Sarah Jessica Parker and her Sex and the City character, Carrie Bradshaw, may seem similar, but the actress has said for years they're really nothing alike. Not even their drink of choice is the same. Carrie, as fans know, was fond of the cosmopolitan, but Parker prefers wine—so much so that she just launched her own Sauvignon Blanc with New Zealand winery Invivo, called Invivo X, SJP.
Adding another project to her résumé is all in a day's work for Parker, who most recently starred in and executive-produced the HBO series Divorce, has a booming shoe business, and can now call herself a sommelier in the making. Below, we chat with the Emmy winner about her wine, her work, and whether Carrie might ever swap out her signature cocktail for a crisp glass of white.
Glamour: What initially made you want to get into the wine game?
Sarah Jessica Parker: I'd been contacted by Invivo well over a year ago, and I was sort of surprised by the inquiry because I had not ever pondered or fantasized about producing a Sauvignon Blanc, let alone any wine. And though it seemed far-fetched that I might be able to do it or contribute anything, I spent a lot of time talking to them and learning about their business. After many conversations, I decided I thought it would be a very interesting experience and a privileged opportunity to learn about a business that, beyond being a consumer, I was completely unfamiliar with.
What did you want your Sauvignon Blanc to taste like as you were making it?
I think I wanted to pay a nice amount of attention to the conventional idea of what a Sauvignon Blanc is. People are very serious about their wines, and particularly I think Sauvignon Blanc drinkers are very specific. So I wanted to apply some of those rules, but I also wanted to distinguish it in some way. And we got there. We got there in ways that I might never have imagined. It was just a wonderful process of blending and splitting that atom and getting it to where we really were excited about it, and that it felt uniquely different in the market but still could be called, with authority, a Sauvignon Blanc.
What was the inspiration behind the packaging?
Well, I sign all my letters and emails and everything "x, SJ." And so [Invivo] cleverly thought of that as its name. I love the color teal. It's my favorite color, and I thought, Well, maybe I'll just get a can of paint and start working on my own hand making that X and that comma. And so I did, and it was much harder than I thought it would be because paint doesn't spread in the ways you want it to. It doesn't take direction super well, but we got it. That's my hand, my finger, my print. It just feels more personal.
When you tried the wine for the first time, how did you feel?
Relieved. I was so relieved. I didn't know what might happen in the process and if I would still feel as strongly about it. I was really worried, and I put off [trying it] a little bit. I was just really anxious that it should somehow disappoint me, and I would have to try to find a way to still feel excited about it. But I was just thrilled when I tried it. I really couldn't believe it. I was just absolutely thrilled. It's been wonderful to see it be received so well.
You have this wine, a shoe line, plus you're acting and producing. What's it like transitioning between artistic and business mind-sets?
It's not really complicated. All of them feel artistic in their own way. Designing collections is not that radically different from many other creative conversations and exercises. They use different parts of my body and brain and muscles, but they're all enormously satisfying. Or can be. Or have the potential to be. It's not a great transition. Conversations about money and margins and profits—those are very different kinds of conversations, but they're not that radically different from conversations I had producing Sex and the City. So it's not like I have to think about transitioning. I'm in conversations that are interesting and exciting and challenging and painful. It's all very much the same; it's just the destination is different for all of them.
Of all the things you do, is there one in particular that brings you the most joy?
They're all very different. It's hard to characterize one as being more joyful than the other. Being onstage is a unique and exquisite experience and can be very joyful. The exchange with the audience is very special. But being on the floor of the stores, where I am frequently, just selling shoes and meeting customers, also brings me a huge amount of joy. I spent two hours [yesterday] meeting people at our local wine store and signing bottles, and that was really nice and made me very happy. All of it brings me joy in different ways.
Is there a social setting where you just love opening a bottle of wine?
Having friends over. We entertain a nice amount, especially in the summer. I think just cooking with all of your friends and having wine. Having wine is something everyone we're dining with enjoys. To be able to offer my own now is pretty exciting. That's the best thing for us: friends and family.
Are there any wine rules that you throw out the window?
I don't really live by a lot of rules. People's palates are their own, if they want to have pork and Sauvignon Blanc. I don't really live by rules. Sometimes it's obvious what might be nice with a particular color wine or type of wine, but I don't know anyone who lives hard and fast by those rules.
What do you think Carrie Bradshaw would make of this wine? Do you think she would drink it?
I'd like to think that it's deserving and worthy of her. Big is a wine drinker, right? He loved a glass of wine. They had wine together often at many meals they cooked at his apartment or, eventually, their apartment. There was wine around. I'd imagine that with his influence, this might be a wine that he would come home from his local wine store with, and she might be willing to try it and might even discover she likes it.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Originally Appeared on Glamour