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You, Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight:  An Evening with Gary Vaynerchuk

I resisted for as long as possible.  I did.  I tried.  But then it got to the point where I continued to see the blinking ads on Fermentation, I saw ads on Lenndevours, I saw ads on the Wine Lovers Page, I saw an ad on Wine Spectator, for pete’s sake.

I broke down.  He’s everywhere. 

I watched Wine Library TV with Gary Vay-ner-chuk—the now ubiqitious ‘net video log with the omnipresent wine blogosphere advertising where Gary tastes through a couple of wines a couple of times a week.  Not only that, but I spent the better part of a recent evening watching A LOT of Gary Vaynerchuk.  Hell, there are 169 episodes to work through dating to February of last year.

Watching the Wine Library video blog is kind of like your first beer, ironic as it may be.  You don’t like it, but your friends seem to enjoy it so you keep trying.  Eventually after five or six times you can get into it.  It takes a while, though.

Vaynerchuk, an avowed New York Jet’s football fan, is like the allegedly dirty pro sports player that you absolutely loathe when he’s on the opposing team, and likewise love if he changes uniforms to play for your team.  Dennis Rodman from mid to late 90s NBA basketball fame comes to mind.  Or, he reminds me of the guy you hated in college because he was scoring a ton of dates with girls based on sheer joie de vivre.  You’d think to yourself, “how is that guy doing it?”  Vaynerchuk engenders that kind of polarization. 

But, if you’ve ever done a Google search on perky Food Network star Rachael Ray then you know she similarly inspires as much hatred as she does legion of fans.

It makes for good tv, or a video blog, as it may be and I’d certainly trade checking accounts with her, and likely Vaynerchuk who is Director of Operations for Wine Library, a huge wine shop in New Jersey founded by his father in 1989 and developed significantly via revenue growth by Gary, if the news accounts are accurate. 

Secretly, I think Gary knows the Rachael Ray polarization tactic.  By personality type he cannot possibly be the frenetic, tightly wound ball of charisma and energy that he presents on the video log for 20 minutes or so at a time—I’m spent just watching it.  And, like Rachael Ray, who turns into a whirling dervish spouting Rachael-ism’s, Vaynerchuk has his shtick, too—ending every show with the statement, “You! With a little bit of me.  We’re changing the wine world.”

I don’t think he’s changing the wine world, but he certainly is bringing to bear a fresh and different voice.  Check it out and draw your own opinion and tell me whether you love it or hate it. 


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