I’m not going to lie, I have mixed feelings about Gary Vaynerchuk’s newest endeavor, Daily Grape. On one hand, I’m appreciative that Gary has decided to continue on with a daily online video cast. And, generally speaking I’m impressed with the new format, the mobile app and the features that come along with it. I’m also really impressed with Gary’s sheer determination to amp up the gears and keep the bus moving after having already spent five years producing 1,000 episodes of Wine Library TV.
On the other hand, however, I am finding that there are certain things about Wine Library TV that I miss. Most importantly, I’m missing the connection to the industry that Gary brought with his one-on-one interviews. In the five years of WLTV, Gary brought in some really terrific guests – sommeliers, industry legends, winemakers, etc. – that gave a rare peak into the wine industry. These people brought tremendous stories and knowledge to the show, and these episodes are still a great resource out there for wine lovers across the board (whether you like Gary Vaynerchuk or not).
On that note, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite WLTV interview episodes. There’s some really great video content here and a whole lot of shared knowledge. Whether you’ve seen these episodes or not, I think after watching them you’ll agree with me that Gary really brought the thunder when he brought in the great industry personalities.
1. Episode 568 with Jancis Robinson – one of the most influential and well-known wine critics and writers in the wine industry today, Jancis Robinson was one of Gary’s first elite guests. This episode provides a great behind-the-scenes look into a well-respected wine personality and a hint at great things to come for WLTV.
2. Episode 605 with Hendrik Thoma – Hendrik is one of only two (as of 2009) Master Somelliers in Germany. This was a lively interview that gives an interesting perspective on German wines. Gary and Hendrik also take a side dabble into an extremely offbeat wine in this episode – a Chilean Gewurztraminer.
3. Episodes 628 and 629 with Nicolas Joly – a certifiably passionate French winemaker who has some amazing bits of knowledge and stories to share about French winemaking, terroir and biodynamic farming practices.
4. Episodes 732 and 733 with Anthony Terlato – a wine legend who has seen many sides of the industry and comes with an amazing story to tell.
5. Episodes 756 and 757 with Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan – an interesting dig into the life and studies of Masters of Wine as well as a hugely entertaining and science-friendly exploration of Champagne and decanting. Jennifer is one of only a small handful of MW’s in the US.
6. Episodes 777 and 778 with Michael Steinberger – An entertaining, worldly and thought-provoking episode with Michael Steinberger, a wine writer, author and columnist for Slate and The Financial Times.
7. Episodes 853 – 855 with Kermit Lynch – a true classic, and I believe the only 3-part episode ever. Kermit is a wine legend of mass proportions with an amazing story and these episodes are a pleasure to watch. This is probably my favorite interview episode of all-time.
8. Episodes 942 and 943 with Rajat Parr – another one of my personal favorite episodes. Rajat is a sommelier for Michael Mina’s west coast restaurant group and brings some great stories and knowledge to the table. This is also a great episode for anyone wanting to learn more about the profession of the sommellier.
9. Episodes 947 and 948 with Maria Jose – Haling from one of the most traditional wineries in the Rioja region of Spain, Maria talks about the Lopez de Heredia winery, and the changes Rioja has undergone over the years.
10. Episode 949 with Ray Isle – Executive Editor at Food & Wine Magazine, and long-time wine guy, Ray Isle brings the thunder with cru Beaujolais in this easy-watching, fun episode.
Having absolutely no bearing whatsoever on whether you like Gary Vaynerchuk or not, these ten episodes are must-watch wine TV. Trust me, you’ll appreciate the knowledge and stories that are shared.
Are you a WLTV fan? What other interview episodes would you put on this list?