Victory for Wine Snobs: Billionaire William Koch Wins Lawsuit

A man opens a bottle of Saint Martin wine in Brno, South Moravia during the Saint Martin Wine festival, on November 11, 2011. The tradition of St. Martin wine, which was restored in the Czech Republic in the 1990s is very popular. This year 2 million bottles of wine were produced. Saint Martin, the wine's patron, traditionnaly rides a white horse at the head of a procession from the Church of St. Peter and Paul, where the first bottle of wine was symbolically baptized.  AFP PHOTO/RADEK MICA (Photo credit should read RADEK MICA/AFP/Getty Images)
Poppin' bottles. Photo: RADEK MICA/2011 AFP

Energy magnate William Koch is the poster boy for fighting wine fraud. Throughout his years as a collector, he's purchased fraudulent bottles on more than one occasion, and was implicated in what New York deemed "the biggest hoax in history." The plight of one very rich man is now setting an example for the entire wine industry. Koch sued Internet tycoon and fellow billionaire Eric Greenberg for selling him $300,000 worth of rare, vintage wine that turned out to be sour and counterfeit, and he won! The U.S. District Court in Manhattan is awarding him $380,000 in compensatory damages — and he might receive more for punitive damages. That's basically Monopoly money to Koch, but hey, it's the principle that counts. This is only the beginning for this boozy crusader: "Now we have this faker," he said. "We're moving down our hit list of fakers." Captain Bordeaux to the rescue. [NYM, Earlier, AP]