Drew Barrymore shares her passion for wine by creating a (quite tasty) bottle of her own.In the past year, Drew Barrymore has gotten married, had a baby, launched a line of cosmetics (Flower, available at Walmart) and introduced Barrymore Wines. You read that correctly. The 38-year-old actress, director, producer, screenwriter and model, who has admitted to battling addiction as a young teen, has released a namesake pinot grigio complete with a cool label designed by Shepard Fairey. Skeptics, take note: This first offering won a gold medal at Le Challenge International du Vin and has been reviewed favorably across the board. Barrymore took time to discuss her role as winemaker while preparing for her next project: a romantic comedy that unites her for the third time with co-star Adam Sandler.
AMERICAN WAY: We’re in a time when many high-profile people are embracing the booze business and creating their own liquors. Why did you choose wine over other libations?
DREW BARRYMORE: I’ve always loved the traditions and culture behind winemaking. The details that go into [making] wine are very similar to the filmmaking experience. It’s a creative and time-consuming process, and every element has to be perfect. The temperature, the grapes, the time it’s fermented — even the kind of barrel it’s stored in — affects the taste. It’s a true art form. And the artists involved are passionate about what they do the way good actors are passionate about the details of their performances.
For more information on Barrymore's new venture, go to www.barrymorewines.com.
AW: How did you create the wine?
DB: For my first offering, Barrymore Pinot Grigio, I spent time traveling to Italy and working with a charming, family-owned vineyard in Triveneto. This area is known for producing crisp, fresh white wines. It was a long process of development, but it was really important for me to align myself with an authentic and great wine that could stand on its merit beyond my name.
AW: Do you have any family traditions around wine, either historically or in your home life today?
DB: I actually included a lot of my family heritage in this wine — the label was designed with my grandfather’s crest. It was an important element I wanted incorporated from the beginning. And the back of the bottle has the line, “From our family to yours.” Every day, my family inspires me. As you grow and live your life, you often question what family is, and you see how it evolves over time. Now I have my own family — and the opportunity to build our own traditions.
AW: How should one drink wine? Do you care what type of glass is used (some people are vehemently anti-stemless), or do you think it’s sacrilege to add ice?
DB: I believe wine should be enjoyed however you feel most comfortable — the most important thing is the setting and the people you are sharing it with. I will say, I do enjoy Barrymore Pinot Grigio ice-cold. I love the way that first sip makes me feel.
AW: Thoughts on the pros and cons of screw-tops versus cork?
DB: For Barrymore Pinot Grigio, we chose to use a cork top. Call me old-fashioned, but it was important for me to honor the history of the process with my wine. I didn’t want to lose some of the Old World customs that make wine so beautiful.
AW: Where do you think you’ll head next, in terms of another wine introduction? A rose perhaps? Maybe a meaty red?
DB: The whole experience and idea behind my collection was developed and inspired through my travels. My next wine could be a rose from Provence or a malbec from Argentina. My goal in doing Barrymore Wines is to find the art of wines that are very special and should be shared.
PAIRING NOTE: “One of the amazing characteristics of pinot grigio is how well it pairs with a variety of dishes and foods. I love the crisp, full-bodied taste paired with mild cheeses, fish, salads and light courses such as pasta. In terms of unexpected things, I drink it with pie.”