Bright and fruity with hints of citrus, Sarah Jessica Parker's wine, “Invivo X, SJP,” is a pleasant Sauvignon Blanc, the kind you can sip easily on a warm night. And I did just that at the launch party on September 18th, where Parker mingled with guests at the Garden Bar in New York’s Seaport District and servers whirled around with trays of the light gold wine in tow. She told me in a recent phone interview that it’s already won a few gold medals—Double Gold from the 2019 China Wine & Spirit Awards, and "Gold and 95 points" at a national New Zealand competition—while Wine Orbit also bestowed a 95-point review. It’s a lot of buzz for a wine Parker didn’t initially know she wanted to make. But now that she’s gone through the process and tasted the end result, she’s thrilled.
“The call well over a year ago was a surprising inquiry. My husband and I, we drink wine, we are consumers and we love our local wine stores. But I didn’t know a great deal about the wine business and I actually wasn’t thought of among my friends as ‘the great Sauvignon Blanc drinker,’” she quipped.
However, when Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron from Invivo & Co., a New Zealand-based wine company, approached her about collaborating, she realized that she was already familiar with their brand—she and her husband (fellow actor Matthew Broderick) had been buying it at the local market while they were in Ireland for the holidays. After learning more about the company, she was ready to dive in, working with Lightbourne and Cameron to craft a blend that was “distinguished in the market.” They went with Sauvignon Blanc because it’s a local specialty, sourcing grapes from five different estates in the country’s famous Marlborough region—Parker was very involved in the development, from hand-painting the “X” design on the bottle’s original label to selecting the blend for the wine. She likened the latter process to her experience in the fragrance industry, paying attention to tiny details and “really splitting the atoms.” They ended up finalizing the Sauvignon Blanc during a three-hour blending session in New York this past May. Although she notes her and Cameron disagreed a little bit along the way due to their different palates, ultimately, they settled on something they felt good about.
“There were obviously conventions and rules about Sauvignon Blanc and how it should behave, and who it should be,” Parker explained. “I think what I love about ours is it’s identifiable and it does apply a lot of those rules, but it went a bit rogue. It’s a little bigger than most Sauvignon Blancs, it’s not maybe quite as high, or pointy. I think it’s beautifully balanced, but it’s a little fuller-figured lady. It’s super fragrant and it seems to be very nimble.”
Now that Invivo X, SJP is out in the world, Parker thinks that customers should enjoy it however they want, whether they want to bring it up to their roof or save it for a special occasion. It’s also the kind of wine, she says, that’s she’s been serving with everything, from summer tomatoes and corn to a French roasted chicken recipe she and Broderick love. I asked her what she looks for in an ideal glass of wine—any wine, not just her own. She thought about it and explained that she likes it to be complex, but not forbidding, the kind of drink that keeps revealing itself as you sip.
"I think I’ve learned to love wine and enjoy it because of traveling, and always trying to drink local wine," she says. "And I always ask the server, 'what’s your local wine? You can bring a label-less carafe of what you all drink and love here.' The more I’ve done that, the more I’ve learned."
For those who aren’t as big on Sauvignon Blanc, there’s already another Invivo and Parker collaboration in the works—a rosé from the South of France, with a projected release for March 2020. Beyond that, it’s unclear if there will be another bottle. However, if Invivo X, SJP sells well, she hopes to continue this newfound passion.
“I’ve loved the process, so if we have enough success that [Invivo & Co] think I’m deserving of more experiences, I would love to,” she told me.
Invivo X, SJP is available in the U.S. now via Taub Family Selections for the suggested retail of $18-$20—it will also be sold in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, the UK, Ireland and Hong Kong.