Drew Barrymore’s First Wine: Promising Pinot Grigio

The actress' wine industry debut is a solid start for a beginner producer

Drew Barrymore has been a child actress, adult star, film producer and director, humanitarian and philanthropist, author of an autobiography, and brand model for CoverGirl and Gucci jewelry. She has walked miles on red carpets, and, in her earlier years, she even conquered rehab. Twice.

At 37, Barrymore is now trying something really challenging. She’s establishing her own brand of wines.

Her debut bottle, the 2011 Barrymore Delle Venezie Pinot Grigio ($20), is being rolled out in California as a test market and may soon be premiering at a wine store near you. Barrymore Wines are being represented by the venerable distributor, Wilson Daniels, which handles primarily upscale accounts such as Domaine de la Romanée Conti (DRC) and Royal Tokaji.

Barrymore herself has said little publicly about the project, although the Wilson Daniels liner notes say, "Barrymore has created a wine that reflects her style and personality: fresh, dynamic and fun." Thankfully, you can’t always tell a wine by its label, which itself looks rather ordinary with a plain crested "B" and negligible color.

And the wine? It has moderately low alcohol at 12 percent and is completely a child of stainless steel — no oak. The main flavors are ripe kiwi fruit, with a lactic, chalky finish, and it is still a touch tight. It has full body, but only moderate acidity, and it seems a tad sweet. Overall, good fruit and moderate structure — a promising start for a beginning producer.