You know what you should do this afternoon? Read Jesse Hirsch's awesome and in-depth SF Weekly cover story about wine forgeries and the local detective who uncovers them. Hirsch spent time with Maureen Downey, a wine consultant who happens to be an expert in the super-niche field of determining whether the bottles of vintage French wines that fetch thousands of dollars at auctions are actually legit.
Because wine loses its value when it's been opened, and because there's no empirical way to determine whether a wine is actually what it claims to be, Downey focuses on what's outside the bottle, namely inconsistencies in the cork and label. Read the story to find out what she looks for, how she got into the wine forgery detection business, and how the opinionated lady has made waves in the wine world since the very beginning -- as well as learn about some of the biggest wine forgery scandals in history.