Tag Archives: Lot 18

Update: Dumbest pop culture wines 2018

Handmaid's Tale wine
“Don’t blame me for The Handmaid’s Tale wine. I’m not evolved enough to think of something that stupid.”

Add the since-canceled Handmaid’s Tale wine to the list of dumbest pop culture labels

We’ve added a wine to the dumbest pop culture wines 2018 list, one that is so colossally stupid that it makes the list even though it was canceled. Because, of course, it was so colossally stupid.

Wine drinkers unite: We don’t have to put up with The Handmaid’s Tale wine.

The geniuses behind this foolishness is a company called Lot 18, which specializes in branded wine. It has also given us wine based on Game of Thrones, Saturday Night Live, and Lord of the Rings – products without which the republic would have collapsed.

At best, the idea of Handmaid Tale wine is in poor taste. At worst – and many in the cyber-ether pointed this out – it celebrates a totalitarian culture that denigrates women and where rape and torture are accepted public policy. Hardly a positive marketing environment, if someone had spent 15 seconds thinking about it.

Hence, Lot 18 and MGM (which does the Hulu series) decided to cancel the wine. Neither offered an explanation – just took the wine website down. That no one said anything was probably a good idea, given promotional material used to sell the wine:

“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.”

“Almost forbidden to taste?” Is it any wonder I worry about the future of the wine business?

The dumbest pop culture wines 2018

pop culture wines
“Nomad, you were created to serve humanity, not to sell us wine we don’t need.”

Maybe they carry a celebrity’s name, or piggyback off a TV show. Regardless, there is almost no reason for these pop culture wines to exist other than to bamboozle the consumer

What do you do when you have lots of bulk wine (and know that the world is awash in bulk wine)? You make pop culture wine, whether named for a celebrity, TV show or movie, or something equally as wine-like. That the finished product is overpriced and of middling quality – at best – is irrelevant.

Not all celebrity wine is useless. The wines I’m writing about, though, don’t exist because the wine is worth drinking. They’re made because the grapes are cheap and the margins are high, and they get a lot of free ink, cyber and real, from the non-wine media.

Because, as I have written many times before, the scam’s the thing when it comes to wine consumers. Hence, some of the dumbest pop culture wines:

• Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty makes children’s clothing. Can someone explain the wine connection to me? And the wine isn’t cheap, either, costing as much as $30.

• A gaggle of film and TV wine from a California marketer called Lot 18, including labels from The Living Dead, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and Saturday Night Live. The best description of these comes from wine marketing guru Paul Mabray: “Fakers, not makers.” Besides, blow was the drug of choice on SNL.

• Downton Abbey. Overpiced French plonk that has about as much to do with wine served to upper crust English families as I do with $200 Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon.

• Drew Barrymore wine. Barrymore’s problems with alcohol and drug abuse are well known, which baffles me. None of the drunks I’ve known could front for a winery, and they’d be the first to tell you so. And the less said about the Barrymore rose, the better.

Star Trek. Kirk should have scrambled the brains of the marketing wise guy (didn’t it alway work on computers?) who thought of this. It makes about as much sense as the Star Trek: Enterprise series.

• Skinnygirl. It’s not so much the world doesn’t need diet wine, but that many retailers care more about it than they do real wine. A leading Dallas chain executive told me that the only way he would sponsor a Drink Local promotion was if I got Skinnygirl founder Bethenny Frankel to do the event.