Maureen Downey never calls a bottle of wine fake. "Only a producer can do that," says the former fine and rare wine specialist for auction houses, who formed Chai Consulting in 2006 to help clients build (counterfeit-free) collections. "All I can say is, 'This bottle is inconsistent with known authentic examples.' " She's looking for problems, and if she finds them, she has to tell her client that what they thought was a rare, expensive piece of art is probably only a conversation piece.
Dec 15, 2009