Illiterate forgers who made spelling mistakes on the labels of hundreds of fake bottles of wine have sparked a warning to drinkers.

Surrey County Council Trading Standards is warning wine lovers of the hundreds of bottles of fake Jacob's Creek wine.

The bogus bottles can be easily spotted by the bungled spelling on the labels.

Twenty were found with labels on the back claiming the drink was a ‘Wine of Austrlia’ – rather than Australia.

In a second cock-up, the forgers mispelt the name of the Drink Aware Campaign website, spelling it ''

All the bottles were seized in Surrey in the past month.

A Surrey County Council spokesman said the forgers appear to be illiterate.

He said: “The abysmal spelling gives new meaning to the phrase thick as thieves.

“Another sign that the cheap plonk is a smuggled counterfeit, thought to be from Asia, is that it tastes foul.”

He said: “What really staggers me is that they've got the winemaker's signature perfect, but they couldn't spell the word 'Australia.'”

He said: “They are being sold in off licences. They've been found in them in north Surrey.”

The drink has been sold for as little as £2 a bottle, despite the fact Jacob’s Creek usually sells for around £10.

Tests of the wine have shown that it is not a health hazard, but drinkers are being urged not to buy it.

The spokesman said the investigation is ongoing, with hundreds of the bottles of counterfeit Jacob’s Creek also seized in Greater London, Brighton and Reading since February.

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council cabinet member for community safety, said: “Although this wine does not appear to be harmful to your health, there are no guarantees when dealing with smuggled alcohol and criminal gangs.”

She said: “The sale of fake alcohol funds organised crime around the world, so I would urge people to keep their eyes peeled for tell-tale signs of forgeries when buying their next bottle of wine.”

Steve Ruddy from Surrey County Council Trading Standards, said: “My advice to people is to check the label on wine bottles and if you think it could be fake don’t buy it.”

He added: “I would ask shop owners to stick to reputable suppliers and report anyone approaching them with fake alcohol to Trading Standards.”

Anyone who believes they have found counterfeit alcohol should call Surrey Trading Standards on 01372 371799.