Food by VICE

'Ménage à Trois' Wine Has Finally Been Told to Tone Down Its Horniness

According to a UK-based advisory board, drinks marketing shouldn't link booze and sex. That's bad news for the threesome-themed winery.

by Bettina Makalintal
Feb 11 2020, 5:54pm

Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage for Silver Spoon (formerly The Cabana)

Since 1996, California's Ménage à Trois winery has had one of the most undeniably horny names in wine. (And there's competition to be had.) "In true Ménage style, we love nothing better than a threesome," reads one of the winery's fact sheets, referring to—at the very least—its focus on three-varietal wine blends. So, given all of that, of course the bottle for Ménage's Midnight blend mentions things like "satisfying your deepest desires" and "turning out the lights and savoring the pleasures of the dark."

And of course, despite the fact that the line's been around for nearly 25 years, someone complained about it. After an audit of 500 products, the UK-based Portman Group—which oversees the country's alcohol sales and marketing and maintains the Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks—deemed Ménage à Trois Midnight a little too horny on main. Per a press release published yesterday, the group has upheld a complaint regarding sexual mentions on the wine's label: Midnight "breached Code rule on not directly or indirectly linking a product to sexual activity or sexual success," it wrote.

"While the phrase Ménage à Trois is commonly known to be linked to sexual activity, it can also be used figuratively, and so the name was not inherently problematic on its own," the group wrote. It urged the winery to change the label and to avoid connecting the product to its potentially sexual name, adding, "The producer deliberately made a link to sex on their label description, highlighting phrases like '…savor the pleasures of the dark,' which connected the name of the product to sex."

After that decision by the Portman Group, Trinchero Family Estates—which operates Ménage à Trois—has agreed to change Ménage's labeling. "Although we do not agree with the Panel’s interpretation under the Code, we respect the Panel’s view and will undertake to revise the label to remove the mentioned references," Trinchero said in a statement.

But let's be real: Even if the label loses a little lustiness, none of us are going to stop snickering when we stop by the wine store for a bottle of Ménage à Trois. The threesome wine will be horny forever.

Tagged:
wine
ménage à trois
California wine
Ménage à Trois​ winery