Wine can be a beautiful thing, a drink to savour, to share with friends. The Handmaid’s Tale is a book written by literary heavyweight Margaret Atwood about a fictional post-apocalyptic society called Gilead where women are enslaved and forced to breed in order to “save the planet”, later adapted into a hit TV show starring Elisabeth Moss, available on Hulu. You’ll have seen it unless you’ve been living under a rock, which is arguably a kinder fate than the one dealt out to the women of Gilead.
Sensing an opportunity for a bit of TV-affiliated promo, online wine retailer Lot18 revealed (as told by People) that they had created three wines inspired by “three bold characters” from the show, including protagonist Offred (Elisabeth Moss), who lives a life of almost constant, nailbiting misery. Also on offer was an Ofglen wine, a character discriminated against for her sexuality, sent to a brutal camp that looks like Mars on a comedown, and described by Lot18 as “one of Gilead’s most rebellious handmaids”. And last but not least, a wine based on Serena, a complex captor who helps enforce the violent dictatorship of her male cohorts. Slay!
Anyway, it’s mostly just hilarious and bizarre that someone conceived the idea to create Handmaid’s Tale wine, but before a drop could hit anyone’s lips the wine was pulled from shelves after backlash online, as is the way of the world. To be fair, there is absolutely no reason for the wine to exist, and fictional or not there’s something strange about marketing alcohol around three female characters who endure a life of almost total, unrelenting misery (Serena included). Wonder if it tasted any good.