After hearing the news this morning that Gary V. was no longer publishing wine videos, we were instantly inspired to write this post about his impact on us, and the wine industry.
1000 videos on the Wine Library TV podcast.
89 videos and hundreds of wine reviews on the Daily Grape iPhone app.
1 guy with the rare ability to translate the confusing language of wine and truly connect with an audience.
Gary V. - One of the Game Changers
You may be one of the millions of people in the U.S. that think wine is a boring subject, or find it too confusing to bother with ordering anything other than the house Chardonnay. That’s not your fault. That’s the wine industry’s fault. The wine industry spent years building up the pretentiousness of fine wine in an effort to create a sense of luxury. Instead, they created a sense of mystery, which backfired into shoppers turning to the same familiar grapes, wine brands, and other beverages. But some people in the industry (typically those working on the front line in the retail shops and restaurants) understand how to talk to people about wine. And one guy had the sense to talk to people through online video.
Crazy Cherry Sweetness, with a Hint of Sheep’s Butt
You won’t find that tasting note on the back of a wine bottle. But, perhaps wineries should take a page from Gary V.’s book, and start making wine fun to talk about. With a tongue-in-cheek delivery, but also a dead-honest approach to explaining the scents and flavors of the wines he tasted, Gary completely ignored the standard sommelier schtick and did something bold - has was himself. This genuine, but also very interesting, delivery of wine education was able to keep the attention of viewers for 30 minutes at a clip while garnering hundreds of comments on single episodes of Wine Library TV. With Gary, talking about wine was no longer boring; It was actually fun.
In mid-2008, the Hello Vino team was busy working on web sites and online marketing campaigns for wineries. In almost every meeting, the winery marketing person would point to Gary’s videos and say, “How do we do that?” Those wineries realized that Gary’s approach was working, and that he was connecting with the largest and fastest-growing segment of wine drinkers. [Remember all those Baby Boomers?? Well, guess what? They had a bunch of kids.] But, the recipe to Gary’s secret sauce is actually very simple:
Authenticity, with a healthy serving of usefulness (value), and a splash of personality.
These ingredients go into everything we do for the Hello Vino mobile apps. Like Gary, we genuinely want to help people overcome their reservations about wine. While Gary chose online video as his medium, we’ll continue to focus on being the “mobile wine steward” in your pocket.
So, Thank You, Gary V.
You inspire us to keep working towards building the most useful tool to shoppers overwhelmed by the “wall of wine”, and we’ll do our part to keep changing the wine world - whether they like it or not.
- Rick & Jim from Hello Vino