Imitation spirits: the value of authenticity

16 May 2018
The imitation of any kind of product is a daily problem every company has to wrestle with. However in the world of the bodegas there exists a series of procedures to certify that what you are drinking is genuine and conforms to current regulations.

All the Denominations of Origin have various internal bodies to control and verify the authenticity of the wines and spirits produced in their respective areas. In particular, in the area of Jerez – Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar de Barrameda – the Consejo Regulador is tasked with controlling the DO “Jerez-Xeres-Sherry”.

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“The Consejo Regulador verifies and assigns an individual identification number to each bottle produced in the area” says Marcelino Piquero, commercial director of Bodegas Sánchez Romate. “In fact, to guarantee the impartiality of an evaluation, an external control body is contracted which is totally independent of the bodega and the Consejo Regulador. This organisation sends out inspectors and conducts laboratory testing to keep an eye on the authenticity of the product”, adds Marcelino.

marcelino piquero sanchez romate
Marcelino Piquero, "The Truth Uncovered Rudy Romero Story".  

For reasons of security and preservation of the traditions and prestige of the area of production, any powers which can guarantee the final purchaser a genuine product are essential. It is estimated that 5% of the spirits sold throughout the world are false and that 25% of those arriving in Asia are not genuine either.

Given this situation, Marcelino gives us some advice to bear in mind when buying a bottle of wine or brandy.

“Firstly it is advisable to check the labelling of the bottle to ensure that it bears the distinctive seal of the Consejo Regulador with the bottle identification number – you could say it is the bottle’s identity card. These must legally be in an easily visible place. They are normally to be found on the bottle’s back label”, says Marcelino.

etiqueta brandy

As well as these measures which are internal to the production zone itself, it should be noted that the Consejo Regulador operates under the authority of the Spanish Government and it in turn depends on bodies belonging to the European Union.

As you can see, there is a number of measures in place which are worth knowing about to help avoid being defrauded, and with a simple glance at both labels you can avoid any problems.

So the next time you buy any type of wine with Denominación de Origen, or in the case of brandy, a Cardenal Mendoza, take 15 seconds to reassure yourself that the bottle you are holding has the quality and finesse which characterises us by using the above guidelines.

Once you are satisfied everything is in order, there is only one thing left to do:

Pour yourself a glass and raise a toast!

If you already have some Cardenal Mendoza or intend to try it soon, we recommend you read over this post which we have prepared for you on the best way to enjoy a good brandy.