Chai Consulting Authentication Services (TCM®)

TCM℠ Wine Authentication: The Chai Method®

The Chai Method® is an independent, third-party, systematic approach to due diligence in wine authentication that can be applied by both buyers and sellers of fine and rare wine to assess risk when making transactions or evaluating their holdings. The Chai Method® is exclusively offered by Maureen Downey and her team of consultants at Chai Consulting, LLC.

The Chai Method®

With so many fake wines in the market, and more being released onto the public every year by unscrupulous, uneducated, or careless vendors, you need a professional on whom you can rely. Maureen Downey is a recognized expert in wine authentication demonstrated by her experience, as well as press accounts and auction houses, sommeliers, and other professionals who request her opinion on a regular basis.

She and her team will inspect and determine the authenticity of bottles in your existing inventory, using her proprietary systematic approach, The Chai Method®. They will then prepare reports with findings and, when necessary, contact pertinent parties in order to attain retribution. If you are considering purchasing, Maureen can inspect auction lots or retail offerings prior to purchase to ensure veracity of bottles and reported storage history.

“Keen, experienced, and methodic is how I describe Maureen Downey’s approach to wine authentication. Downey’s knowledge and experience have served as an invaluable tool in identifying questionable, highly collectible, often older, wine bottles I purchased. Based on her findings, I was able to return bottles I had purchased or intended to purchase. I highly recommend her service as a wine professional!”
– James Grandison, San Francisco, CA

Authentication: Photography

Chai Consulting also offers remote inspection of wine bottles to determine authenticity or storage history for those who have questions about a small number of bottles. With the help of our experienced and trained photographer Myrna Suarez, who is also a groundbreaking artist, the Chai Consulting team can remotely assess bottles prior to a purchase or after a purchase for purposes of restitution. Myrna has worked closely with Maureen Downey on several cases involving counterfeit wine, documenting and bringing to light discrepancies that she’s been trained to look for. Myrna’s photos are sent to the Chai Consulting team for analysis, the results of which are provided to clients in detailed reports.

To contact us about your authentication needs, please send an email to:

Wine Collection Management 

Chai Consulting, LLC offers wine consulting services for all aspects of wine collection and inventory management, tailored specifically to the needs of the individual collector based anywhere in the world. Wine collection management services can be provided separately or bundled together to create a complete Chai Consulting cellar management services package for one-time organizational projects or ongoing inventory management.The Chai Consulting multi-pronged approach and strong industry ties ensure thorough sell through rate and best prices whether buying or selling.

  • Wine cellar planning, inventory management strategies
  • Inventory taking and reporting including valuation
  • Fine and rare wine authentication
  • Organization of home cellars and professional storage locations
  • Barcoding
  • Liquidation of excess inventory and sourcing of fine & rare wines
  • Auction consignment negotiation, representation and oversight
  • Fine and rare wine authentication
  • Appraisals for insurance, sale, divorce, and estate needs or charity events
  • Buying and selling services