May 13, 2016 — Were they scoundrels or heroes? We’re talking about the industrious folk who went to great lengths, more often than not landing in jail or the “big house”, to supply alcoholic beverages to Americans during Prohibition. It depends which side you were on. For the G-Men, they were scoundrels. For everyone else who wanted a drink, they were heroes, even celebrities. (G-Man was slang at the time for Government Man or FBI Agents.)
Big House Wine Company has decided it’s time to recognize the bootlegger community with a new line of wines available in three-liter boxes and 750 ml bottles. The retro design includes a panel on one side telling the bootlegger’s story. Prohibition’s unintended consequences were mayhem and murder with a newly created underworld fighting over huge amounts of money. Many of the bootleggers were notorious, like Al Capone who is featured on the Prohibition Red label. Normally law-abiding citizens became outlaws for breaking the rules by having a drink and it lasted 13 long years from 1920 to 1933. The era was magnificently captured by the hit series “Boardwalk Empire”. Who can forget Steve Buscemi’s brilliant portrayal of Nucky Johnson (named Thompson in the series) as at once a total badass as well as a sympathetic character? Nucky is featured on the Pinot Noir label.
Big House Wine Company was founded in 1990 by industry maverick Randall Graham. Located in Monterey County, it derived its name from nearby Soledad State Prison. Finally the bootleggers can bring some legal pleasure to lovers of Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir. There’s also Prohibition Red and Bootlegger White. Suggested retail for the 3L box is $17.99 and SRP for the 750 ml bottles is $7.99. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are available in 3L boxes only. The wines were released May 1 are available nationally.