Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis's "quarantine wine" is showy slacktivism
Now that Disneyland is shuttered, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis must’ve needed a different distraction from rumors about Kutcher roping his ex Demi Moore into threesomes and such. On Monday, the celebrity couple announced they’d had a quarantine brainwave: "Mila and I are launching quarantine wine," Kutcher wrote in an Instagram caption. "100% of profits go to COVID-19 relief efforts." You can order two bottles for $50 online now, but the booze won’t ship until early May. Seems like a long time to wait for “quarantine wine,” no?
What sets this special “quarantine wine” apart from regular wine, you ask? Unfortunately, it’s not made from grapes being grown by the Kutcher-Kunis family under quarantine. Ashton and Mila explained a little more in their launch video: "These are unprecedented times that we're living in,” Kutcher began, “and unprecedented times call for..." Kunis interrupted him with, "More drinking."
Evidently, Kutcher called up his pal Andrew Harding, co-founder of Nocking Point Wines, with the idea of selling a quarantine-themed vintage. After a “virtual blind wine tasting session over Facetime,” Mila and Ashton picked a 2018 Oregon pinot noir. It’s got a mostly-blank, “interactive” label — though from what we can tell, you’re just supposed to draw something on it with a Sharpie? Whatever, the plain white square is minimalist, anyway. Suuuuper cool, guys.
The impulse to pool your resources and contribute to coronavirus response efforts is noble, but in this case, the execution is so convoluted. As pointed out by Jezebel’s Shannon Melero, there are far simpler ways to A) give directly to worthy charities and B) get spectacularly drunk. Like, you could support a local business and order several bottles for pickup from a mom and pop shop in your neighborhood, then make a donation to United Way, Feeding America or any number of other noble charities coordinating coronavirus relief.
Kutcher and Kunis aren't doing anything wrong by shilling pinot noir during a pandemic and donating the proceeds to charity. Their hearts and livers are in the right place. It's just a bit of a vain way of asking your fans to support an important cause, while roundaboutly upcharging them for a product. Ashton and Mila could probably do just as much good in the world by reaching into their own pockets and asking famous friends to do the same. The kindest, noblest people don't make a big show of their altruism.