Wine ban in Alabama could mean big bucks for vintner

The label with a nude nymph offends the state's liquor control board.

By Elizabeth Strott Jul 31, 2009 8:09AM

A ban can mean big business. At least, that's what Bill Leigon, president of Hahn Family Wines in Soledad, Calif., is hoping.

 

The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board recently told stores and restaurants to stop serving Cycles Gladiator wine because of the label, which features a naked nymph, The Associated Press reported late Thursday.

ABC board attorney Bob Martin said the stylized, art-nouveau rendition of a nude female with a flying bicycle violated Alabama rules against displaying "a person posed in an immoral or sensuous manner," The AP reported, but Leigon said the label is a copy of an 1895 French advertising poster for Cycles Gladiator bicycles, which shows a side view of a full-bodied nymph flying alongside a winged bicycle.

 

Hahn Family Wines is going to turn the ban into a marketing boon: Leigon said he is creating store displays that say "Banned in Bama" and "Taste What They Can't Have in Alabama," the AP reported.

 

About 500 cases of the wine were sold each year in Alabama, but that won't be missed, Leigon said. "There is going to be a significant increase in our sales," he told the AP.

 

Original lithographs of the Cycles Gladiator image go for up to $50,000 apiece.

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