Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Toast 'To the Banished'

So I pick out wine the same way I pick out books... I judge them by their covers.

The other day I bought a bottle called 19 Crimes, it had a beautiful matte finish bottle and a mugshot.
When we uncorked it, on the cork it said,
"10. Stealing fish from a pond or river."

And I immediately knew that every bottle must be corked with one of 19 crimes. I love this sort of marketing. But what were these random crimes?

According to the 19 Crimes website, "For the violation of one of 19 crimes, thousands of people were exiled from England to Australia during the 18th and 19th century. This was known as Punishment by Transportation."

"The men featured on our wine labels are not those of fiction. They were flesh and blood. Criminals, artists and scholars."

These men became the first settlers of a new nation.... Australia.

The hero of the 19 Crimes story is an Irishman named John Boyle O'Reilly, who, in 1867, traveled on the last transport ship, the Hougoumont, to Australia. You can read his story and how he ended up in Philadelphia on

Oh, and the website is just as beautiful as their wine bottles.The wine, however, was just ok. 

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