According to The Asahi Shimbun, a system to identify wine bottles that have been opened illicitly is intended to stop plonk from being passed off as upmarket wine.
The system from Toppan Printing Co. is the first of its kind. It uses a smartphone app and electronic IC tags to detect corks that have been pulled out or that have holes in them.
The IC tags are put around the spout of wine bottles like labels, allowing people to check if the bottles have been opened by reading the tags on the smartphone app.
Even small holes in the corks made with a needle can be detected with the IC tags. When the tags are cut and put on the bottles again, the records are kept in the IC chips.
If wineries purchase a package of tags for 300,000 wine bottles, the cost for each IC tag works out to around 90 yen (US 79 cents).
As many fake luxury wines are sold, Toppan Printing intends to market the new system mainly to wine makers overseas that are concerned that their brand values may decline because of counterfeit products.
Typically, this happens when the contents of a pricey wine are replaced with cheaper stuff.
Toppan Printing is looking to have the system adopted by 50 firms in fiscal 2018. It has already been introduced by Domaine Emmanuel Rouget, a luxury wine maker in the Bourgogne region in France, according to Toppan Printing.
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