Drew Barrymore is the latest celebrity to launch her own wine. The difference is, her vintage has gone gold
- Last Updated: 11:58 PM, April 25, 2012
- Posted: 11:27 PM, April 24, 2012
Adorable actress Drew Barrymore has a lot to celebrate. An engagement to art consultant Will Kopelman. A rumored baby on the way.
And now, a gold medal for her newest business project — the launch of Barrymore 2011 Pinot Grigio — to compete with her Golden Globe.
“I love wine, and it’s always fun when you can do something in your work life that you love in your personal life,” the actress told Wine Spectator magazine last month.
After an initial roll-out in California, Barrymore Pinot Grigio will hit New York wine shops May 3, retailing for about $20 a bottle. (It’s also sold online at wine.com and klwines.com.)
Earlier this month, the wine scored a gold medal at Le Challenge International du Vin, France’s largest international wine competition.
“A fan of crisp, fruity white wine, Barrymore has created a wine that reflects her style and personality: fresh, dynamic and fun,” reads the promotional materials.
It’s an unlikely foray for Barrymore, who at the tender age of 13 spoke candidly to People magazine about her addictions to alcohol, marijuana and cocaine. “I’m Drew, and I’m an addict-alcoholic,” she said at the time.
But that was 1989, and this is now.
“She herself is a pinot grigio drinker, and she created a wine reflecting her style,” says Niccolo Salvadori, a partner in SGC Group, the official licensee for Barrymore Wines.
“Drew made numerous trips to Italy, spent time with the facility and was involved with the wine at every level,” adds Salvadori, noting the process was two years in the making.
She’s far from the first celebrity to slap her name on a bottle — everyone from Lil Jon, Madonna and Dave Matthews to Olivia Newton-John and Joe Montana has gotten into the business. In 2006, porn star Savanna Samson raised eyebrows when she received accolades from wine expert Robert Parker for her Sogno Uno, an Italian blend.
A star name — or, in the case of Samson, a see-through negligee — can be a powerful marketing tool. When faced with confusing crus and DOCGs, an eye-popping image or familiar handle can make a difference to befuddled buyers.
Designed by graphic artist Shepard Fairey, the Barrymore label features her illustrious family crest, a nod to her legendary acting family.
Six-thousand cases of the 2011 pinot grigio — a blend of grapes from the Northern Italian regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino Alto Adige and Veneto — have been produced so far.
But experts say not to count on Barrymore becoming the next Francis Ford Coppola — that is, unless she plans to buy a respected vineyard. “On the one hand, she could have bought a really nice property and hired a wine-making team, and the fact that her name is on it is beside the point,” says Christopher Shipley, director of sales at Joanne Bordeaux USA and former wine director at ‘21,’ who has yet to try the Barrymore Pinot Grigio.
“On the other hand, it could be some sort of money grab where she licensed her name and bought some juice on the spot market. Those are the two extreme [scenarios].”