Winery's Nude Nymph Causes State Ban

Winery says they will not be changing its label

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The nude nymph, seen here on Cycles Gladiator's Merlot, has caused a stir in Alabama.

    For some wine lovers a nude nymph is artistic expression while for others it is offensive trash.
       
    A wine label showing a nude nymph is too much for Alabama's liquor control agency, which has told restaurants and stores not to sell the product.
         
    The label on Cycles Gladiator wine, produced by Hahn Family Wines in Soledad, Calif., shows a vintage 1895 advertising poster for Cycles Gladiator bicycles. The French poster features a nude nymph flying beside a winged bicycle.

    Bob Martin, staff attorney for the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, said the board's license bureau rejected the label last year as inappropriate for sale in the state. Early this month, a citizen sent a bottle of the wine to the board's enforcement bureau to show it was being sold in stores, he said.

    The board then sent a letter to stores and restaurants reminding them that sale of the product is prohibited, he said Friday.

    Alabama's liquor regulations prohibit labels with "a person posed in an immoral or sensuous manner," Martin said.

    Hahn President Bill Leigon said Friday the company had been selling its product in Alabama since 2006 until it ran into problems with the label. "It is not pornographic," he said.

    There have been no problems in the other 49 states where it is sold, he said.

    He said the wine had remained available in Alabama after the label was rejected last year because he was unaware of the rejection. He said that when the ABC Board's letter went out, all the wine was picked up from stores and restaurants.

    The problem with the label were first reported Friday by the Mobile Press-Register.

    Leigon could change the label and resume sales in Alabama, but he said he won't.

    "It is a gorgeous piece of work," he said.