Friday, December 14, 2007
Let's assume that you choose wisely (or is that blind luck that puts that good bottle in your hands) or take the advice of an employee of a store and wind up with a winner that you loved. Chances are, you will remember the name and begin to include that wine in the rotation of wines that you purchase when you go to the store looking to make wine purchases. If you are like over 90% of the wine-purchasing public, you will actually forget the name of the wine, or the vintage and wind up asking for another recommendation or trying to hit paydirt on a total stranger again. Just think about how poor the odds become after you actually picked a good bottle!!! You'd have better odds of safely walking through an open field with an umbrella in a lightning storm!
Before my recent trip to Napa, Ca, I would have never thought to look up the websites of the wines that I have drank and/or enjoyed. Even more unlikely would have been my desire to join an email list of a winery who makes wines that I like. For what purpose??? If I want the wine again, I'll just go back to the store and ask for it. However, you assume that the store will have the wine you like, OR that the winery distributes all of its menu of wines to your local store. In fact, most wineries have some wines that are only available at the tasting room or via its mailing list.
Yes, most if not all wineries maintain an email list of their customers. They use this list to communicate with you, their customers, about things such as new releases or re-releases of their Library Selections (which are older wines that had previously been released and are now available for sale). Some wineries offer recipes or food and wine pairing recommendations for their specific wines, so that you would know to have grilled sirloin with horseradish smashed potatoes with a mango/balsamic culee with their 2002 Mt. Veeder Estate-Grown Cabernet Sauvignon. (Please note: That was NOT a real recommendation....you should have had the Merlot!!!)
Returning to the topic, the wineries feel that having your information helps them to market directly to their audience, rather than to the wine-buying public as a whole. Email marketing also allows the winery to project sales success for their wines, because they take your email interest and turn it into a club membership or a direct sales vehicles. Although many people would not want to be obligated to purchase a wine selection of the winery's choice, in some cases, direct mail or club membership is the ONLY way to get a wine. For example: Kosta Brown winery does not distribute their wines to distributors or liquor stores. They will only sell to customers on their list. AND, just being on the list does not guarantee you any of their wine. You see, there is such demand for their wines, especially their higher-end Pinot Noirs, that they have a hierarchy of past customers who are entitled to buy all of their wines while lesser buyers or newbies have to hope for an allocation from their wish list. It's like trying to get on the waiting list for season tickets to the Green Bay Packers!!! Also, some smaller producers just don't want to go through the effort to get distributed out of their region and want to keep things simple. That's what Rocking Horse Winery did just this year. According to them, they wanted to ratchet production down and make less wine so that they can stop and smell the roses and enjoy some needed time with family. Now all of their wine is produced and sold in and around California. What a shame, because their 2003 Cabernet was killer and when trying to get some, I was told I had to come out to see them!!! Oh well, another trip wouldn't kill me. Thanks Jeff...I'll get out there to get the wine soon.
Another way wineries get to you is the MAILER. The mailer is a postcard, or in the case of more high-end producers, a folio of wine tasting notes, viticultural reports, technical data and the like. Each mailer serves a purpose.....to sell you wines direct from winery to your home. Provided of course, that you live in a state that will allow direct shipping between a producing winery and your state. Here in NJ, we do not have reciprocal privileges with California Wine. The convoluted laws and rules that have been written to protect the rich and confuse the everyman, state that NJ and California don't mix like Gin and Tonic do. In fact, most Jersey residents use a NY address of a friend or relative to have wines shipped to them. I have to have wine shipped to my brother's shop and he brings them down once or twice a month.
The MAILER also keeps the winery in the forefront of your mind, because you are on the list as a lover or appreciator of their wine. They love to send you things because usually you are remember your last bottle of this great wine and think you should have more. The winery LOVES this type of repeat customer because all it costs to put the wine in their hand is a $0.41 stamp and a little postcard/mail piece. Don't get emotional about a wine. Each year, they will make more of the wine, and if it was a really good bottle, for sure it will cost you more down the road. But the MAILER can also be informative, like Jessup Cellars mailer which has info about what they are doing to improve the wine and the wine-tasting experience that they want to extend to their customers.
Either by retail, email or post-card manner, this producer of fine wines reaches out and helps you to improve your wine enjoyment. Its fun, its somewhat impersonal....until you have to whip out your credit card. The wineries can be extraordinarily friendly, and if you want to try wines which are not available to the average Joe, the mailing list offers you that chance.
WHAT'S THE DOWNSIDE????
Well the major downside is that not only does the winery have its "tasting room and club only wines" available to members, it also has its generally released inventory available online at a higher price (sometimes more than 25-35% more than at retail shops) and if you didn't know better you would overpay for your wines.
The other downside is that in addition to paying a higher price than retail, you also have to pay SHIPPING from out of state. That's not cheap when you are buying the club allocation of 2 bottles and paying $20 in shipping to get it.
My Suggestion: Try wines locally. There is so many different wines available that you can spend a whole year trying new things and learning the differences between wines, both domestic and imported. Save the shipping and over-charges and use that money to fund your trip to Wine Country. Once there, sample those hidden gems and buy what you can't buy back home.
Lastly, I want to wish each of my readers and friends a happy and healthy and safe holiday season. I hope you all get to take some time to enjoy the gifts of life and love that surround you each day.
I have a Reader Request tasting to post early next week and then its a week layoff before the next post. Thanks for your loyal support!!!
PS- If you like Italian Food, Italian Art, Italian Music, Italian People or if you are Italian....check out www.italialiving.blogspot.com The blog is dedicated to the Italian Lifestyle in America and is well-writted by my friend, Richard Michelli. He also has a great website.... www.italialiving.com Enjoy!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
2005 Caravan Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa ($35) I almost DON'T want to tell you about this wine, for fear that word will get out and it will become more expensive and harder to get. As it is now, I have to reserve a six-pack as soon as it is released because it sells out quickly and once its gone....you gotta wait till next year. Here's why it is so scarce: The wine is made from Cabernet Powerhouse, Darioush who makes one of the premiere Cabernets in the Napa Valley. The same fruit that goes into their Signature Cabernet goes into the Caravan, at a fraction of the price. The wine's profile is as good as its pedigree, with big ripe black fruits and currant on the front and mid palate and a long finish with tobacco, dirt and blackberries on the finish. The nose is ripe and filthy and the wine has NEVER disappointed. Now, $35 is NOT cheap for a bottle of wine. But I have had wines that are more than twice this price that would never hold water in a blind tasting. I love Caravan, and have made converts of many, many friends who have also enjoyed the nectar of Caravan....right Patty???? This is a 93 pt. wine, compared to 94 pts. for the Darioush Signature Cabernet.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Here was last night's LINEUP OF WINES:
2003 Three Trees Pinot Noir ($16US) - The first wine served was the 2005 Three Trees Pinot Noir, Victoria Australia. The "three trees" depicted on the label of the bottle are the Eucalyptus and Bunya Pine trees (indigenous to Australia) flanking the Oak tree which is the quintessential wine tree. The wine is an intriguing mix of subtle fruits and then strawberries with very little of typical pinot noir "terroir" on the nose. This wine was very nice; subtle with a nose of violets and spiderwebs. The taste was mild and enjoyable. A light drinking, enjoyable wine.
2005 El Toqui Chardonnay ($12US) - 2005 El Toqui Chardonnay Riserva, Chile ($12) The Casas del Toqui brand is from the Chacapoal Valley region of Chile, and is produced by the winemaker of Cru Bourgeois from Medoc along with local winemakers and extremely unique terroir at the foot of the Andes Mountains. The house also makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz/Syrah, Carmenere, Merlot, Semillion and some late harvest wines. The Chardonnay is aged in oak barrels and blend tropical fruits with very mild oak flavorings. Not too buttery; this is a more clear and refined version of the Chardonnay grape and has little acidity but not overwhelming fruit.
2004 Pitch Cabernet Washington State ($17US) - This is the prototypical QPR (Quality-Price-Ratio) wine! At a ridiculously low price for its quality, the wine's flavors and well-constructed profiles are more often associated with wines in the $35-$40 price range than the $17 range that you can buy the Pitch for. Pitch is also a great example that Cabernet Sauvignon can be produced in regions other than Napa and be among the better wines at a gathering. Smooth and vibrant, this wine extracts the finer elements of fruit and tannins and resonates on the palate. A great wine for its price+.
2003 Cheyanna Zinfandel Napa, Calif. ($16) - There is a distinctive taste of the Cheyanna Zinfandel that is unusual to Napa Zins. Perhaps the grapes, grown in the Chiles Valley, east of Napa along Catacula Lake are more exposed to more heat during the days and more cool air off the lake in the evenings. Whatever the reason, the fruit is bright...think strawberries with a bit of mild spice, but jammy enough to remind you that it’s Zinfandel that you’re drinking. Taste plums and slight white pepper on the finish. In this price range, this is another QPR winner!
As the party wore on, I was approached and asked if I did in-home private tastings. OF COURSE was the answer, and I have 3 parties coming in the near future, including one that is a surprise X-mas gift to a spouse. Lucky guy.......
If you are interested in in-home tastings or would like to give a gift of a tasting to a friend, loved one or someone who is celebrating a milestone, email me at email@example.com or call at (732)-804-3690. This is an affordable and really fun way to spend an evening with wine lovers of all categories, from novice to connoisseur.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The winebar is one-half of the Oenophobia business model. The second half is In-Home Wine Tasting And Education. You may be wondering, "What exactly is this and how does it work?"
It's quite simple, and can be a lot of fun and informational for all participants especially for the hosts. How is works is: I (or one of the Oenophobia associates) would come to your home on a night you have planned a dinner party or cocktail party. We would bring wines to the party, the selection of which is the result of a consultation with you regarding price, varietal, theme, etc. We would talk about the wines, allow you to do tastings on each, explaining to you and your guests about what you are tasting and why. We would show you different ways to appreciate wines and how to discern the difference between well-crafted and poorly-crafted wines. We can do blind tastings for more educated wine drinkers and beginners alike. Oenophobia can help someone build a wine inventory for a cellar and can assist in travel planning for trips to Napa and Sonoma. At each tasting, we will provide tasting notes that you can save in a binder or journal to make it easy to remember the wines you are tasting.
In-home wine tastings have been growing steadily in popularity with the Gen X & Y sets as an alternative to entertaining or just going out with friends. As this generation begins having children, time is limited for entertaining or socializing. Oenophobia allows a group of friends to have a social night learning about different wines and how to taste and appreciate wine. In today's wine and liquor marketplace, the 27-40 year old demographic is buying more wine than any other group. People find something in wine that grounds them and we think it is because wine is a natural product, bringing good cheer when so much of the world has become artificial, and impersonal. Wine appreciation is not about getting drunk. At most tastings, we recommend a spit bowl so that tasters can enjoy the flavor of the wines without fear of over-consumption. Realistically, who wants to spit such a flavorful nectar....but someone has to drive home!
So, this Thursday November 29th, we have our first gig......at a Southern Living At Home party. For those of you who have never attended a Southern Living At Home party, it is a hostess party, where Person A invites lots of her friends for wine and cheese and to peruse a catalogue of high-quality housewares and foods and they can purchase these items at the party for delivery a short while later. The hostess also receives a credit for use in the catalogue, based on how much her friends buy. This is very similar to many other Hostess Parties, including Tupperware (which I don't even think is being done anymore....what am I, stuck in the 70's!!!??) or Sensaria Natural Bodycare or jewelry parties.
Our Hostess on this night is also a Southern Living distributor, and a friend of ours. When we received her invitation, I thought this would be a great way to launch Oenophobia: The Wine Tasting on a trial basis. On this night, I will be acting as a sales consultant to Tinton Falls Buy Rite and will be pouring 4 wines for tasting. After each tasting, we will discuss the wine and then I will tell the party attendees that they can purchase these wines through me on that night (it they liked them) and we deliver the wine to their home at no additional charge. I will also explain the Oenophobia concept and can take reservations for us to present wines at dinner or wine tasting parties for the attendees.
For me, personally, I want to get the word out that Oenophobia: A Fear Of Wine is alive and well. I want to get more blog subscribers and spread the word of my interest in Wine Education and hopefully create a customer base for the opening of the winebar, Oenophobia.
If you are interested in attending the Southern Living party on November 29th and you are in the Jersey Shore area, it is being held in Oceanport and you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward the details to you .
Monday, November 26, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
2005 El Toqui Chardonnay Riserva, Chile ($12) The Casas del Toqui brand is from the Chacapoal Valley region of Chile, and is produced by the winemaker of Cru Bourgeois from Medoc along with local winemakers and extremely unique terroir at the foot of the Andes Mountains. The house also makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz/Syrah, Carmenere, Merlot, Semillion and some late harvest wines. The Chardonnay is aged in oak barrels and blend tropical fruits with oak flavorings. Not too buttery, more clear and refined flavors come through. A very good white wine.
2004 Pitch Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, WA ($15) The Pitch was the familiar wine in the bunch at Saturday's party, as it has been enjoyed by my friends and I on more than a few occasions. This is the prototypical QPR wine in my opinion. The wine's flavors and well-constructed profiles are more often associated with wines in the $35-$40 price range than in the $15 range that you can buy the Pitch for. Pitch is also a great example that Cabernet Sauvignon can be produced in regions other than Napa and be among the better wines at a gathering. Smooth and vibrant, this wine extracts the finer elements of fruit and tannins and resonates on the palate. A great wine for its price+.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
So Friends, click on the GUEST BOOK at the bottom of the page, introduce yourself and tell me about a wine you love and want to have us taste and share. Last week I challenged you to go outside the box and pick a wine you did not have before, and one you normally wouldn't buy. I got two responses: Don G. of St. Simons Island, Ga. wrote: "You put down the gauntlet, and here is my response to your challenge: I opened a bottle of "The Novelist", a Meritage of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion. A refreshing wine with fruity nose and smooth finish. A good buy for about $20" and Rita A. of St. Simons Island, Ga.(do these people know each other?!?!?) wrote: "Last night after dinner at Bennie's Red Barn, our favorite local steakhouse on St. Simons Island, we cracked a bottle of 2005 Estate Bottled Brucatao Zinfandel Port. Black Cherry,currant, chocolate and spice make this a fantastic dessert wine. Try it!"
Before I get to my review of The Show Cabernet, please remember to forward this blog to all of your friends and family who love wine or just want to know more about wine. The more people who read this blog and send in suggestions, the more wine I drink.....no wait, I mean the more knowledge and information YOU receive. Thanks!
So I'm at this party the other night, and my friend's dad Steve and I are having an animated chat about the world and all of our places within it. We finally stopped talking nonsense and started talking WINE. Steve is the Yellowtail drinker from my last post. He told me he went to a friend's house and had a glass of an amazing wine called The Show. He said its a California Cabernet Sauvignon and he went right out to buy a few bottles of it to have for himself, because he was told it was priced around $13 and it was immensely better than the $8 Yellow appendage that he was accustomed to buying. He bought the last three bottles in the store and there hasn't been any more there since. My first reaction is that the store owner is doing a poor job of inventory control, and the second was: Let's go taste that wine!
So Wendy and I are at dinner the other night, and see The Show behind the bar as the "wine by the glass" wine. Not bad wine by the glass, but then again, this was a classy place! I asked the bartender to bring me the bottle so I can read about the wine before I drink it. He hands it over and right away I notice that the bottle has names above the title of the wine, and one of them is GOTT.
Instinctively, I think of Joel Gott who is a Jack-Of-All-Trades, Master-Of-All-Trades in the Napa area. Joel has a few labels of wine that he produces. He also is the owner-chef of Taylors Automatic Refresher www.taylorsrefresher.com restaurant in Napa on Hwy. 29 in St. Helena and San Fransisco. Taylors Refresher is a legendary landmark and has received the 2006 James Beard Award in the America's Classics Restaurant category. Additionally, the restaurant has received tons of publicity including a spot on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives program on The Food Network. When visiting Napa, don't miss the place, they specialize in Burgers and Shakes, but this ain't your backyard bbq grill burger. Check the menu section on their website above and be amazed at the artistry one can concoct between two pieces of bread!
Back to the SHOW: The Show 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon is crafted by three winemakers who don't take themselves too seriously, which is a benefit to most average wine drinkers. Their wine company is Rebel Wine Co., which is a 50/50 partnership with Trinchero Family Winery. The goal of Rebel Wine is to peel back the notion that all good wine is expensive, and that wine for the masses can be flavorful, complex and be crafted to appeal to drinkers of all budgets. They call themselves The Three Thieves, and have an interesting little website: www.threethieves.com. Three Thieves is also a label of wine that they produce that is bringing JUG WINE back....hey, if Justin is bringin' Sexy back, then these guys are entitled to whatever they want to do....just don't produce wine that comes in its own burlap sack....that's hopefully died and gone to heaven.
The Three Thieves have produced some other wines individually, and you can check them out on your own. Here's the product details on The Show:
The Show 2005 Cab is 80% Cabernet from Monterrey, Paso Robles and Napa, plus 8% Merlot from Monterrey, 6% Cab Franc from Napa, 3% Petite Sirah from Dry Creek and 3% Petite Verdot from Napa. The 10,000 cases produced saw French and American oak prior to bottling.
Alcohol content: 13.9%.
Here's my impression: In the glass, the wine is deep garnet coloring, almost blackish, but not quite that dark. It had a really interesting nose. I sat there sniffing it for about 5 minutes trying to wrap my nose around the interesting smells that were coming from the wine. There was terrior which I love on the nose of a wine, plus some black cherry and plum and some menthol. It was intoxicating. Then, came disappointment. That nose set me up for a big flavorful wine with layers and layers of fruit which never came. I found the wine to be little fake in the flavor, almost more like a candy than a beverage. And then I got OAKED. Smacked in the head with a big oaky mouth after swallowing the wine. I tried it a few more times, with more swirling and sniffing and still the same let down. I think if I didn't spend so much time smelling the nose of the wine, I might have liked it a bit better, but the wine did not live up to its SEXY nose. Sadly, I finished the glass and asked for a glass of 2004 Napa Cellars Cabernet which I have had and LOVED. This is a $19 bottle of wine which is significantly better than The Show, but only a few dollars more. Wendy LOVED The Show Cabernet when we were tasting it, and was calling me a wine-snob (is there actually a worse insult!?!?) until she tasted the Napa Cellars and went, "WOW, that is really excellent!"
So for me, The Show wasn't "lights out." It didn't live up to the expectations. I want you to know that I think this wine was good, and on the 100-point scale, I'd give it an 88. I think maybe more time in the bottle will settle the oak down and let the fruit develop and improve. I don't think this wine is a long-term cellar project. Just a year or more might help it. One thing's for sure...... It is A LONG WAY BETTER than Yellow Tail, and Steve: Thanks for the Suggestion!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
1. I sent an email to Gary Vaynerchuk of the Wine Library to introduce him to Fear of Wine and also to let him read the post. On Thursday, I got an email back from him stating how happy he was with the post and that he liked what he saw. I extended back an invite to come drink some of the smaller, interesting wines I am encountering and although I haven't heard back from him yet, I'm sure we'll be Bringing The Thunder to Tinton Falls. Again, if you haven't taken 10 minutes from your day to see any of the WLTV episodes or to check Gary and Conan O'Brien, you HAVE to do it. You will laugh like crazy, because the two of them play off each other perfectly. Actually, here's a link: Gary V. on Conan.
2. I also received an email from Cameron Hughes of Cameron Hughes Wine (http://www.chwine.com/). Cameron also read the post about his company on Oenophobia. He was very complimentary about my writeup of his company and his business model. He told me that the 2005 Barrossa Valley Shiraz is even better than the wine that went into Lot 38 which we drank last week and LOVED. So check out his site and register to be informed when new Lot series have been added. Of course I will keep you all informed as well, because I believe Cameron and his team have the ability to introduce us all to great wines in a more approachable manner. Oh, and Cameron was so pleased with the writeup, he put a link on his homepage stating that "Oenophobia Gives It's Two Cents...." with a direct link to our Blog right there on the homepage.....NICE!
3. Wendy and I decided to drink a little this week, so check out the Tasting Notes on the right side of the Blog. Some of our favorites have made their way to the tasting table. On the topic of tastings, you might look at the notes and notice that I haven't drank anything I didn't like in the past few weeks. The reason for that, is that I usually try a wine before I buy it, at the Tinton Falls Buy-Rite. Kevin is mostly the conduit for my tasting experiences. I'm going to start suggesting that we try some things that are new to us for the experience and opportunity to tell you when something is NOT GOOD. There are WAY too many good wines in the world to have to make a mistake and drink a wine that is not good. That is really why I think people FEAR WINE. They go towards something that is safe, if not very tasty, to avoid the risk of buying something really awful for more money than they wanted to spend. I'm hoping to introduce you to wines that will save you the trouble and FEAR when you walk into your favorite wine shop. All of the wines I drink and tout here on the Blog are readily available, unless noted.
4. Cynthus - I got an email from the James Murphy of the winery that makes the Cynthus Cabernet. He emailed me to tell me who distributes his wines in NJ. It is a company that Kevin deals with, but they have never introduced him to the wine, and he has never had it at a distributor's tasting. More details come forward about Cynthus and I thank James for the details. Seems they only make 320 cases of the Cynthus with grapes grown at the famous Stagecoach Vineyard in Napa. Stagecoach is a vineyard that supplies grapes to some of the best names in wine, names like Altamura, Pahlmeyer, Quintessa and Paul Hobbs. These winemakers select Stagecoach due to their attention to detail and their ability to get the very best out of the vines and into the hands of the winemakers. So Cynthus is now on its way to me. I bought a case because it is so good! I can't wait until Friday when it comes in.
5. Friday Night Wines - This past Friday I stopped in to hang with Kevin and drink some wine with him. It was his birthday this week. and I haven't gotten sotted with him since we were in NYC a month ago. I had stopped in the store last weekend to order Cynthus Cabernet and he told me it would be in the store on Friday night. Kevin had not had Cynthus, so I grabbed a bottle from my case and opened it out back. We started evaluating the wine with Steve B., who is a regular, a good friend of Kevin's, and one of the most SOLID GUYS you will meet! Steve's been a guest at a few tastings here at our house, and he always adds to the experience. Steve also has been a collector and has experience with some of the best wines in the world. Anyway, the latest copy of Wine Spectator is open in the back of the store, and we start poring over the issue's evaluations of wines. We are shocked at some of the scoring, and I will dedicate a complete future post to the issue. But as we are discussing how ridiculous some of the scoring is, Kevin opens a bottle of 2005 Caymus Cabernet - $50, and both Steve and I raise eyebrows.... We look up the Caymus on the list of Wine Spectator's top Cabs. and the 2005 is not yet reviewed, but the 2004 gets a 92 pt score. For those of you who drink wine, you've heard of Caymus, the product of the Waggoner family. They make a wine that is ALWAYS highly reviewed, and their version of "cult wine" is the Special Selection, made from the best barrels from their yield. The wine we drink is EXCEPTIONAL. I have had both Caymus Cab and Special Selection. The Camus Cab has been up and down in my opinion, with a lack of consistency from year to year. This wine, however, is one of the best wines I have ever had. The wine is young, 2005 vintage. However, it is an amazingly developed and flavorful wine, I would not feel obligated to cellar it for years. Kevin and Steve agree, and Kevin predicts a 94 from Spectator for the 2005 vintage, and a 96 for the Special Selection. I loved the wine and that one tasting has completely changed my opinion of Caymus. The bottles I have had were just ok, and I have one bottle of 2003 sitting in my bar that Wendy and I will get after this week, just to compare to the 2005 vintage. Keep posted to those Tasting Notes.
6. Saturday night we went to celebrate the 4oth birthday of two very good friends... Happy Birthday David and Stephen! At the party, I made conversation with several people about wine. One of them is a very astute collector of wines another is the father of this astute collector who told me about his personal quest to overcome his FEAR OF WINE. During the conversations with them and others, several names of wines were thrown out to me to see if I have had the wines. In most cases, I hadn't, but wanted to taste them and review them for you here. SO this is a call to EACH OF YOU WHO READS THIS: send a message via the Guestbook or at the end of this post. Tell us your FAVORITE wine and I will get it and review it here. Any other guests or members of the Blog can do the same, and then we can compare tasting notes with each other. I'd like the blog to be more interactive, and your participation is appreciated!!!
Please feel free to forward this to your friends who like to drink wine. And if you are reading the blog and enjoy it, make sure to subscribe to it, and all new posts will be emailed DIRECTLY to your email address each time I post. How easy is that????
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Anyway, back to Gary V. as he is known. Gary started buying the wines for Wine Library about 10 years or so ago, and he also started selling the wines and getting a reputation for his recommendations. He is the Director of Operations at the family shop, The Wine Library on Morris Ave. in Springfield, NJ. Being a man of not-so-many years, he is a technophile and wanted to expand his reach to customers across the country. How did he do it???? He and some friends started a video blog about wine called: Wine Library TV. http://www.tv.winelibrary.com/ In WLTV, Gary sets up in an in-house studio with some wines and he pours and tastes and gives his impressions. Gary's about 32 years old and has some great Gen-Y references and uses them sometimes to express himself and describe the wines he is drinking. His references will crack you up, as will his delivery. Gary is nuts, to put is simply. But he's a lovable lunkhead who has something to say and we listen to him because, he is usually.......DEAD ON. I listened to an episode of WLTV where he tasted four 94+ pt. cult wines (I had also tried three of the four he tried) and he hit the nail on the head, even taking a shot at the one who has more reputation than taste. He still carries the wine, he just doesn't agree with the "experts" all the time. He is also a burgeoning mass-media star, having gone mainstream with a memorable appearance on Conan O'brien's late night show this past August. Go to http://www.youtube.com/ and search for Gary Vaynerchuk and Conan and you will laugh your ass off! Gary's episodes of WLTV can be downloaded from the website, saved as podcasts on iTunes or watched online. Any way you get to see Gary V. do his thing, you will be more informed, more educated, perfectly entertained and more enthused about wine. He ends each podcast with the phrase, "Because YOU, with a little bit of ME, we're changing the wine world." His followers are called Vayniacs and they have their own T-shirts, wristbands and they throw around phrases like, "Oak Monster", "Bringin' the Thunder", "Old World vs. New World", "10 Bones, U.S." (which is a reference to the cost of a wine) and many, many, MANY NY Jets references as Gary is a HUGE J-E-T-S fan!
Do yourself a favor and get to http://www.tv.winelibrary.com/ and check out a few episodes. You will be hooked on Gary's enthusiasm and desire to change the wine world. His website HAS changed the wine industry. He makes available, each wine he tastes, as well as thousands in the warehouse and retail store on his website. Internet sales make up over 40% of his company's business, and that is a claim almost NONE of his competitors could have dreamed about in the past. Internet Sales for WINE??? How could people buy a bottle without looking at it, hefting it in the store to read the label and ask the salesperson about it, or read a shelf-talker??? Well, Gary's done it by an equal measure of salesmanship, hucksterism and solid, honest information. On WLTV, he'll tell you if a wine tastes bad and he won't be shy about it. He's changed the wine industry because he decided that snobby wine sommeliers and so-called "experts" and collectors...all not-so-affectionately referred to as WineSnobs, all thought they knew more about wine than some guy who loves to drink it and talk about it and tell his friends about it. He may have even inspired someone to decide to write a blog about wine, to share what he is drinking, what he is getting exposed to and learning and ......oh crap! I'm a Vanyniac!
Its true. I love the episodes. Can't wait to meet this guy and drink some wine with him. I've looked around at the recent industry events I've gone to...but to no avail. He wasn't there at Winebow, Not at Michael Skurnik, not even at T. Edward. He's elusive. He's on my computer, or traveling the world or even hosting some Vayniacs at a recent trip to Napa to sample some early releases and see the production side of the industry. You know where he's not???? He's not hanging in my bar at home, drinking some wines that BRING THE THUNDER with my loyal cadre of winos who taste blind with me and have a blast doing it. If it happens that Gary V. stops by here in Tinton Falls.....you, my friends, will be the 1st to know! Until then, check out the site and prepare to be educated and entertained.
Oh, by the way. His prices are: IN-SANE!!!! (A little 1980's marketing reference for ya Gary, cause you're not so far off!)