CBC News

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.

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Any word on how many of the wines he talks about in his book are available at the LCBO?

Posted May 21, 2008 06:04 AM



Yes, I would like to know this as well! Could be a great Father's Day Gift...

Posted May 21, 2008 10:31 AM


So many people like to stereotype wines, saying that sweet is unclassy and bold, complex wines are the most refined. It's about time people just enjoyed drinking and learning about wines of all type!

Posted May 21, 2008 01:21 PM



I like Gewurtraminer - drinking and saying it! There is nothing wrong with liking that one! I may have to look into this book - the language appeals to my more humble unrefined roots, but the topic appeals to my still developing appetite for great wines!

Posted May 21, 2008 04:31 PM

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Amber Hildebrandt Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.

Andrea Chiu Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.

Tara Kimura Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.

Andree Lau Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).

Jessica Wong Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.

Kevin Yarr Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.

Elizabeth Bridge Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.


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