Report: ATF Bans French Wine Over Saucy Poem on Label

wine_1904741_searchtiny220px-Baudelaire_cropWhen I first read this story, I was sure it was a hoax, but now I am not sure. According to wine sites, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has denied a permit to import Château Haut Gay (AOC Bordeaux Supérieur) because the label is “an incentive to debauchery.” The wine’s bright orange label featured two verses of the poem “L’Ame du Vin” (“The Soul of Wine”) by 19th-century poet Charles Baudelaire. While I have few remaining illusions as to government work, this one remains unbelievable. If this is a hoax, it is brilliant. If it is true, it is a national disgrace.

The poem is part of the famous collection of Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil). Notably, the translation does not appear on the labels, which means only French speakers would be debauched.

While Baudelaire was viewed as pretty risqué in his time, he is considered a master today. Here is his corrupting poem:

One evening, the spirit of wine sang in the bottles
Man, towards you I cry, o my dear deprived
Beneath my prison of glass and my ruby red wax
A song full of light and brotherhood.
Then, inside you I will fall, as fruity ambrosia
Precious seed thrown by the eternal Sower
So that our loving union will bear poetry
Which will shine forth towards God, like a rare flower.

The ATF gave no explanation for what was offensive in the poem. There is no appeal from such decision, which itself is something that the Congress should look into. It is bizarre that an agency decision would not be subject to review in such cases.

As someone not familiar with the label, I was at first suspicious of the name of the owner: Guillaume de Tastes. But it appears that that is a legit name.

I am trying to confirm this story with ATF and I am looking for any other source from any of our readers. Notably, the ATF press representative has not yet gotten back to me after I asked if this was a hoax. Obviously, if this story is true (I pray it is a hoax), someone needs to be fired at the ATF.

For the story, click here.

33 thoughts on “Report: ATF Bans French Wine Over Saucy Poem on Label”

  1. Swartmoremom,

    Good to see you around. Same ole, same ole kickin here. Schiftless. That’s it. Whittington was the guy that was a Bush supporter that Cheney shot.

    Jill,

    Whatam I milk toast? Whaaaa….

  2. Thanks to Suzanne Mustacich for that report. Sounds like the whole thing is a misunderstanding. Video of Suzanne can be seen, here.

  3. Tom Schieffer is the democratic candidate for governor that helped W get elected. He is Bob Schieffer’s brother. He was Bush’s partner when Bush was with the Texas Rangers.

  4. Elaine M.,

    Whatever led you to believe I was “a true New England Republican?” Ain’t many of that kind left up here in these parts nowadays?

    ********************

    Believe it or not I would trust more people like Souter to run the country. They may seem peculiar but they have a soul that runs deep.
    _______________________________
    I don’t want Rick. You keep him.

    *********************
    I do not believe that Texas will keep his kind around. Kay scares the shit out of me. She is ruthless, I know her. Kinky would make a good governor. He really would, he reflects my value and we you disagree with him, all’s he’ll say if Fuck You. At least you know where you stand. I like that.

    There is another Damn Fool Liar Running for Governor who is or was a really good Texas Democrat that has a few nickles in his pocket that god that Fool W elected as Governor and helped the sorry Jackass become president. It is too painful of a memory that I have suppressed the name. All’s I can recall at this time is Wittington.
    ____________________

    You can have pretty boy Romney too. I’m mighty glad he’s gone from our state government now. Any guy who puts his dog in a cage on the roof of his car and then drives off on a family vacation ain’t my kind of people…or governor.
    *********************

    Now his Dad was also a Governor of Michigan he was a centralist, he was a politicians politicians. Mormon to boot, he did a lot of good things for Michigan. His son, a person with new family money turned out to be like most second generation monied. Not too bright, but want to keep what they have but not afraid to flash connections.
    ______________________
    Ewe won’t find many sheep up here in the Northeast. We only raise liberals, socialists, and anarchists in this part of the country.

    **********************
    Damn and I was hooping to find me a witch. Pert near Halloween, but with my luck she’d turn out to be no more than a winch and off to the stockade she’d have to go.

  5. I’m a journalist based in Bordeaux. I write features for AFP, the news service. I specialize in coverage of the wine industry.

    We saw the story appear in the regional paper and followed up.

    I interviewed the importer in NY and his associate who handles the wine label approval process. The importer is French. The associate is also French and lives and works out of Paris. Upon interviewing these men, I learned that the label was never submitted to the US government for approval. Thus, it was never refused by the ATF. In fact, no American is involved.

    The associate of the importer who handles the wine label process assured me that he was not 100% certain that the label would have been refused had it been submitted. There were a couple of issues with the ‘Baudelaire’ label – spacing, the fact that the old label had worked well in the US market, etc – that made the associate and importer decide to stick with the old label. The importer then, apparently, told Guillaume de Taste that the label wasn’t politically correct and asked to go back to the original label.

    Anymore questions – send me an email.

  6. Ay–

    Whatever led you to believe I was “a true New England Republican?” Ain’t many of that kind left up here in these parts nowadays?

    I don’t want Rick. You keep him. You can have pretty boy Romney too. I’m mighty glad he’s gone from our state government now. Any guy who puts his dog in a cage on the roof of his car and then drives off on a family vacation ain’t my kind of people…or governor.

    Ewe won’t find many sheep up here in the Northeast. We only raise liberals, socialists, and anarchists in this part of the country.

  7. Elaine M.,

    Come on down to the Lone Star state, FYI, if we had the right to leave the union then we already did once and were forced back into a form of indentured servitude like the rest of ya’ll.

    I can assure you, you would be most welcome. Texas wine and debauchry run hand in hand. Now Shiner Bock like no other. It good for what ails you morning, noon and night. Then when real mourning starts it good for that too.

    I as a Texas Democrat like a true New England Republican. We don’t care what you do with your sheep, but when you feel guilty about doing that ewe, don’t expect me to pay for your grief counseling, as you know you’re one sick puppy.

    As Far as Rick Perry, you can have him. Nothing good has ever come out of Haskel, Texas including the sulfur based water.

  8. AY–

    I had forgotten all about that raid. I couldn’t figure out what you were talking about at first.

    I’ve never visited in the Lone Star State. Maybe I best do so soon–before it secedes. I’d like to git me sumathat Texas merlot. I hear it has the bouquet of sagebrush and petroleum and leaves an aftertaste of tumbleweed on one’s palate. I’m sure imbibing sumathat southern vino wouldn’t lead me to dancing or debauchery…now would it?

    Do me a favor–tell Governor Rick I say “Howdy!”

  9. Gyges,

    I think I met her whole family, to the best that I can remember. I know I drank some Australian and African beir years ago in Austin, Texas and that all I can recall. Well the next morning I woke up at home in my guestroom bedroom on the carpeted floor and wondering how the hell I got there. I only have 2 beirs. I stayed away from that place after that. Maggies Maes, I believe it is called. Nothing but Imports even the weed.

    We used to do bike rides and man was that a bitch going up Congress home. Here is the link: http://www.maggiemaesaustin.com/

  10. Gyges,

    After I drank a couple of them I could probably same the name but it would sound like “loose nuts.”

  11. Elaine M.,

    Why don’t you come to Texas and saver the best Merlot that we have to offer. We can show you real Hospitality without the Bordeaux. If you want a real Gay time then just google up the Rainbow lounge and The Texas Alcohol Commission and Ft Worth, Texas response to the same.

    Something I think is a little remiss is the purpose of the “Raid” is to ticket for, get a load of this shit “Public Intoxication” in a BAR of all places. Try that at a Knights of Columbus hall on a Friday night or when 4 baptist are together. You know you always have a 5th….

    You also know why they don’t do it standing up? So people won’t think that they are dancing.

    The above was meant only as humor, if you don’t like it, don’t read it.

  12. I heard the Department of Homeland Security just raised the red wine alert to Code Orange: High Risk of French Bordeaux Imports with Lascivious Labels That Include Sexually Suggestive Poetry with Talk of Fruity Ambrosia.

    All you enologists and sommeliers and red wine fanciers best head on over to France (Haut Gay Paree) for rip-roaring Bordeaux-induced debauchery.

  13. Maria,

    Oh my god it has the word Gay on the label and something about sowing, that must be code for sperm and… and… tit’s from the french! We -all- know what the FRENCH do… Those wine drinking sexy sexy french…. Oh my garters and bows, I feel faint.
    *************

    You know we Texans have big Hearts and Long Arms, some of us have even been called Octopus’ don’t know why, but if you faint, fall this way and someone will catch you. Now they have to have been born here for that to count as you see W was not, he was and is always a wanta be.

    We know who we are and we wait for you. One thing that I have noticed is that the drivers are ruder in the big citys so faint and fall to a smaller city with even a bigger heart.

  14. Oh my god it has the word Gay on the label and something about sowing, that must be code for sperm and… and… tit’s from the french! We -all- know what the FRENCH do… Those wine drinking sexy sexy french…. Oh my garters and bows, I feel faint.

  15. … its gotta be a hoax … that is my initial reaction too …

    We solved the French Fries problem by “translating” it into “Freedom Fries”, perhaps this could become “Terrorist Wine”?

  16. Them is, them snail eatery fighting words. Them folks that eat S-Car-Go or escargot, why they want to advertise a car than runs slow and leaves an oil slick I do not know.

    So I could see how the ATF could see flowers of evil are indeed maligned….

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