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Worse than a faux pas, that embarrassing slip of the tongue, this was a case of faux Pinot involving French wine traders and local vintners that duped the California wine-making empire of E.&J. Gallo.

The faked red wine produced more than a blush. A court in the medieval town of Carcassonne in southwest France has convicted a dozen people in the scheme in which local wine exported to the United States was passed off as more expensive Pinot Noir. The scheme hit every level of the chain that takes the wine from the vine and gets it to U.S. consumers.

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