Peter Hellman is a New York-based wine journalist and best-selling author. His writing has appeared in Wine Spectator, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, New York Times, New York Sun and his bestselling books include In Vino Duplicitas: The Rise and Fall of a Wine Forger Extraordinaire and Chief!: Classic Cases from the Files of the Chief of Detectives and When Courage Was Stronger than Fear. Peter started writing about Rudy Kurniawan in 2008 and has covered the story ever since.
In this episode, Pete shares with us why wine makes a good candidate for forgery and how he landed on the story of Rudy Kurniawan and several fantastic stories and experiences from over the years, and so much more!
- What makes wine such an attractive candidate for forgery?
- How did Pete’s eventful first-hand experience at a wine auction in 2008 push him into pursuing the bigger story behind the scenes of Rudy Kurniawan?
- What made Lauren Ponsot so adamant about halting the sale of the counterfeit Domaine Ponsot wines at that 2008 auction?
- The Rudy Kurniawan story had a lot of heroes. How did they become involved?
- What did Bill Koch’s investigators uncover about Rudy Kurniawan’s background?
- How did Rudy Kurniawan’s expertise help him to enter the circles of industry leaders and wealthy wine collectors?
- What was the story behind Rudy Kurniawan’s sale of 7 counterfeit bottles of one the most sought-after Burgundies to an industry titan for over $14,000 each?
- What’s Pete’s take on the documentary, Sour Grapes?
- Why is it so hard to get authentic wines from the 19th century?
- What’s the one special wine which Pete is especially proud to have in his cellar?
- Is wine a good investment option?
- Pete’s New York Times Best-Selling Book: In Vino Duplicitas: The Rise and Fall of a Wine Forger Extraordinaire
- Pete’s Previous Books:
- Fifty Years After Kitty Genovese: Inside the Case that Rocked Our Faith in Each Other
- Chief!: Classic Cases from the Files of the Chief of Detectives
- When Courage Was Stronger Than Fear: Remarkable Stories of Christians and Muslims Who Saved Jews from the Holocaust by Peter Hellman
- Shaping the Skyline: The World According to Real Estate Visionary Julien Studley by Peter Hellman
- Pete Hellman’s Website
- Pete’s Article: Domaine Ponsot Proprietor Halts Sale of Fake Bottles
- The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man by David Maurer
- The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine by Benjamin Wallace
- Natalie’s review of The Billionaire’s Vinegar
- Sour Grapes documentary, available on Netflix
- Laurent Ponsot, 4th generation proprietor of the Domaine Ponsot
- Rudy Kurniawan, wine forger and subject of Pete’s book
You can also watch this episode’s Video Chat with Pete that includes bonus content and behind-the-scenes questions and answers that weren’t included in this podcast.
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- You’ll find my books here, including Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines and Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass.
- The new audio edition of Red, White and Drunk All Over is now available on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com and other country-specific Amazon sites; iTunes.ca, iTunes.com and other country-specific iTunes sites; Audible.ca and Audible.com.