Dubbed ‘The Sherlock Holmes of Wines’, Maureen Downey, is an independent expert on fine and rare wine and wine collection management, and is the foremost global authority on wine fraud, counterfeit wine and fine wine authentication. She advises the world’s top collectors in purchasing, selling, and managing their collections with her firm, Chai Consulting, founded in 2005.
In 2015, she launched WineFraud.com to help assist both the wine trade and collectors become educated about the realities of wine fraud and counterfeiting in global markets, as well as how to authenticate fine wines. It now has over 40,000 images of both authentic and counterfeit bottles, labels, ink, corks and capsules to aid members in authentication.
Chai Vault Inc, is Downey’s new venture – a blockchain based solution to proving authenticity and provenance of a bottle for its entire lifespan. Once certified, either at production, in a direct provenance situation, or in the secondary market by one of our certified, licensed TCM Authenticators – bottles offered for sale can have their online Ledger of Authenticity & Provenance displayed for view by potential buyers. For the first time, buyers of wines and spirits will be empowered to see the proof of authenticity and provenance history of a bottle prior to making a purchase.
Today, Ms. Downey is considered one of the top women in wine and can currently be seen combatting counterfeits in the Netflix film, Sour Grapes.
Combatting counterfeit wines: the update