From Revision3’s stable of podcasts comes Gary Vaynerchuk’s (Wikipedia) entertaining and informative Wine Library Reserve podcast (available in HD). Gary begins most every podcast with: "This my friends is the Thundershow, a.k.a the Internet’s most passionate wine program". He isn’t exaggerating.
Note: He also has hosts the longer form companion "wine library tv" podcast that’s only available in SD.
In each 5 minute episode he first ‘sniffy sniffs", then tastes, spits out and ultimately reviews three to four different wines with exuberance reminiscent of Roberto Benigni’s acceptance of his Best Actor Oscar. His descriptions are funny, provocative, entertaining and informative. Graphics are generated on the fly depicting each of the the smells and tastes he encounters along the way from the initial sniffs, to the entry, the midpalet, the finish and the length. His descriptions range from the conventional (black current with a touch of spice) to the hilarious (this tastes like pooh mixed with tar). During the review pictured on the left he likened the wine’s taste to concrete dust. He somehow manages to get up to a dozen or so smells or tastes out of every bottle.
Sometimes he reviews cheeses. Once he reviewed beers. Occasionally he’ll do blind taste testing. Other times he does his shows from far flung wineries. But mostly its just him, three or four bottles of wine (ranging in price from $8 up to several hundred) and a camera.
I was originally taken aback to see this, to me, unknown, taking on Robert Parker’s reviews. But, what the heck, I enjoy his cajones!
Unfortunately for us Canadians (where the government regulates and controls the wine they permit us to purchase and makes it illegal for consumers to import wine), almost all of the wines he reviews are unavailable in Canada. So far, out of the 100 or so bottles I’ve watched him review, only 3 were available from our proletariat liquor store, a.k.a. the LCBO. I long for the days when I lived in California! The show is, nonetheless, very entertaining and educational for someone always looking to improve his pallet.
The show is also available for live viewing here on ustream.
Vaynerchuk has gained considerable notoriety (see Wikipedia for details) from his podcast – which has been running since 2006. He ends each show with the mantra:
"You, with a little bit of me, we’re changing the wine world, whether they like it or not.