"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below."
The Prisoner Wine Company has garnered quite the following thanks to a selection of award-winning reds, whites, and rosés. But in addition to acclaim, the brand has also been subject to criticism over its gloomy branding and glamorization of incarceration.
Critics have called out The Prisoner for its grim marketing—their wines have names like Erased, Eternally Silenced, Syndrome, and Complicit. The images featured on the wine labels are also pretty bleak and reference incarceration: people in chains and scratches on a jail cell wall.
Earlier this month, San Francisco Chronicle wine critic Esther Mobley wrote: “I was struck by how distasteful it seemed that the company released wines with lurid names like Derange and Eternally Silenced—all of which seemed to trivialize the harsh realities of mass incarceration in our society.”
As The Drinks Business reports, it does appear that the brand is now hoping to refresh its marketing, along with a new commitment to changing prison and bail reform. On their website, The Prisoner has detailed a number of ways they plan to use their "platform to drive awareness and action."
"We have increased our investment in education, behavioral change, and hiring practices to create greater representation, access to opportunities, and fair treatment for all at The Prisoner Wine Company and within the wine industry," a statement on their site reads.
Over the last two years, The Prisoner Wine Company has partnered with NBA player Moe Harkless on a joint commitment to support bail and incarceration reform. They've also announced their support of The Liberty Fund (New York City’s first citywide charitable bail fund), among other efforts.
And for those who are fans of The Prisoner's selection of wines, they've also collaborated with artist Chris Burnett to debut an annual series of limited-edition wines called Corrections that will benefit the non-profit Rubicon Programs. The trio of wines includes a 2021 Viognier, a 2021 Malbec, and a 2021 Tempranillo.
You Might Also Like