have come across over the years with many lower end award winning wines and not the first time I have mentioned it, in fact with a similar WS bottle I queried if the batches were tested and was assured they were, though obviously all bottles cannot be tested for authenticity it would be a logistical and impractical no go.
But again I ask how many award winning wines that go on sale are the same as the ones put up for competition, this is a serious question as it has happened on so many occasions that there is no correlation between what accolade has been heaped on a particular wine and what was purchased over the counter and I am not talking subjectivity but straight comparison.
In the past on this subject I have used the famous Sainsburys own label champagne case that was found to be because of demand substituted and allowed to retain its awards in a bizarre trading standards verdict, but in reality how often has that happened, there is no doubt in my mind with the returned bottle above and many others over the years, with the rise in counterfeit wines from China, that are an increasing threat on a big scale we are right to be cynical, but can anything actually on a practical basis be done about it.
There was an article by a respected wine writer on the subject some time back yet no more was heard, I suspect protected interests come into play with something like this, but it is an interesting adjunct to the wine trade fraud problem nonetheless.