Real Live Wine Fraud

Not quite on the scale of the Jefferson bottles, but funnily enough the comment below appeared the other day on my earlier post about Nigerian Wine Spam.

Let’s see what “Julia” has to say:

Dear Wolfgang,
My name is Julia. I am from Moscow, Russia. I work for wine company. I have recieved a call from a man in London, who was seaking for Petrus wines for “VIP Party”. I did all the operation. I found the wines for him in France, the man from London  had sent the swift in order to confirm the payment.The french supplier had shipped 18 bottles of Petrus to London. Now the bank in France confirmed that the SWIFT is faked, the french supplier hasn`t got the money, the bastards had got the wines. I don`t know what to do….Could you advise me smth…. where to go…where do they usually resell the wines ? In London? To wine boutiques, restaurants…Any help would be appreciated. I am ready to pay the money for the help. The proforma was for 53000 euros. Julia

Interesting on many levels.

I wonder if it’s the same scammers, and this is their response to the original post? Do they like to target bloggers? Surly this is a person and not some web-crawling spam spider?

Anyway, as always folks, make sure to read through your comments. And anything about unloading some Petrus in London, Moscow, New York or anywhere else is 100% fake.

Side note: I guess this confirms that VIPs like to roll with Petrus.

Nigerian Wine Spam?

A friend forwarded me this email, which might just be the work of Nigerian email scammers. Evidently the turmoil in the financial world — and perhaps an increased awareness of both personal finances and email scams — has forced the scammers into a new game. Either that, or this whole wine fraud thing is really getting out of hand.

Wow, who knew the international wine trade could be so much fun?

And remember, kids: Be careful when playing with the internet. Watch those credit card numbers. And POS machines (for routing purposes?).

God bless him

> From: Tim Mccarron
> Date: October 2, 2009 5:36:05 PM PDT
> Subject: Wine Booking.
> Reply-To:
> Hello,
> I want to make the reservation for 10 guests who are coming to your country for a meeting of private meeting.The group would need your wine services in your place,from 27th to 30th October of 2009.The Guests are 10 in number and we want to make a deposit of $3,000 USD in advance before their arrival. All the checks and balances will be made with you the 30th of October 2009.
> 1) you have a POS machine to charge credit cards?
> Contact me please back with your answer. God bless him.
> Regards,
> Mr. Tim McCarron.
> Mobile: xxxxxxx*

*Note: Phone number removed just to keep y’all from getting in trouble.

Friday Linkfest: Greetings From Kinkyland!

Haven’t done a linkfest in a while (see previous post for my excuse), so this one’s over due. But I am managing to get it together on a Friday! And I haven’t been drinking either! So, on we go…


Naming Game

We here at the W&S west coast hq often amuse ourselves by looking out the window at the intersection of Market and Valencia Streets. This charming little corner of San Francisco is a snapshot of urban diversity, boasting an art supply shop, a divey piano drag bar, a showtunes bar, two churches for right-wing crazies, Zeitgeist, three pot clubs, an AA club, a wine magazine (ahem), a public TV station,, a free health clinic, …, and probably a dozen other places I’m forgetting.

Anyway, it seems that the forces of gentrification are hard at work and now this little patch even has it’s own charming name, The Hub (I eagerly await the arrival of the restaurant with said name to make it official). But over at the Tablehopper, a website and weekly San Francisco restaurant newsletter that I consider essential reading, Marcia Gagliardi posted a round up of some emails she received as part of a contest to name this vivacious little corner of the city (she learned later of the name, The Hub). Some clever responses here; I think I’m torn between Inner Zeitgeist and Kinkyland.

(Click here to read the original post–and you’ll need to scroll down about half the page)

Wine Fraud: Fake Jefferson bottles, court battles and a whole stew of controversy

Somebody pointed Wine Authentication Services by Russell H. Frye out to me while I was in New York last week. It’s an amazing time sucker of a site, so I won’t really talk about it much here.

Also related: the fake Jefferson bottles case–subject of a fascinating New Yorker article last Fall–was dismissed in court. Link to the Decanter article via Lyle Fass’ blog, Rockss and Fruit.

Follow the bouncing ball

Or in this case, hundreds of thousands of them.

An Italian group in Rome–also responsible for dying the waters of the Trevi Fountain red last Fall–released a multitude of colored plastic balls down the Spanish Steps earlier this week. Both acts were apparently political protests and the leader of the group, Graziano Cecchini, is associated with the Italian right/center-right (interview with Cecchini in Italian following the Trevi Fountain incident here). I’m not sure I see the political connection, but the Italians are rather colorful when it comes public protests.

Political motives and intentions aside, it’s all rather amusing. There’s a video and write up here (found via BoingBoing), and the same story appeared on the New York Times news blog, the Lede.

Mozzarella, cow diseases and the Mafia

Oh no!

(Thanks to Lindsay for the tip)

Speaking of southern Italian food…

Jeremy Parzen over at Do Bianchi has posted a couple of times recently on the origins of sugo alla puttanesca. An informative look at one of my favorite pasta/pizza sauces. Go here to read up. Also, there’s an interesting follow up to the post (written in Italian) by Terry Hughes at Mondosapore–be sure to check out the comments thread.

As with many Italian dishes or specialties, there’s a story of nebulous origins for this fiery and delicious sauce.

Drooling now.

Bigger than the playoffs


Okay, maybe not. But for those of us who grew up at the beach in California, surfing and surf culture are a part of life. And this past weekend, the granddaddy of all surf contests took place just south of San Francisco near Half Moon Bay at Mavericks. Big, big waves…
SFGate has an entire section devoted to the 2007/08 Mavericks season, with awesome photos like the one above, here.

Some random things:

Portishead is touring!

Where to buy the best meat in San Francisco (via Gridskipper)

Lastly, Looking for a good burrito? Try here.