Irreverence is healthy. It allows you to question norms and dissent against the establishment. In the snobbish world of wine, an irreverent approach can shed new light and open up the closeted field to a wider audience. Luck was on my side last week when I chanced upon one such dissenter of the wine world - American Gary Vaynerchuk, and his online video show, Wine Library TV.
I was listening to the 34-year-old self-trained wine expert give a TED talk about following one’s dream; one click on the link next to his name took me to www.winelibrarytv.com . Two (short) hours of looking up past episodes of his show and reading up on him, and the realisation that I had never heard of this hugely popular ‘phenomenon’ came as a rude shock to me.
Vaynerchuk has a refreshingly unconventional approach to wine.He doesn’t use flowery language or formal terminology in his online show. Two of his pet phrases are “Let’s give this wine a sniffy sniff” and “This one has an oak monster!”
In one particularly intriguing episode, he pairs cereal, that’s right, everyday breakfast cereal, with wine! It is evident very soon that Vaynerchuk is not bluffing. He knows what he’s talking about. The result? He has been able to successfully deconstruct wines for lay people. It’s not surprising that his four-year-old show logs almost one million hits a day. There’s a lesson to be learnt here. I’m going to give my wines a sniffy sniff.