50 Shades of Fatigue: E L James Launches Wine Brand


It was inevitable: "50 Shades of Grey" author E L James has released a signature collection of wines for those who “enjoy the romance between Anastasia and Christian.”

The wines, which feature labels that read, “You are mine” are offered in “Red Satin” (with notes of black cherry, cocoa powder, and creamy caramel) and “White Silk” (tempered with crisp grapefruit, mineral, and lush pear) and for $17.99 per bottle, you can get drunk like a wanton college reporter.

The release follows news that James has partnered with Australia Target (no relation to the U.S. retail giant, yet oddly with the same logo and motto) to launch a lingerie line styled after the luxe items Christian Grey gave to Anastasia Steele — G-strings, balconette bras, bustiers, and chemises.

Wine and lingerie are obvious brand extensions for the best-selling author, whose book has topped global bestseller lists, been translated in 37 countries, and adapted for a movie. And James has smartly parlayed the success of her work into shifting the cultural and sexual landscape, inspiring more bar room conversations and long-winded think pieces than "Sex and the City."

Then there’s the onslaught of paraphernalia. Stationery, nail tips, makeup lines, home bathroom fixtures, iPad covers, perfume, and, for culture lovers, an off-Broadway musical and classical music album featuring the works of Bach, Verdi, and Chopin. There’s also a gym in New York City called 50 Shades of Pain, and the book has even been cited as a cause of divorce. Sex toys? Obviously. Chocolate handcuffs? Fine. But when babies crawl around wearing “Keep calm and obey Mr. Grey” onesies and adults drive cars with “Oh my” decals, I want my money back.

According to NPR, a trend only dies once it becomes ubiquitous. Unfortunately, with the 50 Shades of Grey film hitting theaters in August 2014, we're not nearly there yet.