It’s been a week of abstinence for me. I do it sometimes. Not very often mind you, but every liver needs a rest now and then, so I thought I’d see what my friends and colleagues around the world have been up to. I skyped one friend and editor in London, but the best she could do was admit she was drunk after one small glass of Pinot Grigio and couldn’t speak to me as she was slurring. Well that wouldn’t get me anywhere I thought so I scanned the world’s press instead.
The New York Times threw up an article on the cult of one Gary Vaynerchuk—New Jersey off-license owner turned Internet TV blogger who sounds like a high-pitched Tony Soprano. His show, named 'Wine Library TV', goes bottoms-up launching itself first at the confused novice wine drinker who fancies knowing a bit more about the grape but finds themselves intimidated by the Robert Parkers of the world, as well as the passionate and knowledgeable wine drinker who’s just plain bored of all the vino-snobbery and pretentiousness that comes with the territory. I place myself somewhere between the two.
One thing Vaynerchuk doesn’t lack is passion, and he knows his stuff too, but what makes his show unique is his colourful way of looking at wine while smashing the cultural and class boundaries that get in the way of enjoying it. His mission he says is simple: “to build wine self-esteem”. And it’s working. His online show gets 90,000 viewers per episode, and his tweets are up to nearly a million.
I dipped into “2 Ruedas and a Montepulciano”, episode 639, that aired on March 9th. Something spring-like I figured would do nicely for the start of autumn too. Here’s a taste of what he had to say. I’ll be back with my own opinion next week. In the meantime check it out: http://tv.winelibrary.com. It’s whole lot more fun than an issue of Wine Spectator, and I hate to say it, me.
On the subject of El Perro Verde 2007—a verdejo from Rueda—and one of my personal favourites, I’m happy to say our opinions, and adjectives, were right on the money. I say zingy, fresh, a little zesty and not too boozy, your food-friendly mid-week tipple and a great apertif. But Vaynerchuck says:
“Lets give it a sniffy-sniff…get a little bit of the inside of a canteloupe [melon] after you ate most of it…little bit of minerality too, almost like you put some crushed rock in there…a creamy nose, but still fresh and vibrant…[in the mouth] it’s the difference between water and milk…heavy, but with great acid…This is where this wine really shines food people, if you love sausage the way I do, this is a tremendous pairing for that. I also think this wine would go extremely well with shellfish, light salads, chicken … don’t underestimate the pineapple play here guys, lots of pineapple juice…it almost makes me salivate for food [starts drooling]. Talk about something that gets you going for food, an apertif...Chardonny, Sauvignon Blanc they’re nice wines, but they’re not getting your taste buds ready for the munchy-munch and this wine does that.”
Wow! Now that's the kind of coverage that makes you want to drink. More from me next week.