Truth is, I’m a heretic. I’m going to say it, and I’m sure someone is going to call me on it, but I can’t stand watching Gary Vay-ner-chuck. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you know nothing of the online wine world. My sense is that Gary of Wine Library TV is a great guy, who I look forward to meeting one day; although I hope his interpersonal skills are better than the loud intros he’s renowned for in his videos.
That said, Gary is my hero as of late. Since the moment I first stepped on Portuguese soil, back in 2003 with Gabriella, I have been in love with their wines. I remember driving my Minnesota wine buyer crazy, upon my return, with requests upon requests for obscure Portuguese wines to sell. I knew then, and I still know now, that Portuguese wines are both amazing values and of great distinction. With so many new flavors, styles and unique characteristics, if you don’t love them, you just don’t know them.
And clearly, I’m not alone, as Gary is currently singing their praises as well. And what’s so phenomenal about his love of Portuguese wine is that Gary’s voice is 100 times louder than ours here at Catavino, not to mention that he’s reaching out to young wine lovers who are just beginning to learn about wine. (Congrats on the Revision3 gig!)
I remember when I was a young, impressionable wine lover, still forming my opinions about what good wine was to me. Many of those early ideas are still firmly implanted in my head, continuing to influence my ideas about the way in which I perceive wine. Now just imagine those very same impressionable minds hearing Gary shout, “Portuguese wine is the next big thing!!” Then you realize that those same young wine lovers adore being a part of “the next big thing”.
You get where I’m going with this? Let’s put it another way. Has Portugal connected the dots between impressionable wine lovers and marketing Portuguese wines? Ahhh…no.
WAKE THE *&#!$ UP PORTUGAL! This is your chance. Hop online as soon as you can, get yourself accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Friend Feed and more. Then start posting pictures to Flickr, videos to YouTube, and blog entries to www.PortugalsWineBlog.com, and embrace the opportunity.
We’ve been saying this to wine makers and wine lovers for the past 3 years! Portugal and Spain have a chance to influence the wine marketplace more than any other wine regions right now, and neither of them are realizing that they hold the key in their hands and are doing nothing with it. I predict that the first one to truly embrace the internet and to fully realize that wine is NOT about prestige, but about selling a product and having fun, will be the next big item talked about, pointed to and heralded.
Portugal, you have the chance of a lifetime, and I’m afraid that you might let it slip through your hands.
Pity really. Although, it means that there will be more wine for us to enjoy and many more secret treasures to offer visitors to Catavino Headquarters, since no one outwill know who you are!
Below you’ll find a video of Gary’s passion for the wines of Portugal, but have one small favor to ask from the superstar: Please do a little research on how to pronounce the grapes correctly. In your show, you make reference to the grapes in each wine, with excusable, but none the less appalling, pronunciation. Additionally, I ask that you take the time to please educate your minions correctly. Many grapes you write off as different Portuguese grapes are actually the same grapes with two different names depending on the region. For example, both Aragonez and Tinta Roriz are also known as Tempranillo in Spain, which happens to be one of your favorite grapes! Therefore it might be a great way to hook people into Portuguese wines by showing how small and interconnected the wine world really is!
Otherwise Gary, keep up the praise. As to Portugal, I want to have faith that you can get past petty politics to organize as a group, or open your eyes enough to embrace social media. Sadly, the chances of that are slim, but you do have some pretty smart winery owners who will probably figure it out for themselves. So, in the meantime, I’ll keep supporting any winery that engages the web. And remember wineries, free links on Catavino’s main page to all Iberian wineries with blogs! That was space we used for ads, but is now free for all Iberian wine bloggers. Blogger.com claims you can do it in 3 simple steps, and I know from experience, it only takes 5 minutes – if your slow. So please, just do it.
If you have a moment, find a Portuguese wine to open up, then sit back and enjoy Gary’s show.