Welcome to wine enjoyed in a “statusphere” I never even knew existed: a world of competitive auctions, lavish tastings, extravagant dinners and sleight of hand so crafty that even the most educated wine connoisseur could be swindled out of millions of dollars.
Sour Grapes (2016) is an intriguing documentary on Netflix that sticks its nose deep into the big business of highly prestigious wine collecting and unravels Rudy Kurniawan’s sophisticated operation designed to profit off of fake wine (that he blends himself btw-😳) and forged labels which he also creates on his own. (sheesh, I can barely make a decent copy of a recipe, and forget it if it comes with a picture! 😂)
Originally from Indonesia, Rudy was living the high life in the United States on an expired visa with a warrant out for his arrest. (Again, I go 5 mph over the speed limit and for sure I’m gonna get busted. This guy? NOPE–He’s livin’ la vida loca, buying mansions, giving interviews, no problem!!) So yeah, in spite of legal issues that would be major stumbling blocks for mere mortals, he still managed to wriggle his way into the most elite inner circles of wine collecting and make millions off the backs of wealthy wine lovers who were so taken by his friendliness, intelligence and disarming demeanor that many would even today still call him a friend.
Obviously my husband and I need not be concerned about being snookered into purchasing a $20,000 bottle of Faux Bordeaux, but this movie was none-the-less a totally fascinating glimpse into what can go wrong when just one wily fox sneaks into the wine cellar..😉