An incongruous case of wine found on a Tuscan street has led to the breakup of a ring of high-end-wine counterfeiters. Authorities surmised that the faux Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri literally “fell off a truck,” introducing a pleasing new variant to the expression’s familiar colloquial meaning. The surprise discovery by two officers from the Guardia di Fiananza (Financial Police) in Empoli, just outside Florence, proved especially felicitous, as two mobile-phone numbers were helpfully included in a note found with the wine. E, presto!: the subsequent investigation led to the confiscation of 4,200 bottles of the ersatz Sassicaia Bolgheri, which, according to the police, would have been worth nearly half a million dollars on the street, as it were. Authorities say the plonk, for which customers in China, Korea, and Russia had already placed orders totaling about 1,000 cases, had an actual provenance of Sicily (the wine), Turkey (the bottles), and Bulgaria (the labels and packaging). In any event, it probably needs to breathe a little.
In a perfect universe, some would maintain, googling “burberry for dogs” would yield absolutely nothing. As would, say, typing in “ralph lauren dog fashion.” But this is not a perfect universe, and it doesn’t take long for the first search to lead you to Thomas Burberry–monogrammed dog hoodies, and the second, perhaps inevitably, to “The Pup Shop.” Hound couture is nothing new, but the advent of canine influencers on social media suggests that we’ve finally jumped the Shar-Pei. Indeed, The Guardianreports: “‘Anthropomorphism trends in the UK pet market have never been more apparent than in 2020,’ says Mark Waddy, the director of MTW Research,” who goes on to cite doggy ice cream, doggy perfume, and possibly also doggy beer and doggy wine—it’s not certain, because it was right around this point that we entered a fugue state.