This Sunday, communities from all over the country will commemorate the 10-year anniversary of September 11th, 2001. With the United States remaining politically divided on many issues, people are wondering if the anniversary of September 11th could bring the country closer together. Leaders around the U.S. are calling for a change in the nation and “true bipartisan cooperation for the benefit of our country.”
From big events, like the 9-11 Memorial opening in New York, people everywhere in America are finding ways to remember one of the biggest tragedies in our country’s history. Perhaps one of the most controversial has been the selling of 9-11 Memorial Commemorative wines. Lieb Family Cellars of Mattituck, Long Island has caused outrage by producing a range of 9-11 Memorial wines to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. The winemaker is selling Chardonnay and Merlot wines at $9.11 a bottle, and giving 10% of the proceeds to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
Despite these donations, the announcement of the wine has made many upset. Lieb Family Cellars’ advertisements promote a wine made from “grapes grown 90 miles from the site of the World Trade Center,” and with sensitivities over the anniversary running high, this concept has sparked outcry. Critics have accused the maker of, “exploiting the atrocity to make money.”
Lieb Family Cellars insists that it is not making any money off the project. Gary Madden, the general manager told The Times: “It’s a non-profit project. We made the wine for charity; the profits on sales go to them. It was done with the foundation, all under their licensing.”
Many people have taken to social networking sites, such as Twitter, to express their anger about the issue. Perez Hilton said, “WTF?” He calls this “tacky” and posted the following tweet: “@NoReservations- 9-11 Wine?!!? Are you out of your MIND?!! EPIC FAIL.”
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has called the brand naming around this wine “grotesque, exploitative and vomit inducing,” while the FDNY EMS proclaims, “What does the 9/11 Memorial brand next? Soap? Carwax? Tampons? Hot dogs? Dog food?…anything for $?”
Some say the Lieb Family Cellars’ intentions are good, with the victims and their families in mind; however, perhaps they should have done a little bit more research in regards to the implementation and marketing of their commemorative product.
– Stephanie Bakolia, Claire Outlaw, & David Glaubach