Not only in France are the killjoys at work, pulling shocked faces at the union of rose petals and champagne in advertising art. In Alabama, it seems, they don't like pictures of naked ladies with thick streaming red hair flying through the deep blue cosmos beside winged bicycles -- on wine labels. Like so:
(Image from the Wine Spectator website.)
Heaven knows what the wine, a cabernet sauvignon called Cycles Gladiator from Hahn Family Wines in Soledad, California, tastes like, but the Alabama Beverage Control Board has banned its sale. It used not to, oddly enough. I take a sort of proprietary interest in the label because I've seen it before. It used to be offered as a framed poster through a gifts, curiosities and home interiors catalog, Wireless or Signals perhaps. Originally the artwork served as a late 19th century French bicycle ad, and a smashing one, too, in my opinion. Leave it to the French of the Belle Epoque to sell bicycles via naked women flying through space. This must have been before an unpleasantly powerful, and thirsty, minority among them became killjoys.
It's time for the veraison in Missouri, as seen in the picture at A Day in the Life of a Missouri Winery. The veraison occurs when the grapes begin to soften and change color as full ripeness and harvest approaches. These grapes are seyval blanc, a French-American hybrid.
And, as Captain Jack Sparrow says in one of his less twitchy moments in Pirates of the Caribbean, "I'm havin' a thought." I think I'll start a club, right here in this space.
Still thinking of the Decanter story about the Champagne producer Moet & Chandon having to pay a big fine for devising an ad campaign juxtaposing images of pink rose petals with wine -- it's illegal, apparently, in France to gull consumers into believing that alcohol, beauty, and pleasure may go together -- I've decided to throw down a pink gauntlet. Preferably velvet, and embroidered. Incidentally, this story of the fine and the anti-alcohol lobby "jubilant" about it does date from January of 2008, but I like to think that At First Glass, like the mills of God, "grinds slowly but grinds exceeding small." I've decided to seek out, make, solicit, publicize, and otherwise celebrate, from time to time, just such promotional images, anything which slaps a wine glass or bottle out there, next to a pretty woman or flowers or crashing waves or whatever, and says Yes by gum, maybe it does equal "a euphoric approach to life." I call my new club the Pink Rose Euphoric Wine Imagery Anti-Killjoy Defiant Seduction Club (and Virtual Gallery), or PREWIAKDSC (and Virtual Gallery).
Please feel free to submit images. Notice, our acronym is longer and cooler than ANPAA (Association Nationale de Prevention en Alcoologie et Addictologie). Mind you, I have nothing against the good work of fighting human addictions, which are serious. But to ban the appearance of pink roses? Because it might trick somebody into thinking wine is nice?
The Pink Rose Euphoric Wine Imagery Anti-Killjoy Defiant Seduction Club and Virtual Gallery begins here.