French winemakers are today licking their wounds after losing what they had hoped would be a landmark case resulting from their widely publicized state-of-the-art wine fraud detection system.
Early last year, the crack "Clouseau" investigative department of the french police believed they had uncovered a hitherto unknown gang, calling itself 'The Student Union', which had infiltrated the British university system.
They suspected the gang was drinking expensive bottles of wine, tagged using the new system of bubbles and passwords, and then replacing the contents with cheaper wines. The bottles would then be sold on in order to generate income to feed their, not inconsiderable, drinking habits.
When British police, at the request of their French counterparts, raided an unnamed halls of residence early on Sunday 8th Feb last year they found several gang members passed out on the floor surrounded by empty wine bottles bearing the new anti-fraud tags.
French winegrowers were said to be ecstatic at the news and said that it proved the value of their new system. Jubilation turned to humiliation however when, earlier today, the case collapsed in the high court.
Analysis of urine samples, taken from gang members in order to confirm they had themselves drunk the wine, showed that the samples were indistinguishable from samples of the original wine supplied by the French winemakers.
"The French have obviously been taking the piss out of us, or at least selling it to us, for years.", said Justice Bigwig before formally dismissing the case and deporting the French winegrowers.