In today’s episode, you get highlights from wine personality and social media / business guru Gary Vaynerchuk‘s keynote speech at the synthetic cork producer Nomacorc-sponsored "Marketing to the Next Generation of Wine Consumers" conference that took place in Napa last week (at the beautiful Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena). They are things the wine industry probably doesn’t want to hear – but they desperately need to hear them.
I was part of panel at the event, in which we riffed on the main themes espoused by Gary in his fantastic keynote speech (which delivered some much-needed stern messages to the Napa wine industry – for a distillation of some of those messages, check out my article later this week on the Wines.com blog). If anyone who attended still thinks that Gary isn’t the real deal after his keynote, then they have their heads shoved into a part of their anatomy that requires a belly-button-window installation for them to see what’s really going on. Most importantly, Gary also finally admits that I am a handsome man (though I refrained from asking him to sign my chest as one male attendee did – thankfully I did NOT get that on video).
In today’s vid (at the 10:10 mark) I interview Gary about his new book, The Thank You Economy (a book that, well, crushes his previous release Crush It! and is Seth-Godin-level good – and will certainly further brighten his already-nearly-blindingly-brilliant star in the social media space). I also get his take on how different wine regions of the world are performing in terms of engaging their customers (hint: not well).
Enjoy (and make sure to get Gary’s new app at DailyGrape.com while you’re at it)!
By the way… Nomacorc makes a synthetic wine bottle closure that you can actually extract pretty easily with a corkscrew, so if I were a natural cork producer I’d be worried right now(although in that case I’d already be worried, having lost gobs of market share in the last few years because my product has something like a 2% failure rate… whatever…).
Before I offer my thoughts on Evan Dawson’s recently-released Summer in a Glass: The Coming of Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes, I need to make sure that you thoroughly understand that this is NOT a book review.
It’s not really a book review because as a personal friend of Evan, and a fan of his writing in general, and a member of the Palate Press ad network (which is currently running ads for Summer in a Glass, some of which appear right here on this site), I am very likely incapable of producing an unbiased review of his first book.
In fact, I’m quoted in the book as well, and, now that I think about it, about the only way I could be more firmly lodged like a NYC prostitute onto the tip of this book would be if I were somehow receiving a percentage of the advance (I’m not). So let’s just say that when I tell you that Summer in a Glass is not really a wine book, but is a humanist take on a local industry finally finding its mature footing, and just happens to be set in a wine region – and that it’s a total joy to read – I’m at least being subconsciously influenced into seeing the more positive gleams from the sheen coming off of its glossy cover.
What I can tell you without appearing like a total shill is that Summer in a Glass seems to be hitting the shelves at exactly the right time. I’ve written in the not-so-distant past that the NY Finger Lakes wine region seems to have hit its best stride ever in recent years, with the levels of experience, industry camaraderie and wine quality all headed up a steep curve simultaneously. If you want to settle into your fave reading chair with a book like Evan’s, there’s never been a better time than now to pour yourself a glass of Finger Lakes wine to accompany it – and that is NOT just Riesling, mind you; I include Finger Lakes reds in that group, as they are producing increasing amounts of high-quality reds like Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir (let’s not forget that the 2008 Red Tail Ridge Pinot Noir made my list of 2010 Top 10 Most Interesting Wines, people)…
Read the rest of this stuff »
- 09 Agustinos Terra Syrah (Aconcagua): A serious overachiever. But you’d better like ’em earthy & meaty (& dark & velvety & damn good). $12 B #
- 09 Veranda Grande Cuvee Millerandage Pinot Noir (Bio-Bio): Sexy & muscular w/out looking juiced (& w/out giving up the PN suppleness) $55 B+ #
- 10 Porta Reserva Carmenere (Maipo): Big, bright dark fruits & oregano shine above the booze & make this shine above the competition. $9 B- #
- 09 Lai Lai Chardonnay (Bio-Bio): Starts strong & creamy, delivers complex peaches & apricot, but kinda leaves in a bit of a hurry. $12 C+ #
- 10 Veranda Quinel Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Bio-Bio): Elegant but acquired-taste match of chili pepper, asparagus, & minerals. $18 B- #
- 10 Porta Reserva Sauvignon Blanc (Bio-Bio): A lean, green, lemony, grassy & bit overly-sweetly-tropical machine. $9 C #
- 09 Achaval-Ferrer “Finca Altamira” (Mendoza): Depth, spice, blacks, blues… probably the most complete (& best) Malbec in Argentina. $100 A #
- 09 Achaval-Ferrer “Finca Bella Vista” (Mendoza): As svelte & round as Malbec gets; only red-fruit & spice lovers need apply, though. $100 A- #
- 09 Achaval-Ferrer “Finca Mirador” (Mendoza): Focused & savory, w/ a hurts-so-good finish almost as long as John Mellancamp concert. $100 A- #
- 09 Achaval-Ferrer “Quimera” (Mendoza): More demanding than a schoolmarm. Everything in this is huge, from the fruit down to the acids $40 B+ #
- 10 Achaval-Ferrer Malbec (Mendoza): Packs tons of vibrant, savory red fruit & florals into an overachieving, inexpensive package. $20 B+ #
- 05 Rolland Collection Val de Flores (Mendoza): This Malbec’s meat is nicely spiced, but they served a flabby, boozy & ultra-ripe cut. $50 B- #
- 07 Cuvelier Los Andes Grand Vin (Mendoza): A black & red fruits gift wrapped nicely in a leathery, spicy, svelte and elegant package. $42 B+ #
- 07 DiamAndes Gran Reserva Malbec-Cabernet (Mendoza): Tasty cured meat served with a side of red currants & awesome Malbec structure. $40 B+ #
- 08 Clos de los 7 (Mendoza): Gorgeously inky dark & savory; less-gorgeously big & extracted. Better pack the big steaks for this one. $19 B- #
- 07 Clos de los 7 (Mendoza): A chewy, expressive, savory red fruit ride; but its destination appears to be (Bretty) funky town. $19 C+ #
- 06 Monteviejo Lindaflor Malbec (Mendoza): That’s no moon… it’s a Space Station.. er, I mean, a meaty, dark, black-fruited Malbec! $50 B+ #
- 09 Monteviejo Lindaflor Chardonnay (Mednoza): Big, unabashedly buttery, but a steal of a complex, apricot-fruity steakhouse Chard. $25 B+ #
- 08 XumeK Reserva Malbec-Syrah (San Juan): Deeply concentrated, ripe & big big BIG. Will it age? Might as well try it for this price. $28 B+ #
- 09 XumeK Syrah (San Juan): Crayola doesn’t make anything this purple; it also puts on a mouthfeel clinic without charging much for it. $16 B #