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There’s a minor but entertaining controversy in Alabama, where the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has ruled that Cycles Gladiator wine, made by California’s Hahn Family Wines, cannot be sold because the label has a stylized drawing of a naked woman holding onto a flying bicycle.

The board says that the label violated state regulations against any depiction of "a person posed in an immoral or sensuous manner."

“We are surprised that the Alabama Beverage Control Board would ban our wine,” said Bill Leigon, Hahn’s president, adding ““To say that this wine label is pornographic is ridiculous. It’s a classic piece of art from the late 1800s and originals are sold for as much as $50,000 … It’s not a pornographic label, we are not going to change it, we are going to withdraw from the state and it’s a shame that the citizens of Alabama are going to lose the opportunity to enjoy our delicious wines.”

The decision to pull the wines from Alabama probably won’t hurt much – the company only sells 500 cases a year there, and Hahn may actually benefit from the ruling by rolling out a “banned in Alabama” campaign that capitalizes – some would say exploits – the controversy.
KC's View:
This is one of those fun little disputes that is fun to write about, even if it doesn’t add up to much. I’ve seen the wine label, and it seems to me that the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board ought to be a little embarrassed by this sort of retrograde thinking. It isn’t pornographic by any stretch of the imagination.