It’s pretty safe to say that Drew Barrymore was born into the acting business — she dove into showbiz when she appeared in E.T. as a little girl. Now, she has her own beautiful little girl, 8-month-old Olive, with husband Will Kopelman and is into a new type of business — the wine world.
Inspired by Italian culture, Barrymore has created her own signature Barrymore Wines collection in honor of her family legacy. She's a fan of crisp, fruity white wines, and so Barrymore’s first offering for the label is a pinot grigio — perfect for summer entertaining.
Barrymore Pinot Grigio is a straw yellow, full-bodied wine with hints of fresh apricot and lively citrus flavors. The grapes to create this charming pinot grigio were harvested from various vineyards in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Veneto. Last year, Barrymore Pinot Grigio won a gold medal at the Le Challenge International du Vin, the largest international wine competition in France.
Barrymore is sharing with us one of her favorite summer recipes, Clams Montecito, a dish that pairs perfectly with her pinot grigio, as well as a few thoughts on wine and entertaining:
On how wine makes her feel:
"For me, wine is very enjoyable and relaxing. It’s accompanied with dinner, music, and entertaining — all facets of life’s great culture."
On making memories:
"Some of the fondest memories with my closest friends have been spent as we sipped a glass of wine and talked about life, love, our careers, and all the other problems we were trying to solve that evening."
On wine pairing ideas:
"One of the amazing characteristics of pinot grigio is how well it pairs with a variety of dishes. I love the crisp, full-bodied taste paired with mild cheeses, fish, salads, and light Italian courses such as pasta and pizzas."
Head to www.barrymorewines.com for buying information.
Cameron Diaz Treated Fans to a Cooking Lesson (& Now We Can’t Stop Thinking About Her Kitchen)
Cameron Diaz just gave fans a little lesson on how to make one of her favorite snacks from her kitchen and, TBH, we're kind of obsessed with the decor.
The Avaline Wine founder posted a brief tutorial on making stovetop popcorn while promoting her pal Drew Barrymore's talk show. She wrote, "It&rsquos premiere Week for @thedrewbarrymoreshow. And what better snack to crunch while you watch the main attraction? Popcorn of course! Pair with @avaline for your movie night popcorn."
She continued, "Tune in for your daily dose of sunshine, joy, inspiration and optimism. Watch @thedrewbarrymoreshow *every day* on your local CBS station. "
The actress proceeded to explain how she makes her popcorn, which includes olive oil, salt, nutritional yeast and Choluba seasoning. As Diaz walked fans through the process, however, we got so distracted by the rustic decor in her kitchen that we lost track of the "recipe." We were focused on the wooden counter-top and simple wooden shelves, which, paired with her blue dishes, give off a cozy, country feel. Fans also caught a glimpse of the white-tiled walls and white cupboards.
In the clip, while making the popcorn, Diaz spoke in detail about her appearance on BFF Barrymore's new show, where she, Lucy Liu, and the host reminisced about their Charlie's Angels days. She said, "Charlie's Angels was a huge moment for all three of us, it changed our lives. We loved so much making that movie, to work with two incredible women, feeling so empowered, learning our kung fu, being an elite crime-fighting team of three women who just kick butt & put the bad guys behind bars. We just had the best time." Girl power, FTW.
Thanks for the mini-tour, Cameron. Maybe it's time to upgrade our own kitchen.
Drew Barrymore Has Something Important to Tell You About Life, Love, and Rosé
Drew Barrymore has been a model for sisterhood, for empowering women, for picking oneself back up again no matter how bad the situation, for trying again and sometimes again. She's an actress, producer, writer, owner of a makeup line, winemaker, mom, and proof overachieving never reaches any limit. I had planned to interview Drew to celebrate the release of her new Barrymore Wines Rosé at the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival when I received a startling headline alert in our editorial chatroom the day before my scheduled interview: "Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman Are Divorcing." My stomach dropped. What could I possibly say to her after such a devastating announcement? As someone who works for a company that's extremely supportive of women and whose founder's mantra is, "Work hard be nice," I decided it could really be that simple.
I walked into the Carmel Tasting Room and met Drew's gaze. The first words out of her mouth were, "POPSUGAR? You look like POPSUGAR." She grinned, and the tension I felt melted away. I first noticed Drew's style had an endearing "f*ck it" quality to it. She donned striped socks underneath chunky sandal heels. She explained, "The thing is, the sock and the shoe have to be in love, and they're not always in love. Sometimes it's square peg, round hole." Her hair had a messy waviness like it had been windswept at a beach all day. Her eyebrows were grown out. "I don't feel like tweezing right now. I need to go back to my '80s roots. The time right now is natural. Natural base color. Natural brows. Natural face. Not being on the treadmill of fear of aging. It is what it is," Drew announced confidently. "And I'm wanting to bring the anklet back." She was gritty and real.
We sat at a window seat filled with bright blue pillows, the sun beaming down on us. She had a glass of Rosé in her hand and signaled for someone to bring me one too. We clinked glasses, and it was almost like two friends spending a lazy Saturday together. That's the second thing I noticed Drew is sweet and sincere. She was quick to hold my glass as I fumbled with my phone to start the recorder. I asked for her tasting notes.
"It's creamy. Peach and apricot. Grapefruit-forward. Without any sweetness. Enough citrus to keep it crisp. No stinging lemony aspect that can come into an acidic wine." And sure enough, with each sip, those qualities bloomed on my palate. It was a lovely, easy-to-drink (almost too easy!) Rosé.
Upon saying that, Drew quickly cleared up, "I like easy-drinking wines. What I don't like is when easy-drinking wines are written off as [having] lack of complexity or made without TLC." This is no wine-label-slapping venture for Drew. She informed me she's involved in every step of the wine-making process with Kris Kato, Carmel Road's winemaker. In three years, the team has produced three wines, including a Pinot Grigio (the first from her label) and a Carmel Road Drew's Blend Pinot Noir.
Drew gushed, "[Drew's Blend] scored 91 [on Wine Spectator], which is such a relief, because, you know, I'm not an oenophile. I'm a new winemaker, producer, and an enthusiast. I'm really excited to make a red for the Barrymore label." The third thing I noticed about Drew is her rich vocabulary, ie throwing around words like "oenophile." She busted out lexicon I haven't heard since my SAT days, but it's not in a snobby way. Rather, in doing so she expresses her love of language and has an impressive knack for using the exact, appropriate word at the right time.
But back to the wine! Good wine is only half the equation. It becomes great with food. Drew's favorite pairing is chilled Pinot Noir or Rosé with sushi, "because it's so light and clean." Though a multitalented person, a homecook for herself she is not. "I only cook for the kids. They get three-course meals, and I order PostMates. Usually Chinese food delivery at night or Mexican. Asian or Mexican food via anywhere who will throw it at me. Literally, guy on bike tossing up to window," she answered truthfully.
It reminded me of a chapter in her latest memoir, Wildflower, when she talks about surviving off of takeout while living in her first apartment by herself at the age of 14. I loved the book and suddenly felt compelled to tell Drew my favorite line from it. "Would you like to know it?" I asked sheepishly. Drew inched in closer. Her eyes brightened. "It's in the chapter about your daughter, you say, 'She needs me for my strength, not my worry.' That line brought me to tears." Drew listened intently and shared an Instagram comment she had read (one of few) that really struck her: "I strangely came across a comment of a woman who said, 'I am a mother. I'm sitting in a Paris cafe, because I came to be with my daughter after the attacks. She goes to school here. I'm in a cafe reading Wildflower. I just came across the sentence 'Right now, you need my strength, not my worry.' In that moment, you've made me feel OK about coming here. Because I had questioned, 'Am I in her face? Am I annoying her?' Not only do I now realize I do need to be here, but what I need to show her is my lightness and my strength. Thank you.'"
Drew is a storyteller, and there's a reoccurring theme present: women finding their power. In few, choice words, she has the ability to draw you in, to take your breath away, to offer hope amidst darkness. Even though she shares her personal journey, the simultaneous resiliance and vulnerability are universal and so relatable. She continued, "In a world where everyone's telling each other everything, I thought, 'Thank you, universe, for bringing me to that one comment that one time.' It's pretty humbling to be of relevancy to her in that moment. And it was the sentence you just said, and that is why I told you that story. Now, I have two for that sentence!"
And then, she mentions her daughter, "That's how my daughter is. She doesn't want the worry. She needs to know it's going to be OK. It's the only way she will allow herself to be vulnerable. . . . She's mad when something hurts her. She doesn't go to a weak place. Every little girl can only be made to feel safe if they know the parent is solid." Her eyes begin to water, causing mine to swell. We sit in silence for a moment, before I ask, "You've taken on so many big, scary things, and yet, you've come away more powerful and stronger than ever. What is the secret to that? What does it take?"
Her eyes sort of glazed over before she slowly and carefully responded, "I had a really hard time a couple of months ago and kind of knew life was heading in a new direction. I called someone that I really trust, respect, and believe in, because he has always been the conductor of grace. I said, 'What's your advice?' And he said, 'You put one foot in front of the other.' I hung up the phone and I thought, 'That is why I call this person.' It's not only succinct, but it's almost physically productive and life-choice productive. It's just great advice. It's a kind of way in which to live, and I want to be like him. I want to be like that. I want to put one foot in front of the other."
Having read her book, I wonder to myself whether she's talking about Steven Spielberg, a close friend and mentor to Drew, and if she's referring to her recent separation. And then, I brush both of those thoughts aside. Because as the story stands, what matters is it's universal. It's bigger than the recent events going on in Drew's life. Through her own life experiences (without hashing out the details), she neatly offers up a lesson we could all benefit from. We all go through tough times, and we all need to reach out to someone to offer us something as encouraging and graceful as taking one step at a time.
We hug. The last thing I notice about Drew is she's inclusive. She gathers her assistants, makeup artist, the winemaker, the other various people hanging out in the tasting room. She then invites me into the circle to send a video song for her daughters, Olive and Frankie. It's to the tune of "Frère Jacques." A bunch of adults sing enthusiastically out of tune. We whoop and holler, smile, and wave at the camera. Drew's singing the loudest. My last question for her is how she'd like to be remembered. It catches her off guard, "Oh sh*t! That's such a posthumous question." Then she settles into it and says, "The only thing I care about, my life's mission and the only thing that matters as of now is that my daughters know what our lives were like, how we lived, and how much I love them. For them to know that they were not just loved, but, like, ridiculously, utterly, life-alteringly loved. That's the only reason I'm here now!"
Cheers! 43 refreshing recipes for summer cocktails
It’s summer. Take in the warm weather with a refreshing cocktail. Or two. We’ve compiled 43 of our favorite summer cocktails, for your imbibing pleasure.
From chilled margaritas to fruit-filled sangrias, large batch punches and aguas fresca to individual cool cucumber martinis, we’ve got you covered. Some drinks come together in minutes others include sub-recipes for custom garnishes and components if you’re looking for more of a project.
To whet your appetite, check out the recipe for Sideways sour. Pisco, Cointreau, white grape juice and Pinot Noir, and garnished with fresh lemon slices and grapes. The cocktails also include a quick homemade sweet and sour. You can find the recipe below.
Note: Adapted from Baccarat Bar, Bellagio Las Vegas. The sweet and sour will keep for 1 week, refrigerated.
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
In a small saucepan, stir the sugar with one-fourth cup water over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool. Combine the cooled simple syrup and lemon juice. Makes 1 cup (8 ounces).
8 ounces pisco
3 ounces Cointreau liqueur
6 ounces white grape juice
6 ounces sweet and sour
3 ounces California Pinot Noir
4 slices lemon
In a large pitcher filled with ice, add the pisco, Cointreau, grape juice and sweet and sour and stir to combine. Strain the cocktail into 4 old-fashioned glasses filled with ice. Slowly pour three-fourths ounce Pinot over the back of a spoon into each cocktail (the Pinot will float on top and slowly diffuse into the cocktail). Garnish with a lemon slice, and float the grapes on top of the drink (if they are still attached to the stem, you can hang the stem on the rim of the glass).
Each serving: 290 calories 0 protein 28 grams carbohydrates 0 fiber 0 fat 0 cholesterol 5 mg. sodium.
Rosé evolves as this perennial star product
Drew Barrymore with her Barrymore Rosé
My confidence wavers for a moment as I take in where I am and who I am with. Asked if I’d like a glass of wine I decline. Time to work. It’s the three of us. Barrymore, Kato and myself. I look at her and take in her vibe. She’s dressed hippie chic. Colorful faux fur wrap, long wavy locks parted down the middle, her green eyes sparkle. Focused, her expression serious. The wind blows her hair and she swings her hand to move it from her face. The air is chilly, time is short. I will get a 2-minute warning when it’s time to wrap. Let’s get this party started.
Drew Barrymore and Kris Kato are the wine version of soulmates. They have similar palates. They share a desire to bring forth the best flavors the vineyard provides showcasing them in the wine. She conveys to Kris what kind of profile in non-technical terms, she wants. Kris works in the vineyards and with the grapes is able to bring that vision to life. Designing these wines under the radar to a degree was important. Barrymore didn’t want to be just another celebrity making wine. She wanted to be taken seriously and was low key about the wine while they were getting their blends down.
Barrymore Pinot Grigio inspired by Drew's time in Italy.
How does one find a dream team of this sort?
“I always call it a pre-arranged marriage because The Jackson team put us together. We got lucky! We have similar sensibilities, aspirations, likes of wines. We have a similar palate. But my palate does not dictate his palate. He’s a master, I am an enthusiast and a producer. We try really hard to make easy drinking wines that don’t lack in complexity. ” says Barrymore.
Passion is 100% behind this venture. She wanted to make a great Rosé. Number one goal. The one we sipped is just beyond her wildest dreams.
The most difficult part of the process?
For Barrymore, this project is one that encompasses her heart. She enjoys all aspects. From writing labels to choosing bottles and getting the tastes refined. The passion behind it drives them to create wines they are both excited about. They work hard on the road to get the wine sold and make the business work. It’s always a business but one she loves. For Kato, the aspects of nature can be cruel. It’s that part that is exciting and beautiful. He has one chance a year with grapes. The reward is as amazing as is the stress. He motions to the Rosé in his glass, “We’re drinking the Rose just 6-7 months after we picked it. That is the payoff.”
The best part of working together?
“We both love pairing the wines we’re making. Pinot Grigio with a really lovely spicy Thai Dish, or a delicate sushi, fish tacos. There are no rules. We love drinking the red we’re making. The pinot noir, chilled, cherry driven tobacco spicy, a nice unsweet finish is beautiful summertime. It seems to me the way we are drinking wine is now becoming more perennial”, she explains.
When I ask her about her favorite wine she exclaims, “Oh my God. It’s our Rosé. With the Rosé we were trying to go with something fruit forward, and I was drawn towards the beautiful lavender Barrymore Rosé notes. I find as the years go by and Rosé evolves as this perennial star product, I find that I do love a little more peach and apricot. I think Kris made a wine where I was tasting the melon, the apricot, and the citrus. I don’t like wines that finish sweet.”
Kris explains, “Our vineyards are here in the southern Monterey County. That’s our wheelhouse. Full climate varieties for me. Like Pinot Noir, it expresses itself so much more than any other grape variety. You have the ability to get one variety and shape it in many ways even in the Rose form, that’s the beauty of it. For our Rosé we pick the grapes a little early, using a soft press process and separate the juice from the skins. It’s much like making the white wine. It’s really about minimizing the color, which is why we get beautiful hue. Cold slow fermentation all in stainless steel to preserve the aromatics and the freshness.”
Drew signed up with the Carmel Road team because she had been in Italy studying Pinot Grigio. She wanted to make Italian wine. The Carmel Road team asked her all the appropriate questions. “Why are you making Italian wine, you’re such a California Girl?”. Drew said, “That’s cool. I get that. I am that definitely.” The training in Italy inspired her. It was invaluable to helping her articulate what she wants to convey in a wine to her winemaker. She found a huge learning curve in pivoting to Pinot Noir grapes from California. Provence-style Rosé was where her comfort zone was but Kato made her a believer. “What Kris does with these grapes and the way the winds of the ocean and the temperatures affect the wine is incredible”
The wine is 13 % alcohol, European in style and still, retains that amazing flavor.
Drew Barrymore’s Guide to Rosé the Right Way
Who knew Drew Barrymore was such an oenophile? Here, the actress (and winemaker) tells us everything she knows about enjoying a glass . . . or several. Plus, her secret method for ordering wine like a seasoned pro. (Hint: Just remember the letters S.S.T.)
Director: Corey Tenold
As a winemaker now people tend to look to me
which used be an incredibly intimidating process.
One way that you can always look professional
and actually really be able to tell is SST,
Rose is when you peel the skin off the grapes earlier,
and it's a cold fermentation.
If it's too dark I know it's gonna be
I think a rose should have
that inherently Pavlovian to women,
Somehow, I don't know what it is about us girls,
you're talking about the nose that it has.
the more of a pseudo oenophile you will become,
whereas if I have a cocktail
I feel like I learn nothing, I just enjoy it.
What I love pairing rose with food wise
is anything from a picnic basket
with apples and brie and baguettes,
to a really delicious spicy Thai dinner,
so that the rose is incredibly cooling.
The same with Pinot Grigio.
I like Pinot Grigio with sushi actually.
Rose is very perennial to me.
I do like a light, easy drinking wine.
Also, wines that feel very clean,
and actually make your whole body feel good
is a really big tell-tale sign for me,
and the absence of that coined sugar and sweetness
really contributes to that really beautiful clean ability
to enjoy it without feeling heavy.
Cheers to this, toast to that,
Featuring : Drew Barrymore
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Weekend Cocktail: Drew Barrymore’s Peppered Berry Wine Recipe
There is nothing quite as refreshing on a summer afternoon as a wine cocktail, which is why we were particularly excited to try out Drew Barrymore’s Peppered Berry Wine recipe that incorporates her Barrymore Pinot Grigio. Just the right amount of spice and you’ll find yourself sipping it poolside all summer.
Pepper Berry Wine (pictured above)
2 oz. Barrymore Pinot Grigio (available in the Hamptons)
2 Basil Leaves
5 Pink Peppercorns
3/4 oz. Lime juice
3/4 oz. Agave Nectar
In a shaker, add raspberries, basil leaves and peppercorns than muddle. Fill shaker with ice then add lime juice, agave, and Barrymore Pinot Grigio. Shake vigorously. Strain into a champagne glass and garnish with a basil leaf.
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 tablespoon minced green onions
- 8 ounces crabmeat
- ½ cup crushed buttery round crackers
- 1 tablespoon butter
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, tarragon, and scallions. Gently stir in crabmeat, being careful not to break up meat. Gradually mix in cracker crumbs, adding until desired consistency is achieved.
Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Form crab mixture into 4 patties. Place patties in skillet, and cook until golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side.
The Pioneer Woman's Best Pasta Recipes
Make tonight pasta night with these comforting picks, including Ree Drummond's creamy Alfredo and hearty lasagna.
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2015
Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Photo By: Shane Bevel ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.
Pancetta and Butternut Squash Pasta
White wine, lemon juice and fresh herbs brighten up this hearty pasta dish.
Cajun Surf and Turf Pasta
Ree cooks the steak and shrimp in the same skillet to make sure their flavors are infused throughout the dish.
Chicken Florentine Mac and Cheese
A Florentine sauce is typically made with cream, white wine, butter and spinach. Not only does Ree incorporate these flavors into her pasta, she adds three different types of cheese for over-the-top decadence.
Shortcut ‘Homemade’ Ravioli
&ldquoWonton wrappers make an amazing cheat pasta dough,&rdquo Ree says. All you need to do is make the filling and you&rsquore on your way to ravioli.
Ravioli a la Betsy
Believe it or not, you can get this hearty ravioli dinner, complete with a creamy tomato sauce and tender shrimp, on the table in just 16 minutes.
Mac and Cheese Primavera
In Italian, primavera means &ldquospring,&rdquo and in this hearty dish, Ree adds tons of springtime veggies, like broccoli and asparagus.
Skillet Spaghetti and Meatballs
Ree undercooks the pasta in boiling water by just a minute, because the noodles will cook again later when they&rsquore transferred to the skillet with the meatballs and sauce.
Mixed Seafood Pasta
Ree tosses the shrimp, calamari and lobster meat with tangy capers, a splash of white wine, and a mix of fragrant thyme and rosemary. A bit of fresh lemon juice complements the light flavors of the seafood.
Six Pepper Pasta
Don&rsquot let the name of this dish scare you. While there are tons of peppers here, most are sweet and smoky, not spicy, so you don&rsquot have to worry about overwhelming heat!
Sunshine Pasta Salad
Ree&rsquos creamy, garlicky and lemony Sunshine Dressing adds wonderful flavors to this dish, but the presentation takes it to another level. This dish features red, yellow and orange ingredients to mimic the colors of a sunset!
Linguine with Clam Sauce
This simple but spectacular meal is the first dish that Ree ever cooked for her husband, Ladd, so you know it's going to be a winner.
A mixture of creamy ricotta and nutty Romano cheese is the ideal filling for these family-friendly shells.
Kale-Pasta Mason Jar Salads
Transporting salads can be tricky, because the lettuce tends to wilt. But if you follow Ree's lead and stack the salad fixings with the greens at the top inside a hefty glass jar, this Italian-inspired meal will hold up well until lunchtime.
Q+A with Actress and Winemaker Drew Barrymore
Since starring in the blockbuster film E.T. at age 7, Drew Barrymore has packed many careers into one life. She’s still an actress, but now also runs a film production company, a cosmetics and eyewear line and recently authored an autobiography. Oh, and she’s also into wine.
Barrymore entered the wine business in 2011, first with selections from Northern Italy and since 2013 with offerings from Monterey County on California’s Central Coast. Her Pinot Grigio is labeled under the Barrymore brand, which features the crest of her grandfather, legendary actor John Barrymore, set into a Shepard Fairey design. The Pinot Noir is part of the Jackson Family Wines-owned Carmel Road brand, labeled as “Drew’s Blend.” A forthcoming rosé, scheduled to be released this summer, will also be under the Barrymore brand, and more wines are planned in the years to come.
What started you on the path to commercial winemaking?
It was just a serendipitous opportunity. My [film production company] partner Chris Miller happened to know this family in Italy, and I was absolutely in love with their product. But after a few years of going back and forth to Italy, which was a wonderful experience and really important learning curve, we moved it to California because we really wanted to do something a little closer to home.
I’m so hands-on and personally involved in every aspect. We came to meet with the Jackson Family Wines team, which is such a well-oiled machine and from an amazing winemaking legacy. We were all creatively on the same page of being prolific and making lots of different [grape] varietals.
I love going across the country and meeting with the sales team and really hearing what people with their feet on the ground have to say—what’s working, what’s not selling, and I love conveying our story to them.
What is that story?
Our motto is “from our family to yours.” I didn’t really grow up with any family—my family was my girlfriends and friends. Family is whomever you sit down with at the table and have a really lovely moment with. That’s something to really appreciate and realize that it is a blessing and a moment you need to put in your memory banks as something very near and dear to you.
Would you consider yourself a wine expert?
I’m a producer, a winemaker now, but I’m not an oenophile. I know when people hear my Valley Girl accent, they probably cringe. But when they speak to me at length, they find I’m someone who is really passionate. There is a lot of joy in it for me. It’s a blessing to do this. This has been one of the [most fun] jobs I’ve ever had in my life.
“I know when people hear my Valley Girl accent, they probably cringe. But when they speak to me at length, they find I’m someone who is really passionate. There is a lot of joy in [wine] for me.”
Is winemaking at all like acting?
I come from a storytelling background, so what you’re trying to do is convey a feeling, a time, a place and a tone and an emotion and an intention. For me, I just like happy, empowering positive things. It’s why I love flowers and hearts—there’s just nothing negative about them. You actually can’t find negative things in them. They can barely be misconstrued.
Wine is a similar thing. It’s a journey, and it’s beautiful, and it’s romantic, and it has history and worldly lessons and learning.
With the cosmetics, it helps a woman feel at her very best, and the messaging of that smile is better than any lipstick. All the films I made were funny and happy and some were more independent and reflective. I just don’t really like dour, dark, depressing things. I know they’re around and we all have to face them in our lives and in the world, but I would rather focus on and promote the good stuff.
You’ve been a world-famous actress since probably before you can even remember. Was wine part of your childhood at all?
Definitely not. My father carried a bottle of Tequila in his back pocket, Jose Cuervo. He was an interesting cat.
But I fell in love with wine by drinking it with my girlfriends on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. It was almost always Pinot Grigio, which is why I felt really passionate about entering winemaking with Pinto Grigio, first in Italy and now in California. I thought that it’s best to do what you know.
I’ve also always loved rosés. My girlfriends and I like chilled, easy-drinking wine that you can have one to two or two to three glasses of, and it’s not so heavy.
Then in my 20s and early 30s, I started falling in love with red wine. It was a very different thing, and not what I would sit around drinking with my girlfriends. That was the beginning of my studies in different regions and varietals. My tastes evolved.
As a younger girl, I loved Chianti, because Sangiovese is a great Italian table wine that is delicious with food….Then I fell in love with Malbec and Argentinian and Spanish wines. I got into a much heavier sort of profile. But now, I am back to light—I’m obsessed with Beaujolais. And the St-Émilion region. I’m into France now.
You also directed the wine’s packaging, right?
I also had to figure out the label, so I found my grandfather’s crest and brought it to [renowned artist] Shepard Fairey. I wanted a gentleman’s business card design, which is counterintuitive for Pinot Grigio because it’s so feminine. Most of the people I know who drink Pinot Grigio tend to be ladies. But if the design is more masculine or at least neutral, I thought that maybe it will be something that doesn’t turn off men, or something that you can present as a housewarming gift that’s really classic and clean.
What’s your favorite part of the winemaking process?
Kris Kato [winemaker at Carmel Road] and I got put together, and it was just kind of a miracle. He and I have the same palate for wine, the same palate for food, so we can really understand each other’s vocabulary. We communicate very well. We’ve really pushed the grapes to interesting places where they almost couldn’t go.
For our Pinot Noir, I was relentless. I really wanted to make a Pinot Noir that was in the same vein of Pinot Neros and Beaujolais that are light and fruit-forward with a nice balance of acid, but lacking in sweetness. That sugar does no favors on my palate, nor in my head the next day.
But I also like the spice and tobacco notes that I fell in love with on those bolder wines that I can’t drink so much anymore. I also love cherry. So we kept pushing and pushing, and we got it to a place where we were really excited about.
And then we trained in on our rosé. I am so excited. It is everything that I wanted to make in a rosé. It’s incredibly peachy and citrusy and really dry, but with lots of apricot and has a beautiful color. I’m so proud of it. I love Kris and his process.
Kris Kato and Drew Barrymore, photo courtesy Carmel Road
So in addition to being a winemaker, you are a mom, actress, producer and run a cosmetics line. How do you do it all?
I have no idea how to pull this all off. I wrote a book, too, which I always wanted to do, and that surprised me the most, how I wrote 300 pages with two children.
I’m not the most organized person, and my workstations look disastrous. I lose everything. No one wants to give me a passport. No one gives me anything because I lose everything. But the one thing I really try to do, and it’s the only recipe I do when I’m trying to pull everything off, is that I really compartmentalize. Certain hours and days get focused on one thing, and certain hours and days get focused on another thing. That’s the only way I know how to do anything.
Has your celebrity status been a hurdle in getting wine people to take you seriously?
When I first started, absolutely, especially in New York. That’s the toughest market. New York City is the harshest place I’ve ever tried to hock this wine. I definitely felt like I got that treatment, that pat on the head and “sure” kind of attitude.
But I’ve felt a lot of warmth from places like California and Chicago. It’s interesting to see how people are more open-minded and welcoming even if very serious about it. But I also don’t want to be someone who just got into the game to be acting like I know more than they do, and I definitely respect that. I get it. I’m new here.
Have Hollywood’s beverage tastes changed over your career?
I think so. This is more the era of wine than a cocktail. There’s something socially acceptable and so worldly and very traditional about it. Also, you can’t bring someone a cocktail, but you can bring someone a bottle of wine. And that is a meaningful thing. You can have discussions about wine in a way that you cannot about alcohol in general. The craft beer movement has become a really big thing, too, but I still drink Coors Light, so I wouldn’t know anything about the craft beer movement, unfortunately. But wine, I can talk about all year long.