Now Playing

Liquid Gold

by Lesley McKenzie | Angeleno magazine | May 18, 2012

Drew Barrymore has the Midas touch. Since age 5 she’s taken on myriad roles in the entertainment business, starting as an actress, and later as a director, model, screenwriter and producer. Now the star—from a family of acting royalty—is turning her attention beyond Hollywood. In addition to planning her nuptials to fiancé Will Kopelman, Barrymore (who’s also rumored to be pregnant) has partnered with wine distributor Wilson Daniels to release Barrymore Pinot Grigio ($20), composed of grapes grown in northern Italy. Inspired by Barrymore’s travels through the region, the wine has already garnered a coveted Le Challenge International du Vin Award, and made its way onto local sommeliers’ lists at Little Dom’s and Covell.

So, why wine? I’ve always loved wine. It’s a very communal thing, whether I’m going to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday nights to watch movies and bringing a bottle, or having a great meal with wine on the table. A bottle is like a memory. It’s something everyone shares and drinks together.

Your first release is a crisp, fruity Italian pinot grigio. Any particular reason? I’ve always loved pinot grigio when I’m drinking white [and] I’ve always loved Italian wines. When I came across this one, I was thoughtful about the process, but I really fell in love with it. And I really want to be in love with things or I’m terrible at explaining why I want anything to do with them.

How involved were you with the winemaking process? I’ve been to the winery and to Italy numerous times. I liked the idea of working with a family who has done this for generations because I wanted to name this after my family. I’ve been there for every step of the process for the last three years.

You also put a lot of thought into your label. We took painstaking measures to make a label that felt fun and effortless and modern but also includes tradition, and we got to work with Shepard Fairey on a crest of my grandfather’s.

This wine is ideal for a wide variety of foods. What’s your perfect wine and food pairing? I want a wine that can go with tacos as well as a really fancy four-course dinner. I want to be able to bring wine to a waterfall with a bag of sandwiches.

Are you much of a cook? I am now, actually! That’s a new thing for me: Asian meatloaf and spaghetti and meatballs. Soups, especially with fresh herbs. I’m the soup woman now. I’m a total dork about it. I get all excited about ladles.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve taken away from this experience so far? Wines are like movies to me. I watch [movies] for research and I love to experience them emotionally and they affect my life so much—but no matter how many I watch in my lifetime, I’ll never finish. I feel that way about wine. There’s always something new coming out, or something old being revived. It’s something I’ll never finish, but it will be really fun continuing to learn along the way.