I had an awesome night last night... I met GARY VAYNERCHUK from WineLibraryTV.com.

We had a small group discussion which lasted for a total of 5 hrs or so. The guy is amazing (and crazy).

Anyway, the reason I'm writing is that Judy Asman and I are putting together a teleseminar series for Restaurant Revolution and are looking for SPECIFIC questions that you as a restaurant/foodie person might have.

Got a question for Mr WineLibrary himself? Please share below and I'll try to accommodate.

THANKS

Tags: gary, library, restaurant, revolution, teleseminar, vaynerchuk, wine, winelibarary

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Replies to This Discussion

I would have a gazillion questions for him. But for starters, what were his first steps in developing his Web strategy and, then, how did he begin attracting attention to his site?
Judy - I can tell you that it was a very slow process. Mind you, he's done over 450 episodes of WineLibraryTV! For the first 2-3 years it was a struggle, but he kept doing it because of his passion for the topic, and he knew that it would EVENTUALLY go where he wanted it to.

Good thing he kept with it, now he's managed by the same agent as Brad Pitt!

Gary was at SXSW all last week and is now traveling abroad. This episode of the teleseminar is "officially" postponed for now...
Homeboy Vaynerchuk is no doubt busy. Thanks for your response.

Good for his agent for signing him and therefore having a back-up for "Has-Been" Pitt.

Woops. Did I say that out loud?
Nathan,

All I can say is don't judge a book by its cover, Most people in NY do not have the same oppinion as you do of him.

you think he is try to get he message out about wine but his detractors (their are a lot more than the ones who think positive about him) think its an ego trip to become a star.

enough said.
Alex, I find that very interesting, considering the amount of value, content and heart he puts into what he does.

Do the naysayers have more to complain about other than him being loud/obnoxious?

He never says "I'm right, you're wrong" - instead there's the message of "Trust Your Pal[ette]". After meeting him in person... and talking for about 5 hrs... I don't know how anyone can say he's looking for more than getting the message out about his passion.
Alex, I'm not the least bit surprised there are Vaynerchuk cynics, and possibly people who think his "celebrity" is out of proportion to his wine expertise. Emeril Legasse has dealt with similar criticisms by chefs as did (or does) Rachael Ray.

"Fame-ness" does tend to be the Achilles heel for food/wine types, or people of any industry/craft for that matter.

For our teleseminar audience, I really think people can learn how Vaynerchuk managed to get the word out about his online program, regardless of where they stand on his wine knowledge, opinions or his approach.
I understand the thought process behind what you say, I do not think anyone in the area of NY or NJ considers him famous. If you ask anyone in the business in NY they 90% never heard of him. but that is not the issue, I have met and spoken with gary on various occasions for long periods of time, i will say that he is very passionate about wine and about wine knowledge but my comment is about wine library TV.

Wine Library is one of the large retail players in NJ (a state that has more BYOB restaurants than ones with liquor licenses) but the NJ market is not a stage for fame and recognition. GAry lives in manhattan and commutes to NJ everyday, but his home is NYC. In NY some people get in their heads that they are important enough to get reservations at any of the restaurant they wish to go ( a few can most can't) Gary has repeatedly asked people in the industry to hook him up for reservations and walked in acting like a superstar, so much so that most of the operations people will not do it anymore. I have personnaly had to speak to a General Manager and apologize for his attitude while dinning in the restaurant (THIS IS A FACT). Gary has commented on various occasions that he cannot believe he has no pull in NYC (this is a fact). He has commented that winelibrary TV will put him on the map and get him the recognition he deserves (this is a fact).

So if we are talking about love of wine and knowledge he definetly has it, but where I disagree with Nathan is that he did not create winelibrary TV to reach to the masses but to self promote himself only this type of person would hire an agent like brad pitts.

in reference to teleseminars,

the winelibrary model is the same as Gary's wine and market place, joe canals, etc.. in NJ they are all based on predator style pricing with a focus on internet business. the first 2 do about 50% of their business conecting to sites like wine access and wine searcher. These companies have a philosophy of lost leaders like the mcdonalds dollar menu. Don't get me wrong as a consumer I love it. an example was when WS put insignia as the #1 wine of the year these stores where selling it at $89 (2 dollars above cost) in order to get people to come back time and again and order the house brands.

NJ unlike most states allows the retail stores to create a Cooperative for buying wines, the smaller stores band together as a group and buy direct from producers in europe, with their own labels, the mark up on these wines is astronomical because no one else carries them. the lost leaders brings in the consumer to the site and then they buy the house brands which are always positioned around the $12 to $19 price point.

Can this work for other states, NO it cannot. A teleseminar should be something that the viewers can take and reproduce wherever they are otherwise it is an excersise of self promotion. Can the wine library model be reproduced outside of NJ, the answer is no.
Thanks for the lengthy reply, Alex. I hear where you're coming from and understand that my only perception of him is from his marketing and promotion online and at the seminar I recently attended.

In regards to the teleseminar - the content is ENTIRELY open. Honestly, I didn't think of it as a how-to for wine distributors or sellers. What I had in mind was any wine-specific questions or questions on how the Wine Library / TV has become what it is today... including the marketing, branding and promotion techniques... that are sometimes more calculated than they appear, based on Gary's ability to demonstrate how to replicate it.

Maybe my question should have been posed in the marketing/web 2+ groups, as it seems to be more pertinent there based on what you've said.
Hey Alex it's Gary I just wanted to say #1 I RESPECT your thoughts 10000% I have always thought you were an awesome dude and I am sad you might not think the same of me, I am just hoping that the few times we crossed paths wasn't enough and maybe I had a bad day or something because honestly there are not a lot of peeps out there that don't like me that have meet me. I am really thrown off by some of the comments but I except them and I hope since we do live near each other we can share some time again together and talk over it, I wish you and your family nothing bu the best ALEX, I really do and I am just sitting here sad as heck that you feel and think some of these things and I really hope I get a chance to yap with you and "fix" them if I can! Take care

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