Uncorking Irony: The Prisoner's Wine Launch at San Quentin - Casewinelife.com Order Wine Online

Uncorking Irony: The Prisoner's Wine Launch at San Quentin

Feb 10, 2024Always Reporting
In an unexpected twist, The Prisoner Winery has recently launched its second installment of the Corrections series in a rather unconventional venue – San Quentin Prison. This avant-garde event, combining the sophistication of wine culture with the cold reality of incarceration.  
Partnering with the Philadelphia-based artist and activist Jesse Krimes, the second release of Corrections unveils a Reserve Red Magnum bottling adorned with a mesmerizing detail from Krimes' monumental artwork, Apokaluptein: 16389067 – a creation born within the confines of a Federal Prison. Krimes, donning the hats of artist and advocate emphasizes how art within the prison system becomes a unique expression of identity amid societal constraints.

The Collaboration at San Quentin

This year's collaboration reaches new heights of irony as The Prisoner and Jesse Krimes launch their limited-edition wine within the very walls of San Quentin Prison. Unfortunately, the tasting was abruptly cut short by a riot that erupted when the Riedel wine glasses ran out. Inmates, many of whom consider themselves oenophiles, adamantly refused to drink from the Solo cups that were substituted. Among the few inmates and corrections officers we had the chance to chat with before the riot over proper stemware, all had nothing but praise for the second release of Corrections. "Triumphant," declared Inmate 12329392 after his initial sip, serving a life sentence for a triple murder. 

Sipping Behind Bars

The 2021 Reserve Red Blend from Napa Valley, the centerpiece in this ironic spectacle, symbolizes expression. Meticulously curated batches of Malbec and Petite Sirah are seamlessly blended with the distinctive characteristics of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Merlot. Each sip narrates a story that resonates with The Prisoner's commitment to utilizing art and wine as agents of social change – even within the confines of San Quentin.  This transformation became evident during the riot, where several correctional officers aligned themselves with inmates in the tumult. An anonymous correctional officer explained, "We have several sommeliers imprisoned here for 'murdering' wine lists, and we explicitly warned the winery that if they didn't provide proper stemware for everyone, they shouldn't come. Unfortunately, they didn't heed our advice, and this is the result."

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