Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale.
The second season finale of Hulu’s popular series The Handmaid’s Tale streams on Wednesday after a compelling, and sometimes hard to watch, sophomore season. The finale sets the stage for a tentative alliance between Serena Joy and Offred/June out of concern for their baby after seeing Nick’s teen bride horrifically executed by drowning for the perceived crime of adultery.
Meanwhile, Ofglen/Emily will seemingly continue to navigate her new life with the mysterious Commander Lawrence, played by an electrifying Bradley Whitford.
Of course, the reason why Handmaid’s Tale is so difficult to watch is that our country is currently controlled by a political party that seems to want to gleefully strip women (as well as minorities and members of the LGBTQ community) of their rights. The entire narrative of the series essentially plays out something like Vice President Mike Pence’s fever dream.
Which is why, considering all this, perhaps a new line of officially licensed Handmaid’s Tale wines inspired by the characters of Offred, Serena, and Ofglen is maybe not in the best taste.
People notes that while Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel’s characters are both red varietals, Yvonne Strahovski’s Serena Joy is a white Bordeaux Blanc. Likewise, the product descriptions offer playful tongue-in-cheek references to the series such as the following for the “Offred Pays d’Oc Pinot Noir.”
Completely stripped of her rights and freedom, Offred must rely on the one weapon she has left to stay in control — her feminine wiles. This French Pinot Noir is similarly seductive, its dark berry fruit and cassis aromatics so beguiling it seems almost forbidden to taste. But it’s useless to resist the wine’s smooth and appealingly earthy profile, so you may as well give in. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, indeed.
The description also adds, “It’s useless to resist this seductive and appealing Pinot Noir.” Woof.
It seems as if someone in the marketing department was wearing their bad idea jeans when this product was conceived. That’s the general consensus on Twitter.
— Josh Kurp (@JoshKurp) 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
“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, 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
Any bets on how long before this Handmaid’s Tale wine is unironically served at an actual GOP fundraiser? https://t.co/I4BUJqudet
— Rase McCray is on hiatus (@rasemccray) July 10, 2018
Oddly, there were also a few fans of the idea:
Me, an intellectual: I do not buy wines based on the label. I use an app, 3rd party validators, and my vast (imagined) knowledge of European geography and romance languages.
Also me: OMG I need handmaid's tale wine to make it through to the November elections. https://t.co/pn4ijooyXO
— Margie Omero (@MargieOmero) July 10, 2018
— Mara Davis (@MaraDavis) July 10, 2018
Fans will undoubtedly need something to drown their anxiety after the finale tomorrow, but at $40 for two bottles, they can probably find something on the more affordable side than Handmaid’s Tale wine.