Sarah Jessica Parker may be best known for her portrayal of the Cosmopolitan-sipping Carrie Bradshaw on HBO’s Sex and the City, but the actress/producer/entrepreneur is now taking on a different beverage scene: wine. Earlier this year, Parker began collaborating with popular New Zealand brand Invivo & Co to create a signature Sauvignon Blanc. We caught up with her to get the lowdown on all her vinous style notes.
Many people first got to know you as your Sex and the City character, Carrie Bradshaw, a notorious cocktail drinker. Does real-life Sarah Jessica prefer wine?
Well, I’m not Carrie Bradshaw, that’s always an important distinction I have to make. It was a delight to play her, an honor. And I love the story that I got to tell. But I think it’s always important to distinguish that I am different… Carrie has been a, let’s say, enthusiast for the Cosmopolitan. But I, you know, Sarah Jessica Parker—me, myself and I—I enjoy wine. I’m not a terrifically gifted mixologist, so I don’t tend to make a Cosmo. I’m not entirely sure I would know how, to be honest.
So, what’s your go-to wine, or what are some characteristics you look for?
Well, it depends on what we’re eating. We cook every night, so I’m somewhat thoughtful about that choice, you know? But I do like whites a lot, Chardonnay. I also like rosé, and there are reds that I really like as well. But I don’t think I have, up to this point, been sort of monogamous, I guess, to one particular, certain grape or color.
To be honest, I wasn’t even as much a Sauvignon Blanc drinker until I came to know Invivo. Actually, in Ireland, where we spend time… [Invivo’s] very available.
Before this project, did you know New Zealand wines other than Invivo?
I was somewhat aware. I mean, you know, every fairly good wine purveyor, certainly in [New York City], tends to categorize by regions on the shelf, and I’ve actually seen our local wine store’s selection grow… I was also aware that, in particular, Sauvignon Blanc was something that they were doing really well, that it was becoming synonymous with New Zealand. Even if I wasn’t as informed as I am now, that I’ve been focusing on their wines.
“There’s a huge amount that I don’t yet know about the wine industry. So I’m much more quiet than I am in, say, a production meeting.”
How did you get involved with this project?
I met the gentlemen of Invivo through a mutual contact who introduced us… They sent some bottles to myself and my husband [actor Matthew Broderick] to enjoy. And, meanwhile, we had been spending time in Ireland and our local grocery store was carrying it and we had been buying it, not making that connection. So we were unknowingly collaborating with them as a consumer anyway, which was kinda nice, you know, because we felt that there was an authentic enthusiasm for what they were doing, that we were willfully enjoying on our own and giving it a presence in our real [life].
This project is a big departure from acting. Have you discovered any parallels between the two worlds?
Creative processes can be familiar, regardless of what the outcome is or the destination of the effort. So that’s familiar, working with people, being open to different conversations and opinions, learning to listen and taking advantage of people who are experts in their field. All of that is very familiar, and there’s a huge amount that I don’t yet know about the wine industry. So I’m much more quiet than I am in, say, a production meeting, where I’m more aware of what’s needed or where there’s urgency. But I love a true collaboration, which this is. I love [that they] are really good at what they do and are confident and are good at sharing information.
How many wines are you working on in total, and when will bottles be available?
We’ll be starting out with the Sauvignon Blanc, and we’re excited about working on a rosé in the future… We’re looking into, possibly, a blend of rosé from Provence, which would be enormously exciting to me. For right now, those are the two things we’re looking at… We plan to release [the Sauvignon Blanc] in August, if we get all of our ducks in a row. It’ll retail between $18 and $20. It was really important to me that it felt accessible, but also be quality.
Were you familiar with New Zealand wines outside of their brand?
I was somewhat aware. I mean, you know, every fairly good wine purveyor, certainly in [New York City], tends to categorize by regions on the shelf, and I’ve actually seen our local wine store’s selection grow over the last few years. We have a really great store… It’s this lovely man who’s really well versed and helpful, and there are a bunch of local stores that have a nice New Zealand collection.
I was also aware that, in particular, Sauvignon Blanc was something that they were doing really well, that it was becoming synonymous with New Zealand. Even if I wasn’t as informed as I am now, that I’ve been focusing on their wines.
How do you think your celebrity status will shape your wine’s perception?
Well, I don’t think of myself as a celebrity. I recognize myself as a public person by virtue of my job… But I think the perception of the wine will be based on its quality, how it connects with consumers. I think it’s fair that some will be dubious about this venture, much like they were when I began publishing books. But it’s my job to make my intentions clear, to be thoughtful about the process, every bit of it… It’s something that is deserving of people’s well-earned dollars or euros. The wine should be judged on the merits.