Wine pornography in Alabama


written by Michael Oudyn

Well, what do you see in this image?  For the people at Cycles Gladiator Wines this little-known 19th-century Parisian print “symbolizes a celebration of the freedom and happiness that pervaded Europe…in the belle époque”.  For the Alabama Beverage Board, on the other hand, it depicts “a person posed in an immoral or sensuous manner” which makes it unfit to grace a wine label.  Cycles Gladiator Wines put it on the label of its Cabernet Sauvignon, the government of Alabama decreed the label pornographic and banned it from Alabama.

So Cycles Gladiator Wines has been forced to pull all their wine from the restaurants and wineshops of Alabama.  This can’t represent too much of a hit to their total sales.  Wine consumption per capita in Alabama ranks 46th in the nation. Furthermore, blog reviews of this particular cab are… well, take a look at one of them.  “The nose was something like rotting meat” which took “45 minutes (of breathing) to get under control” but “(it is still) a solid value for the money”.  So, a little free publicity was just what the doctor ordered.  And Cycles Gladiator has been capitalizing big time on its “banned in Alabama” status. Sales are up on wine, nude-nymph cycling jerseys, and their ever-popular T-shirts for dogs.

For any true aficionado of paranoid conspiracies there must be something sinister going on behind the scenes, like maybe the following: a bright-eyed Hahn family second cousin worms an internship at the Alabama Beverage Control Board.  The mole, feigning shock and confusion, brings the offending bottle to the attention her immediate supervisor who immediately grasps why the sweet young thing is on the verge of an attack of the vapors.   He gallantly snaps his suspenders against his protruding beer belly, wipes the sweat off his jowls, takes a long drag on his well-chewed stogy, and sententiously declares that “the flying nude bicyclist” is “an affront to the god-fearing sensibilities of the denizens of Alabama.”  Cycles Gladiator bites the dust throughout the state.  Overnight the Internet buzzes and titters.  “Nude bike nymph” becomes a cause celebre. Sales of the martyred products soar.  The extended Hahn Family laugh themselves all the way to the bank.

I personally would love to think that such an uplifting tale is still possible in our decadent America.  But the truth, I fear, is more prosaic.  I suspect that the “’Bama Taliban“, “the ‘Bama Bible bangers” (left-leaning lovers of elitist alliteration just wanna have fun) are only doing what comes natural to them: making asses out of themselves.  And that the Hahn family is just doing what any of us would if presented with such a godsend:  making hay while the sun shines and thanking heaven for the State of Alabama.

10 Responses to “Wine pornography in Alabama”

  1. Phil Jones Says:

    Good story! Keep yr “travels” going.

  2. Ken J Says:

    Good stuff, Wine Tripper. Wish it were a conspiracy, but I’m sure you’re right. Such a lovely lady ascending into celestial freedom – yes, egregious pornography…Of course, the bible thumpers in ‘bama have never seen porn so this qualifies to their innocent eyes. Ugh.

    So which states are 47-50? ‘Bama’s neighbors and Utah?

    Keep blogging, Wine Tripper. Interesting tales…

    • oudyn Says:

      Hi Ken J, You nailed Utah (48) and neighbor Mississippi (49). West Virginia is dead last. Iowa is 47 which is a bit of a mystery. And the state with the most consumption in 1999? Idaho. Go figure. Tax laws? People coming over from Canada? Long winters in the bomb shelters waiting for Armageddon?

  3. Ken J Says:


    I know you’ve read “Judgement of Paris” – looking forward to your blog on the book and a comparison to the flimsy, but fun film version – “Bottle Shock.”

  4. Lander Says:

    Really interesting.

  5. What do our politicians drink? « Wine Tripping Says:

    […] the Alabama pornographic-wine-label bruhaha (read previous post)  and a nice merlot from St. Emilion got me and some friends “thinking” about wine drinking and […]

  6. Rico Says:

    Sooooooo ridiculous. I can’t speak for the wine but the French print is lovely. I love the print and own a cycling jersey and wear it without ever thinking twice. It is not pornographic because I know porn when I see it and this ain’t it as the Supreme Court says regarding porn. Ride on!!

  7. Nata Says:

    Hahn family he couldn’t be happier marketing for free, something quiet expensive today.


    We need more immorality in our life!

  9. Normand Says:

    We stumbled over here different web address and thought I might as well check things out.

    I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to looking over your web page for a second

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: