Wine World

If wines were celebrities

Let’s face it: We all have a secret vision of what our life is going to look like. Maybe you’ve always imagined you’d be a best-selling novelist, living in the English countryside with Sting as your neighbor. Or you thought you’d be an acclaimed marine biologist who teaches a dolphin to speak English. We all can dream, can’t we?

Growing up, Kim Stare Wallace’s fantasy was to have a brilliant career in fashion. After graduating in fashion design and merchandising from San Francisco State and working for a couple of large firms in San Francisco, she realized a move to either New York or Los Angeles was inevitable if she really wanted her career to blossom. Leaving the Bay Area was not an appealing option to her, so Kim opted to leave fashion behind and work for her father, David Stare, owner of Dry Creek Vineyards located in Healdsburg, California.

“I grew up working at my family’s winery, and I was on the bottling line every weekend. I absolutely hated it and swore I would never work for this godforsaken place,” said Kim, with a chuckle. That was 35 years ago, and ironically she is now the president of Dry Creek Vineyards.
You’d think Kim would at least take heart that running a winery is probably just as glamorous as working in the fashion industry. Apparently not. “Winemaking is glamorous about 2 percent of the time,” she said, “The rest is super hard work. Putting a wine bag on my shoulder and calling on my clients? Is that glamorous? Heck no!”

Still, it has its moments. Not only do celebrities occasionally drop in at the tasting room, or like Charlize Theron, pop by for a spontaneous dinner at Kim’s house, but Dry Creek Winery has also been the featured wine for the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards in Hollywood for the last 12 years.
“It’s great fun going to the SAG Awards. You get dressed up, walk the red carpet, see the show, and meet a lot of amazing people, like Pierce Brosnan, Clint Eastwood, Tom Cruise, Viola Davis, Helen Miren, and my favorite, Betty White. It’s also kind of like heaven for me, because it combines both fashion and wine,” says Kim.

So who better to pose this question: If a wine were a celebrity, which celebrity would it be? Here are her insightful responses:

Chardonnay: Meryl Streep, because she’s classy and memorable in every role she plays, much like Chardonnay’s silky texture and rich character.

Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc is my all time favorite varietal. Its bright, crisp, citrusy aromas and flavors remind me of the beautiful Charlize Theron. She is strong, dependable, and full of vim and vigor. She also has a lovely pale golden hue just like Sauv Blanc.

Pinot Grigio: Most Pinot Grigios are quite simple and light-bodied. Cameron Diaz’s light-hearted, refreshing and bright, sunshiny nature remind me of summertime sipping, which is most often when one would drink Pinot Grigio.

Champagne: Reese Witherspoon. When I think of bubbles, I think of happiness and finding the good in any situation. Her bubbly personality just exudes happiness and joy, and I can’t think of anything more lovely than sitting around and sipping fabulous Champagne with this adorable blond beauty.

Pinot Noir: Ryan Gosling, because he always plays the romantic lovable type, much like Pinot Noir’s inviting aromas that just make you fall in love at first sight.

Cabernet: Angelina Jolie, because of her dark, brooding, intense nature. Plus, Cabernet is one of the more thick-skinned grape varieties, making it less susceptible to Mother Nature’s vagrancies — and Angelina seems like she has a pretty thick skin for the constant scrutiny she must endure!

Merlot: Merlot is the perfect blender and complement to Cabernet; therefore my choice would be Brad Pitt. His long career in multiple genres easily sync with any role, much like Merlot’s ability to fit into any meal and marry beautifully with its Bordeaux counterpart. 

Petite Sirah: Morgan Freeman’s deep, layered, intense voice could easily be equated to Petite Sirah, one of the wine world’s most intense and interesting varietals.
Malbec: Antonio Banderas comes to mind. Malbec is spicy and vibrant with a rich complexity, much like this Antonio who sings, dances and acts with fearless abandon.
Zinfandel: Tom Cruise. Like Zinfandel, he’s versatile, full of energy and goes with everything! Meaning, of course, he’s done nearly every kind of movie imaginable. Zinfandel’s naturally spicy and youthful fruit tones definitely remind me of Tom.

Port: For this one, I think of Christian Bale. He seems so intense, deep and rich, just like Port. Plus, like Port, he would be the perfect ending to a perfect meal!

Sandy Fertman Ryan is a San Francisco-based writer; e-mail: [email protected]. Read more about Kim Stare Wallace and all things wine at her fashionable wine blog,
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