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The Seven Minute Guide to Understanding Wine
Gary Vaynerchuk has captured attention with his pioneering, multi-faceted approach to personal branding and business. After primarily utilizing traditional advertising techniques to build his family’s local wine business into a national industry leader, Gary rapidly leveraged social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to promote Wine Library TV, his video blog about wine. As his viewership swelled to over 80,000 a day, doors opened to a book deal, several national TV appearances, and a flurry of speaking engagements around the world. Gary’s dual identity as both business guru and wine guy has made him the “Social Media Sommelier.”
Gary’s remarks on personal branding, social media, and business at FOWA, Strategic Profits, and South By Southwest occasioned praise from established web denizens including Kathy Sierra and earned the admiration of countless bloggers and aspiring entrepreneurs. Check out the Keynotes tab above for more video and check out Gary’s national TV appearances on the left!!
Gary’s landmark seven-figure book deal with Harper Studio was featured in The Wall Street Journal and he was recently profiled by The New York Times and Market Watch. Watch his interview with Business Week for Gary’s advice to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Question: What is the best rule of thumb for buying a bottle of wine?
Gary Vaynerchuk: I know you guys are big time and there is a lot of people going to watch this video, so for the people that watch this video, if you leave with one thing out of this video, even though there is much more important things being said about life and happiness and making money, about just playing the game perfectly in my opinion, this is what I want you to leave with.
When you go into a wine shop, not only if you remember what you like or don't, or know what you like or don't, no matter what it is, or you have no idea, just like the question was asked, you have to try a wine from a variety you've never had before.
Please don't buy another Pinot Grigio, another Zin, another Pinot Noir, a different kind of a Chardonnay. No.
Tannat, Chinon, Albarino. These are things I want you to look for. You've got to try a wine from Cahors, Bandol, from Torrontes from Argentina.
So the answer is this, I can tell you right now, you are a wine expert if you spend two years and in that window you never order the same kind of wine. If you do that, and then once you hit all the wines you can find; Gruner Veltliner, Rieslings from Germany, Rieslings from Washington State. Different places making different grapes.
You are going to be shocked of what you know and how much you understand your palette because everybody who's watching this right now. Here's what you're really doing. You’re only drinking Coke and Sprite every meal, and you have no idea if Root Beer, Hawaiian Punch, Grape Soda, Black Cherry, you have no clue, tomato juice, pomegranate juice, you have no idea if you like those because you’re sticking to Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir.
Please, for me, try something new.
Question: What are your best under ten-dollar wine recommendations?
Gary Vaynerchuk: There’s two countries right now that I think you can be very safe in finding some really neat stuff. One is South Africa; if you order a Chenin Blanc, very crisp, very clean, very aromatic, great with shell fish and light salads. You can get them for eight to twelve bucks, all day long.
And in red, hands down, the dominant country in value in my opinion is Portugal. Portugal is just ripping. I think the quality out of Portugal for seven to twelve is staggering.
I actually want to do a 20/20 investigation on how much these people are getting paid over there because I can’t figure out the math is going to be so good and they can delivery them for seven bucks. So, from Madoro, the Dow, Allen Casio, these are places that really make some great, great Portuguese wines.
Question: What’s more important when buying wine: the label, or the year?
Gary Vaynerchuk: What your palette likes. So the makers for sure, the pedigree’s important, right. You know this builder is good, you know this chef is good, and you know this car maker is good. You’ve got a reference point to know if the wine is going to be good. But, this is farming.
I don’t care if you’re the best wine maker of all time; if it rains everyday you’re finished. So, that’s also very, very important.
What I think is most important when you start learning is understanding the grape varietals. Understanding the difference between Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling and Pinot Noir, and Pinot Gris, and there’s a lot there that will really be the foundation of what you like.
Question: What’s an impressive question to ask a sommelier when you’re on a date?
Gary Vaynerchuk: The real move, like the date move, is to Google esoteric great grape varietals, right, and just ask for, “Do you have any late harvest Grenache from Banyule." Totally like throw off the som with the mad skills, but you’ve got only one move.
If you want to be a little bit more authentic, which I highly recommend, I think it is imperative to name off three wines that you’ve had in the past that you’ve liked, and ask the sommelier to go in a different direction with varietals, or from a different country, and to expand your pallet.
I think there is a romance with being on a date of saying to your date, let’s explore some new stuff together kind of thing. I like Cabs, but what else would I like. Well, you might like Tannat because there’s big tannens and big fruit you know. And so that would always be something that would be my go-to move.
Question: Aside from Wine Library, what are the best places to learn more about wine?
Gary Vaynerchuk: I think, if we’re living in the Google era, right? I feel like you could learn so much more by reading good blogs like VinoGraphy or Fermentation, Dr. Vino. There’s just too many good resources from the blogosphere, and from forums.
What I love about Corkd is not only can you review the wines, but then people can comment on those reviews. So, like creating theoretic conversations around wines I think is very cool.
I’m excited about the fact that I don’t think people have to spend $150 for a class, or necessarily buy a book. Both are so worthwhile classes, there’s that engagement, interaction, books that’s kind of there with you. I still think there’s nice romance about a book, though I’m thrilled for a Kindle or e-readers, or whatever. However you want it, iPhone, knock yourself out. It’s all about the content.
But I think there’s so much free content out there that I don’t necessarily need to sit here and recommend a source that’s going to hit somebody in the wallet. Save those 20 bones to buy a good bottle of wine.
Question: Are bottles costing over $25 worth buying?
Gary Vaynerchuk: Yeah, we were talking outside and I was saying you’d be shocked what happens between 50 and 25. The wine world right now, 25 to 40 bones, you can drink world-class stuff. You start getting into the Chateauneuf-du-Pape world, the Priorat world, you start getting to wines that you can necessarily get to under $15, and they are really sensational.
And really I feel that the quality of the wine, given the depressed market, and given the advances in farming, a $30 wine today probably tasted as good as most $60 to $80 wines a decade ago. That’s powerful. That’s a very good direction for the wine drinker. I think it’s very obvious.
And so, if I could say anything, if you are into wine, you start looking seriously into 25 to 40 bones, you can get some crazy stuff.
Question: Are wine clubs a good way to learn about wine?
Gary Vaynerchuk: No. You’re going to over pay. That’s all. I got nothing there. Wine of the Month Clubs are fine. Listen, I created one for Gary Vaynerchuk on Wine Library TV because I wanted to create one that was legit. People get ripped off. They’re paying full value for fancy packaging and a letter that says, “Thank you.” So, no.
Question: What’s the best way to find good wine values?
Gary Vaynerchuk: I think that the best way to do that is to find sources that you respect and trust, whether that’s Wine Library TV, or another blogger, or a local wine merchant that that’s the only way he’s going to keep you is by giving you great service and saying, “Don’t buy that, try this.”
I really do think we’re going to see an explosion in things like Cork’d. I mean that’s why I’m so bullish on it and launching it now. I think Yelp has provided a platform that people understand that community-driven scoring has value and I think that’s going to come to wine in a big way.
Recorded on: September 15, 2009.
Gary Vaynerchuk, the host of Wine Library TV, told Big Think all you need to know about buying wine: the most important wine store rule of thumb, the best under ten dollar bottles, the importance of vintage years, the best blogs to learn more, winning moves for impressing a date when talking to a sommelier, and more.
Join The Daily Show comedian Jordan Klepper and elite improviser Bob Kulhan live at 1 pm ET on Tuesday, July 14!
Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.
- Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
- Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
- The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Study findings<p>For the study, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-05970-4" target="_blank">published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine</a><em>, </em>Flentje and her team evaluated survey responses from nearly 2,300 individuals who identified as being in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Most of the participants were white, while nearly 19 percent identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Multiple genders were represented with cisgender women (27.2 percent) and men (24.6 percent) making up a majority of the participants. Sixty-three percent had been assigned female at birth. For the most part, participants identified their sexual orientations as queer (40.3 percent), gay (36.5 percent), and bisexual (30.3 percent).</p><p>The JGIM study participants were recruited from the 18,000-participant <a href="https://pridestudy.org/" target="_blank">PRIDE Study</a> (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality), which is the first large-scale, long-term national study focusing on American adults who identify as LGBTQ+. It conducts annual questionnaires to understand factors related to health and disease in this population. </p><p>Participants filled out an annual questionnaire (starting in June 2019) and a COVID-19 impact survey this past spring. Flentje noted that on an individual level, some people may not have experienced a big change in anxiety or depression levels, but for others there was. Overall, depression increased by a <a href="https://patient.info/doctor/patient-health-questionnaire-phq-9" target="_blank">PHQ-9 score</a> of 1.21, putting it at 8.31 on average. Anxiety went up by a <a href="https://www.mdcalc.com/gad-7-general-anxiety-disorder-7" target="_blank">GAD-7</a> score of 3.11 to an average of 8.89. Interestingly, the average PHQ-9 scores for those who screened positive for depression at the first 2019 survey decreased by 1.08. Those who screened negative for depression saw their PHQ-9 scores increase by 2.17 on average. As for anxiety, researchers detected no GAD-7 change among the study participants who screened positive for anxiety in the first survey, but did see an overall increase of 3.93 among those who had initially been evaluated as negative for the disorder. </p>
Risks among gender and sexual minorities<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc3fd1ae68b77bbbf58a6995638d6d65"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EnUqDjCqg0A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The LGBTQ+ community is a vulnerable population to mental health concerns because of their fear of stigmatization and previous discriminatory experiences.</p> <p>Previous research by the Human Rights Campaign has found "that LGBTQ Americans are more likely than the <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/general+population/" target="_blank">general population</a> to live in poverty and lack access to adequate medical care, paid <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/medical+leave/" target="_blank">medical leave</a>, and basic necessities during the pandemic," said researcher Tari Hanneman, director of the health and aging program at the campaign.</p> <p>"Therefore, it is not surprising to see this increase in anxiety and depression among this population," Hanneman said in the release. "This study highlights the need for <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/health+care+professionals/" target="_blank">health care professionals</a> to support, affirm and provide <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/critical+care/" target="_blank">critical care</a> for the LGBTQ community to manage and maintain their mental health, as well as their physical health, during this pandemic."</p>
What should health care providers do?<p>The authors of the study recommend that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders in members of that community—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.</p><p>As cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, the sustained social distancing, potential isolation, economic precariousness, and personal illness, grief, and loss are bound to have increased and varied impacts on mental health. Effective treatments may include individual therapy and medications as well as more large-scale coronavirus support programs like peer-led groups and mindfulness practices. </p><p>"It will be important to find out what happens over time and to identify who is most at risk, so we can be sure to roll out public health interventions to support the mental health of our communities in the best and most effective ways," said Flentje.</p>
What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.
- When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
- A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
- Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".