By John ~ July 23rd, 2008.
First off I should tell you that Gary Vaynerchuk is a great guy and a very genuine person despite his somewhat outrageous persona on Wine Library TV. Iâ€™ve had the opportunity to meet Gary on several occasions, the most recent at his book signing here in Seattle. Unlike authors at many book signings, Gary was on-time, spent almost two hours talking about his book and answering every question anyone in the audience had on wine or almost any other subject, and signed books with a very personal touch.
Whether or not you agree with his thoughts on wines, Gary is a great marketer, has established a tremendous personal brand, and is doing a great job of promoting wine to the world. I look forward to visiting with Gary again at the Wine Bloggers Conference in California in October.
I really enjoyed reading Garyâ€™s book, Gary Vaynerchukâ€™s 101 Wines: Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World, and learning more about his background and approach to wine tasting. However, I would think that the objective of most of us who bought the book would be to find some new wines to try that sound interesting to us from Garyâ€™s reviews and descriptions. Hereâ€™s where the problem comes in for me. I canâ€™t find most of the wines from the book that I want to try. I earmarked thirteen wines from his book and after a month of searching have finally located a measly two of them. Kori marked a number of different wines when she read the book and has been able to find only a few of them herself.
I tried buying them locally at the two biggest wine shops in Seattle. I tried to find them online from two of the biggest wine vendors on the internet. [Editorâ€™s note: Some of the wines are available from Garyâ€™s Wine Library store in New Jersey, but they cannot ship to Washington State.] The closest I came initially to finding any of the wines I wanted to try was a different vintage of one of his recommended wines. Oh yes, and a friend gave us a bottle of one he had tried, Garyâ€™s #5, the Radikon, Oslavje, 2002. Garyâ€™s description was right on, but I personally do not find â€œrusty nailâ€ and â€œspoiled papayaâ€ appealing. I thought it was one of the worst wines Iâ€™ve ever tasted in my life. To this, Gary would probably say, â€œThatâ€™s great because all of our palates are different!â€ Garyâ€™s mission is to get people to try new wines and expand their palates.
In sum, I sincerely thank Gary for all his does for the wine world, but I donâ€™t believe that this book is accomplishing its stated mission, at least for me, because I can hardly find any of the wines. I hope that Gary takes a different tack in his second book and from what I heard at his book signing I suspect that he will. If you havenâ€™t already bought this book, Iâ€™d suggest that you wait for book number two since Gary has a two book deal with the publisher. Gary is a very bright guy so I believe his second book will be more practical for its readers.
Have you read Gary Vâ€™s 101 Wines? If so, what did you think? Were you able to find the wines you wanted to try?
Filed under: Wine Books