Alabama bans wine depicting naked nymph flying with bicycle

The Cycles Gladiator brand of wine has been banned from shelves in Alabama by the Alabama Beverage Commission because the label is deemed pornographic.

The art is nothing new. The label is a replica of a Parisian bicycle poster dating back to 1895 and shows a nude woman flying through the heavens with a bicycle. Naked, yes. Pornographic, no.
And as a wine label it's been on Cycles Gladiator since at least 2006. Further, the Alabama alcoholic beverage commission approved the label back in 2006, according to Bill Leigon, president of Hahn Family Wines in Napa Valley, California.

Hahn’s said they've sold 600,000 cases of Cycles Gladiator in the US and around the world, and this is the first complaint about the label art. Apparently the ABC was drawn into action by a complaint.

I'm not sure about the connection between drinking wine and bicycling, but some marketers of vino apparently want to create one.

Cycles Gladiator from Hahn Estates in California is the newest label sporting a bicycle -- and a red-haired nymph
It joins Red Bicyclette, a French wine that I was surprised to learn comes from none other than mass wine producer E & J Gallo in Modesto, California.

Planning to hold a wine tasting after the next group ride? I didn't think so, but you could. Together these labels represent whites and reds.

The Hahn winery started the Cycles Gladiator wine with grapes from the same vineyards as its Rex Goliath, which it sold to another winery, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The label comes from a famous poster that French artist G. Massias painted in 1895 to publicize a new bicycle -- the Cycle Gladiator. The Hahn winery says the label creates a mood: "His mythological image of the ‘winged bicycle’ captures the stylish grace, beauty, and unfettered freedom of our hillside vineyards. Let Cycles Gladiator whisk you away for the ride of your life."
No stylish grace or beauty with Red Bicyclette.
Drink up!


Anonymous said...

This wine is one of the best wines under ten bucks I've ever had. Bought it last night and researched it today stumbling on this article. Poor Alabama going to miss out on a great value!

Anonymous said...

Children need to be protected from this type of marketing, especially those children shopping at liquor (or likker as we say in AL) stores.