Drew Barrymore: the ladiez like ice in their wine

Drew Barrymore, wine curator, comments on her wine label to KSBW:

“I love pinot grigio. I’ve been a pinot grigio drinker most of my life–after 21, of course.”

“It has beautiful notes and it is lacking in acidity but full of fruit.”

“Women love rosé and pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc. And we like to put ice in it.”

Discuss! Here’s a reaction from Twitter to kick things off: “she threw all the ladiezzz tasting wine back by about 20 years.”

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22 Responses to “Drew Barrymore: the ladiez like ice in their wine”


  1. Well, if she’s paid for it she cab drink it anyway she likes


  2. Dolan – Yes, certainly if she wants to put ice in her wine, it’s a free country. But in the video she spoke on behalf of all women, which some find objectionable, hence the comment about setting women back 20 years.


  3. Hey Tyler, since when do you speak for women? And how does putting ice in wine (which she states would be anathema to any oenophile) set the women’s movemnet back 20 years?
    Let’s get real here – a lot of people don’t like to drink their wine in the way that so-called experts say it should be drunk. If someone wants my expert opinion on how to drink a white wine I would normally advise warmer rather than colder but, as I mentioned before, once you’ve bought it it’s yours to do with as you please.
    As for women’s rights, maybe she’s just brought the right to ice to the forefront as opposed to setting anything back 20 years!


  4. I was given that wine blind 2 weeks ago and could get over how dilute it was. It tasted like a whole tray of ice cubes had melted in the glass.


  5. Yeah, Michael…welcome to the Pinot Grigio club that the Saint from Margerita started.

    The real issue here is so-called celebrity wine labels. How vacuous can a culture get?


  6. Dolan – It wasn’t my comment; it was from a woman on Twitter (see link above). If Barrymore wants to put ice in her wine, she’s more than welcome. But saying that “women” like ice in their wine paints with a broad brush–I know women who enjoy their Jura wine sans glacons, merci. And I’m sure she shortchanged some men who like ice too!

    Michael – too funny!

    Thomas – Yes, the celebrity wine thing is really crazy. There are some rare instances where the celebrity really gets into wine and even can identify the vineyard where the grapes were grown (he or she might even own it). But usually celebrity wine is a fly-by-night “brand-extension” where wine appears simply as one other thing the celebrities can cash in on. While it’s great to see people with huge reach touting wine in America, it would be even better if they actually cared about it enough to say something meaningful.


  7. “…it would be even better if they actually cared about it enough to say something meaningful.”

    J. McInerney does that for them.


  8. Dermot,

    As MW I assume your goal is to sell wine to customers so in your business the customer is correct. In my world as a wine reviewer and educator my job is to educate and improve a student’s ability.

    This wine I am sure is sweet and as stated watered down, overpriced swill. I find educating consumers more rewarding than selling them a $45 bottle of Pinot Grigio at a restaurant.


  9. It is my understanding that the Barrymore family has always been interested in wine and spirits, so this is not an entirely unexpected choice of fields for Ms. Barrymore.

    I was interested to read that the Barrymore 2011 Pinot Grigio won a gold medal from the prestigious Le Challenge International du Vin, the largest international wine competition held in France. This was an honor shared by the acclaimed Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon.

    As far as the wine with ice issue, I myself put ice in a glass of wine the other day because I didn’t think that the wine could possibly taste worse than it did. Then I topped it off with Simply Orange Mango juice. I should have sent it in to the Le Challenge International de Vin. I could have bronzed.


  10. Well John, I am a wine educator of over 20 years’ experience and I teach at all levels from complete novices (teetotal as well!) right up to MW students, winemakers etc. In all that time I have never described any wine as “swill” and I doubt I ever will. Education is not about telling people they are doing the wrong thing but about explaining to them why the done thing has become the done thing – giving them enough information to make their own decisions for themselves. I have never tasted the wine in question, I have never met Ms Barrymore, but I fail to see why the wine should be classed as “swill” (BTW, that comment could leave both yourself and Tyler open to legal action!) nor why she cannot have ice in her wine if that’s the way she likes it.
    It is quite interesting that in a world where MWs are frequently perceived as snobs that I’m the one defending her!
    BTW, given your ideas of what a wine educator should do remind me never to take one of your courses!


  11. Dolan – I have not tried the Barrymore wine nor have I ever offered my thoughts about the quality of the wine. John Glas offered that description of the wine; his thoughts and opinions of the wine that are his own. Please note that this site’s policy indicates that the content of comments in reaction to posts are entirely the responsibility of those who leave the comments.


  12. Oh, my.

    Why do people get so exercised over what amounts to PR and nothing more?

    Are our lives so invested in our accomplishments, such as we like to think they are accomplishments, that we must make fools of ourselves defending those perceived accomplishments?

    This is plain and simple: we live in a vacuous culture of celebrity; celebrities and their PR flacks take advantage of the situation, and they say things that are mundane so that the masses won;t be caught having to think.


  13. The article that resulted from Michael Madrigale (above) tasting this wine is up:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/are-celebrities-celebrity-wines-actually-good-taste-test

    Hilarious “drink only in case of emergency” rating!


  14. Actually, I think the Barrymore wine is good. If she wants to ice it it is her prerogative. Personally, I like my chilled wine (white) without ice.


  15. Dermot,

    If someone does not like a movie they can give it no stars. If I don’t like a wine I rate it low. There is no legal action for that otherwise WS would be out of business.

    As far as educating people it is amazing how many people are empowered after learning the tasting process. The cheap wines they drank in a blind tasting are now not ever bought again and wines that cost a few more dollars are savored.

    I understand people like to put ice in their wine and I would recommend to them to drink inexpensive wine with little flavor. One would never put ice in a Donnhoff or Prum.


  16. Tyler, the name’s Dermot – we spent enough time together at Landmark to get that right, thanks. In re legal action here in Ireland or the UK your stated policy would be no legal defence against an action as by allowing a comment to be published you are implicitly agreeing with it; for reference note the various comments on UK blogs by Bartholemew Broadbent in re the publication of “The Billionaire’s Vinegar”.
    John, there’s a world of difference between giving a wine no stars and calling it “swill”. There is absolutely no educational value in denigrating a wine or another person’s choices. To say “One would never put ice in a Donhoff or a Prum” is a false statement; what you mean is that you wouldn’t do that. You could say that “One wouldn’t recommend doing it because it will reduce the aromatic quality of the wine” but it’s still a valid choice for any individual to make.
    In relation to empowerment away from cheap wines I still drink Barefoot Pinot Grigio and other inexpensive wines as they frequently meet my needs and I believe they do an excellent job in their market. If I don’t like it, I just don’t buy it and I make no further comment. Every time you denigrate a wine you, by extension, denigrate all those who actually like the wine and I see no benefit or value in doing that. That isn’t education, it’s just being snide.
    Why Tyler posted the piece in the first place is beyond me and now I’m wishing he hadn’t!


  17. Dermot – All your cheery talk of legal action must have given me a brain fart–apologies.

    While I’m not a lawyer, I think John (or anyone) is allowed to express an opinion about a product (wine) verbally or in writing–it’s a protected form of speech in this country. You may remember that someone in France called a wine a “vin de merde.” Producers brought suit; the suit was eventually dismissed and the producers had to pay the magazine.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaujolais_(wine)

    (Now there’s even a producer who has labeled his wine as “vin de merde”:
    http://www.just-drinks.com/news/vin-de-merde-wine-producer-sells-out_id95063.aspx )

    Insinuating that there is duplicity going on in winemaking is another matter. You may recall that in 1993 Parker insinuated that the Faiveley wines he tasted in the US were “less rich” than the ones that he tasted in France and ended his tasting note with a “Ummmmm!” Faiveley brought suit and Burgundy producers closed ranks behind Faiveley in what was the last straw in rounding Parker out of the region.

    I stand by my posting. Celebrities are getting into wine, slapping their names on labels and buying vineyards. So it’s useful for us to discuss the merits of this, how they talk about wine, and the quality of the wines. (See buzzfeed link above)


  18. Hi Tyler, fair enough – I am very wary of what gets said and posted as there were a number of genuine threats in re the Vinegar book. I also believe that there is fair comment (I don’t think this is a good wine etc.) but that it should never descend into insult.
    I haven’t had the chance to taste the Barrymore wine (I note that some of the wines mentioned are simply existing good wines (La Fiorita) relabelled) but I’m prepared to give it a go and taste it truly blind (not with capsules showing). If anyone wants to break Federal law and ship me a bottle I promise to be fair LOL!
    In re celebrity wines as a concept I am sure they’re tiresome (the wines tasted seem to be exclusively North American market) but, from an educators point of view as well as a retailers, if it generates interest in wine that’s good: I wasn’t born with DRC in my mouth!
    All the best and keep up the good work,
    Dermot
    PS we should do this more often, I’ve noticed a big increase in views of my blog from USA!


  19. Dermot – Why don’t you come on over and we’ll try some Barrymore together. I’ll even shoot a video of you drinking it with ice in it–should help your blog views with the American ladiez! ;-)


  20. “In relation to empowerment away from cheap wines I still drink Barefoot Pinot Grigio and other inexpensive wines as they frequently meet my needs and I believe they do an excellent job in their market. If I don’t like it, I just don’t buy it and I make no further comment. Every time you denigrate a wine you, by extension, denigrate all those who actually like the wine and I see no benefit or value in doing that. That isn’t education, it’s just being snide.”

    You as an educator must remember that most people don’t actually properly taste their wine. Without smelling and swishing there is little difference in the taste of a $5 wine and a $100 well made wine. I have done enough of these types of experiments with my clients. Almost no one for sure knows the difference. Once we try the same two wines blind with the tasting process almost all can distinguish the difference. Also remember most wine drinkers think German Rieslings are sweet and that is try of the cheap stuff. However once they sample even a Loosen Dr. L they realize how good a Riesling can be.

    There are several wines under $10 I think are well made and deliver for the price such as anything from Columbia Crest, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling, Cotes du Rhone and a few Aussie reds.

    I think you underestimate the importance of a wine educator with an opinion on what is good and what isn’t. We are being paid to educate not make clients feel good about their current favorites. We need to upgrade their selections to wines that deliver in their relative price point and try and move them away from sugar sweet reds and whites. This will provide a better product across the board. I have clients that say they like a wine because it taste like water and I say drink water instead it is cheaper.


  21. So, I have actually had this wine… which it seems most of you haven’t. Sure we can make fun of her comments, but I find her honesty about not being a oenophile refreshing and it will probably make her all the richer. So from what I remember the wine was meh… ok. Not great, but not the awful swill people are saying it is. It was exactly what you’d think it to be. A NE Italian PG that was pretty low on personality. You’ve had a million just like it. I refused to carry the wine on the basis of price and I don’t think the label is right for the ice in the glass target audience. (Don’t sue me Dermot) Lastly, as a woman please don’t lump ALL women into a ice into the glass category! I sell wine to women everyday. Their tastes differ greatly.


  22. Also, most of the time this “category” of wine drinker has zero interest in wine education. So I think that point is moot. They enjoy it to our dismay, and we should probably get over it.


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