A Western New Yorker has made it his mission to spot real from fake alcohol and he made an app so you can, too.
Author: Stephanie Barnes
Published: 7:53 AM EST February 21, 2018
Whether it's bubbly, liquor or wine, when you open a bottle, you are probably focused on the smell, listening for the fizz or noticing those tannins and notes.
You are probably not wondering if what you are about to pour is phony.
"Counterfeiting is becoming very prevalent in today's marketplace," Steve Glamuzina, creator of the app Prosurix, said.
Counterfeiting alcohol can include imitating or refilling a bottle with a cheaper variety.
It is difficult to pinpoint exact statistics of the problem due to the nature of counterfeiting but there are a handful of high profile cases. Take, for instance, an LA Times report on a wine collector charged for attempting to sell $1.3 million in fake French Burgundy.
This problem does not show up just in rare wines. Commercial wine can be counterfeited, too.
"Would you spend $250 for a bottle of wine to find out it's not real," Glamuzina asked.
So, Glamuzina set out to spot the difference between what is real and what is fake and he created the app, Prosurix, so you can, too.
It uses a chip to track booze from bottling to production to retail.
"The chips cannot be overwritten," Glamuzina explained. "They cannot be copied. So that allows for authenticity."
Glamuzina has been working on Prosurix for two years and said you can use the app on about 2,000 brands. Look for the Prosurix tag on the bottle, indicating the chip.
Some of the brands include Chauteu St. Michelle in Washington State all the way to Lockhouse Distillery in Buffalo.
"This is all developed in Buffalo," Glamuzina said. "This is all working with companies in Buffalo. So from that aspect, it is Buffalo based, Buffalo born and it is going to be Buffalo great."
Prosurix can also be used as a marketing tool for producers. They can add a personalized video message that pops up when the bottle is scanned.
Prosurix is launching nationally Tuesday and Wednesday at the U.S. Beverage Trade Show in Washington D.C.
You can download the app for free on Apple and Android phones.