Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wine Notes

Thanks to Nate Merritt.

HITLER or JESUS? Which brand of wine do YOU prefer?

Hitler Wines Seized In Italy
Posted Sep 28th 2007 11:02AM by Deidre Woollard
Filed under: Wine

An Italian company which specializes in labeling their wine with the pictures of infamous historical figures is in trouble again. Decanter reports that Italian police have confiscated bottles of wine with labels depicting Hitler and other Nazis. The wines from Vini Lundardelli is part of their 'Der F├╝hrer' line which feature a variety of labels portraying various figures associated with Nazi Germany. The bottles were seized because they represent a "glorification of the perpetrators of crimes against humanity," according to the Agence France Presse.

Decanter has a quote from Andrea Lunardelli, marketing and distribution director, who says that the move was a marketing strategy (other labels include Che Guevara, Napoleon and Mussolini) and that the Hitler labels were requested by customers in Germany and Austria. The Hitler wines are still for sale through the Vini Lundarelli website and the case is currently with the company's lawyers.

This is far from the first time the wines have caused controversy. There was a major outcry in 2003 at which time Alessandro Lunardelli said that the Hitler wines were the most popular in the series, selling around 30,000 bottles a year.

Using a cute rabbit or a kangaroo to sell wine is old news. Last week I mentioned wines with Hitler on the label; this week comes news of a wine importer going in a completely opposite direction -- it has Jesus on the label. The Grapes of Galilee is a new Israeli wine label aimed at American Christians. The grapes are grown in the region where Jesus Christ is said to have lived, and they are irrigated with water from the Jordan River, where he was baptized. Wine from Israel is nothing new, but most of the Israeli wine sold in the U.S. has previously been to Jewish consumers. In fact, the Grapes of Galilee wine comes from an existing Israeli winery, only the Jesus-themed label is new. As Ad Age reports, the importer, Pini Haroz, sees the chardonnay, merlot and cabernet sauvignon wines as being perfect for holidays and he is marketing it in areas with high concentrations of Catholics. The wine sells for $13.99 a bottle online.


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