Gary Vaynerchuk rose to prominence over the past ten years in large part thanks to the massive success of Wine Library TV, a show that helped change the face of wine, and brought forward a new way of thinking and talking about the world’s oldest beverage. If it weren’t for Gary, it’s very possible VinePair would never have had the opportunity to make the impact it has.
But in 2011 Gary hung up the spit bucket to focus on his many other projects and, though he teased that future Wine Library episodes might be released sporadically in the future, none came, until now, on the ten-year anniversary of Wine Library TV’s birth.
We sat down with Gary to talk about Episode 1,001, the return of Wine Library TV and where it’s all headed.
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VP: It’s been almost five years since you stopped making wine videos. What was the motivation to return to Wine Library TV and make episode 1,001?
Gary V.: It’s the ten-year anniversary of the first episode and I felt nostalgic and thought it would be fun to dust off the wine glass and the bucket. It’s been five years since I did a show and it just felt right. The thought has crossed my mind multiple times since I stopped doing the show and the ten-year anniversary seemed like the right benchmark.
VP: That makes a ton of sense. Can we expect to see more Wine Library TV episodes on a regular basis in the future?
Gary V.: I don’t think so. On the flip side, as I continue to meet really interesting people and different friends, I have been thinking about doing a two to three time a year Barbara Walters like old-school throwback. Maybe one show with my dad a year and three special guests – maybe famous people from the wine world or people outside the industry who are just into wine.
VP: Looking back on Wine Library TV, it’s amazing to think it’s been ten years since you started and five years since the last video. How do you think the wine world has changed since then?
Gary V.: I think we’ve gone from two or three or four voices that really dictated the wine consumer’s choices outside of their own random pick by the label to a magnitude of different personalities, wine apps, new sites like VinePair and social media as a whole. Social media has evolved and people are now following so many different Instagram accounts for their ideas and sommeliers and other wine professionals have a much bigger reach. They may only have one or two-thousand followers but that adds up and they all now have a voice.
VP: On the last episode of The Daily Grape you said that Cabernet Franc was the grape you were the most excited to expose people to. Is that still the case or is there another region or grape you think people need to discover?
Gary V.: I love Cab Franc, but as I’ve been drinking more for pleasure I’ve become completely infatuated with Nebbiolo. I drink a lot of Barolo now, more as a consumer than as a businessman, and I really enjoy them and still think they’re grossly underpriced. I also think aromatic whites from Italy are grossly underutilized and drank, so I’d like to see them explode a little more – Falanghina, Soave, wines like that.
VP: Five years ago, during episode 1,000 of Wine Library TV, you said sparkling wine was your favorite category as a whole. Is that still the case?
Gary V.: Yeah, probably. I still adore Champagne. I’ve been excited to see my palate change so much. I’d say Barolo, White Burgundy and California Chardonnay have emerged as the type of wines that I’ve gotten the most excited about, though, since I’ve gone off the air.
But I think my excitement for these wines has come at the expense of probably Loire Valley Cab Francs, believe it or not, as well as Red Burgundy. On the white wine side, Albariño is the wine I’d say has lost some momentum.
VP: Finally, since Wine Library TV is not coming back full-time, what recommendations do you have for people looking to get more into wine?
Gary V.: Social. VinePair. Other mediums and sites and definitely social, social, social. There are five to fifty incredible, different personalities – from sommeliers to collectors – who are on Instagram and extremely worthwhile.
VP: Awesome. Thanks for taking time out of your Sunday to talk with us. Anything else you’d like to share?
Gary V.: I really enjoyed my day in and day out work in the wine world for the hardcore fifteen years I was in it. I miss so many of the people in the wine world – if you’re reading this interview and we ever shared a glass of wine, negotiated a wine business deal, or you’ve ever commented or watched just one episode of Wine Library TV – I miss all of you. I hope everybody is super healthy and happy and I hope to see you again soon.