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LA TRIBUNE (France)

BORDEAUX – Bordeaux wines have become so popular in China, reports La Tribune, that they are now widely targeted by counterfeiters.

Wine consumption in China – a relatively new phenomenon – has doubled in the past five years, and should continue to become more and more mainstream. So much so that China is now Bordeaux wines' number one export destination. A huge market, which represents about 600 million euros a year, according to La Tribune.

That's the upside. The downside is: as more and more bottles of Bordeaux are sold in China, so is the number of counterfeit wines. "One in two bottles of Lafite-Rothschild in China is a fake," says James de Roany, president of the French Foreign Trade Wine And Spirits Committee. The increase in counterfeit wines has had a devastating effect on the prices of high-end "grand cru" labels sold in China. A bottle of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 2008 fell from 1819 euros in 2008 to 1152 euros in 2009.

Faced with this growing problem, the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) has developed an innovative solution: a free smart-phone app that scans the bottles' barcodes to determine if the wine is real or fake.

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

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