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Hahn Cycles Gladiator

by Nannette Eaton on January 3, 2010

“Women should be obscene and not heard.” — Groucho Marx

“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.” — Voltaire

Pornographic wines? Clearly a job for a wine harlot. Wine Harlots read banned books, and now we proudly drink banned wine. What naughty harlots we are! How did drinking wine become a subversive act?

Last summer the brain-trust at the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board banned the Hahn Family Wines Cycles Gladiator as they deemed it “obscene.” Adding to the irony, it was approved by the same government entity three years ago, and had been selling at restaurants and retailers in Alabama for several years. Banned in Alabama? Sounds like a song lyric to me.

The label in question is an art-nouveau painting from 1895 by French painter Georges Massias as an advertisement for Cycles Gladiator bicycles.  It features an flaxen-haired nude woman steering a bicycle across a star-filled midnight sky. Artistic? Yes. Suggestive? Maybe. Obscene? Only if you’re a sexually repressed cyclophobic.

If you want to give the finger to censorship, you have your pick of cabernet sauvignon, syrah, chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, or pinot grigio to try. Wine Harlots motto is “excess is best” so we say try them all. They retail from $8-13 USD, an affordable offering for your favorite cyclist, artist, libertarian or contrarian.

Of course the music match is “Sweet Home Alabama.” You can go with either with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s original or with Jewel’s update of the seminal classic anthem. We say both. Excuse us now, we’re off to read The Grapes of Wrath and drink some porn-wine.