I have officially added Alabama to the list of states that I will not be visiting (along with Delaware and Michigan…Go Buckeyes!). I know Alabama is an odd state to despise out of the blue, but trust me it is not without reason.
This morning, I opened up WineSpectator online and was looking through the various articles. In Boston, the wine crooks who stole a $20,000 bottle of 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild were arrested and the wine was returned. That was followed by a nice story out of Detroit. We find out that Curtis Granderson, All-Star outfielder of the Detroit Tigers, used the allure of wine to raise thousands of dollars for his charity (odd, I guess something good can come out of Michigan). Both fantastic bits of news! Score two for wine!
Then Alabama had to come in and ruin it!
Being the ULTRA-conservative state that it is, the Alabama Alcohol Control Board decided to ban the wine produced by Cycles Gladiator. No, they did not ban the wine because it is cheap hooch. They did not ban it because in 2004 they produced a very weak rated 76 pt Merlot and then followed it up in 2005 with a gem that scored 68 pts from WS (which is one of the lowest ratings I have ever seen!). They did not ban it because once you start drinking it you wish you had not. No! They banned it because it has a replica of a painting depicting a naked woman flying next to a bicycle on the label and deemed it pornographic! Say what?! The last time I checked they have always used this label for all of their varietals. Silly prudish Alabamans!
So why am I mad?
I am mad because the article this morning speaks of increased sales of this junk! This simple act of banning Cycles Gladiator is the best promotion that they have ever received. The worst thing is that the publicity is completely undeserved. Why not ban Merry Edwards wines?! They, like Cycles Gladiator, have paintings of naked women/fairies on the label, plus you would be able to enjoy a terrific, very well-crafted wine while sticking it to the man.
All in all, this is just another reason to avoid Alabama like the plague, along with Cycles Gladiator Merlot!
To be fair to CG, they have improved their wines somewhat in the past couple years, but with a track record like that and all of the other options out there, I would avoid it.