Hamptons icon Sarah Jessica Parker kicks off her stilettos to stomp grapes with the release of her very own wine label this summer.
Sarah Jessica Parker knows about being all-in—in her partnership with Manolo Blahnik’s George Malkemus III for her shoe line, SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker; with her hand-me-down-inspired line of kids clothes for the Gap (she grew up one of eight siblings—she knows what she’s talking about!); as an executive producer and star of the HBO hit series Divorce; and in her 20-plus-year marriage to fellow actor Matthew Broderick. But when New Zealand-based Invivo Wines (invivowines.com) co-founders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron approached the actor to make juice that jibed with her egalitarian instincts, the time seemed ripe for a new project.
Tell us about the first wine you’re launching and what it was like working outside of your usual wheelhouse? It’s a sauvignon blanc, which is very specific to the Marlborough, New Zealand, region. I don’t want to make something unfamiliar to me because I want to talk about it with enthusiasm and knowledge. I tend to only work with partners who will allow me to be completely involved, for better or worse. I don’t want to come across as shilling something meaningless—it’s how I approach all partnerships, businesses and my work as a professional actor.
What were you hoping this wine might say about you? People confuse me with an idea about New York that is very glamorous and rarefied—I didn’t want to be part of a wine product that’s inaccessible to a lot of people. It’s important to me to create a wine whose quality is indisputable in character and flavor, bu that we land on a price point that’s more egalitarian. Because I would feel peculiar talking about [it] if it was simply out of reach for most people.
Can you give us a preview of what it’s like? Our first wine, a sauvignon blanc, is slightly bigger than the traditional version. I wanted it to be refined, not cloying or insipid. I tend to like the teeniest [note] of apricot and a little bit of body. It will have a little more weight than a typical sauvignon blanc, but we’re paying attention to and being respectful of what we think of as a proper sauvignon blanc. We’re also possibly going to look into placing a little in oak barrels— I’m very curious what that might do! Next summer, we’ll launch a Provencal rose?.
Did you have your own aha moment with wine? Before we were married, my husband and I took a trip though France, and we went all the way to Nice and that area. It was on that trip that we really started to experience wine. We drove to Arles, and I remember it was a very hot evening and we went to a cafe and asked for the local wine. It was a rose?. It arrived in a tin carafe and it was perfect and chilly and not simple or thin or banal. It was beautiful and it was a revelation.
Stems or stemless? We mostly drink out of bistro-style juice glasses or small jars that were originally used for jelly or capers. I can’t tell you the last time I offered someone a glass with a stem. We’re just not formal about wine in our house. None of our friends seem offended. I guess if you’re offering free wine, people aren’t going to be too fussy.
You stand with a glass of your very own wine in hand in front of the world— what’s your toast? In Ireland, we say Slainte. In France, A? votre sante?. In Italy, Salute! I’d probably say all of those things and hope that it meant: To life, health, joy, friends, community and family.