Not your usual oenophile

by Amber Hildebrandt, CBCNews.ca

Gary Vaynerchuk is no stuffy sommelier. His thundering voice reaches cork-popping levels and always at his side is a New York Jets spit bucket.

But this football-loving, rough-talking oenophile has risen from underground phenomenon status to perhaps one of the most well-known wine critics in the U.S. thanks to his online video blog.

His book, Gary Vaynerchuk’s 101 Wines Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World, hit bookstore shelves this week and he's begun touring the U.S. But the tour hasn't stopped him from posting to his site, Wine Library TV, and on Friday he posted his 467th episode since starting the show in 2006.

In true Vaynerchuk form, he starts off by introducing a Gewurztraminer, saying "Let's give it a sniffy sniff."

"What has always fascinated me about Gewurztraminer is very few people drink it, most people think it's crap and … how obnoxiously bedoxiously [sic] it goes with spicy Asian, Thai cuisine," he says.

"Gewurztraminer is your friend, Vayniaks," he says, referring to devotees of his shows, then goes on to describe the wine of the day as "really racy and exciting," with the flavours of poached pear and Grape-Nuts cereal.

It's exactly that laid-back language that's garnered him an audience and media attention from outlets ranging from ABC to the Washington Post. In the end, though, all he seems to really want is for others to trust their own wacky taste buds.