The three wines, which were pulled from production due to backlash, were inspired by characters from the dystopian drama including handmaids Offred (Elisabeth Moss) and Ofglen (Alexis Bledel) and Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski).
Offred’s wine, a pinot noir, was described by wine merchant Lot18 as “rich and complex” and “so beguiling it seems almost forbidden to taste”.
“It’s useless to resist this seductive and appealing Pinot Noir,” Lot18 wrote.
“Can you turn rape into marketing copy?” “Sure, you bet.” “Great, it’s for Handmaid’s Tale wine.” “Haha, love it.” pic.twitter.com/9089Cveu0G
— Margaret Lyons (@margeincharge) July 10, 2018Advertisement
Um, who thought this was a good idea…
Ofglen’s wine was also a red – a fitting choice considering it matches the oppressive red uniform donned by handmaids.
The cabernet savignon, was described as “a daring testament to the heights that Oregon Cabs can reach” with a “warm, spicy finish”.
Watch: Handmaid’s Tale customs inspired by real life.
It’s no surprise that the show’s dark themes, including its focus on the systemic rape and enslavement of women, may lead viewers to reach for a glass of wine.
But the show’s decision to release a range of wines certainly left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans. After all, the Handmaids aren’t even allowed near alcohol.
“How does such a terrible, terrible, terrible idea get so far,” one Twitter user wrote.
Who exactly is the target audience for this? Was the marketing company like “blessed be WHAT fruit, tho? I know! Grapes. Grapes are a fruit.”
— Emily Rose Cole (@EmilyColeWrites) July 10, 2018
Um am I the only one who finds this really wrong and distasteful. Lets buy a wine that turns Rape Culture, Misogyny and Violence Against Women into a cool wine label. Ick! What’s next Handmaid’s Tale special limited edition Oreo Cookies and Shreddies!?!?!? https://t.co/RSafMQZOQ2
— Lyla Miklos (@lylamiklos) July 10, 2018
Finally a product that combines everything I hate: wine, marketing, unbridled capitalism, and authoritarian patriarchal dystopias where women are chattel! https://t.co/Hd7242e2nR
— andi zeisler (@andizeisler) July 10, 2018
I’m starting to think that aliens released a chemical into our water supply that is slowly making the entire world stupid. https://t.co/ILj9qzbtEd
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) July 11, 2018
It’s not the first time the show has taken merchandising too far.
Earlier this year, a lingerie brand even launched a limited edition Handmaid’s Tale range.
The Handmaid’s Tale season 2: Lingerie brand launches limited-edition range should you want to get the ‘sexual slave’ look https://t.co/zIatyPDCXa
— Untameable Shrews (@untamableshrews) April 19, 2018
The show’s interesting merchandising ideas got us thinking… so here’s nine Handmaid’s Tale merchandise ideas that are 100 times more appropriate than bottles of wine.
- Handmaid-inspired maternity wear.
- Pepper spray.
- A rape whistle.
- Birth control. All of the birth control.
- The Handmaid’s Tale official chastity belt.
- An eye patch. You know why.
- The Handmaid’s Tale green juice for expectant mothers.
- Therapy… because you’re going to need it after watching this show.
- Dog memes. Lots and lots of dog memes. (To make everyone feel better, of course).
The Handmaid’s Tale season two finale drops on SBS On Demand tonight.
What do you think about the Handmaid’s Tale wine collection? Is it appropriate?