Posts Tagged ‘Gary Vaynerchuk’
Who says wine tastings are boring? On Tuesday, April 20th I attended a wine tasting sponsored by MacArthur’s Beverages at the Matisse Restaurant in Washington, D.C. with Jeffrey Davies, a well-known Bordeaux negociant, importer, and wine maker who actually is originally from the U.S. The event was to showcase the wines of Stephane Derenoncourt who unfortunately couldn’t make it because of the Icelandic volcano that erupted ash all over Europe and prevented him from flying into DC. This video is brief and covers some of the differences in how vines are chosen for the Right Bank vs. the Left Bank of Bordeaux. It was quite an educational experience for me as the tasting notes were extensive on the printed tasting sheet and included terms I was vaguely familiar with including microbullage and levurage
Twelve wines were tasted from a Gree Laroque 2005 priced at $20 to La Mondotte 2001 which will set you back $200 or so a bottle! There was also a special guest appearance by a winery that Monsieur Derenoncourt consults with in Virginia called Boxwood Winery – both the Boxwood Topiary Red 2007 and the Estate Red 2007 both at about $25/bottle showed very well against the French Bordeauxs – Rachel Martin, one of the owners spoke about making wine in Virginia at the event.
Oh, and for fun, here’s the video of Jeffrey on Wine Library TV:
This was a crazy week for me, so I’m just starting to wind down and think about it more. I was on the “Thunder Show” with Gary V on Monday (although it went up on Wednesday), traveled back to DC through the snow and began in earnest to market my book the rest of the week, with a small respite for a “Unique Spirits 101” class that I organized with my full-time gig TasteDC. I always like to look back at my week and try to sift through what was important, what I learned and if I need to avoid any situations. I sort of live in a bubble – all I care about is promoting my message – wine and food were meant to be together – and that’s become my life goal, better not get in the way!
I love wine, and I love food, so I’m in a bit of a quandary (a common state for me!)..why is it in the wine world that we try to evaluate and break down wine, but in the food world, it only happens in rare occasions such as competitions..a little vague, but let me explain. Whenever I’m teaching a class on wine like my “Wine Basics 101” class at TasteDC, attendees always ask me to “explain” what I’m tasting. People who are attending a wine class obviously want to learn more about wine, but I’m not sure why they want to know what I’m tasting – does it translate well to their taste buds? If I taste spearmint, blackberry and tobacco, and you taste peppermint, cranberry and honey, who’s right? By breaking down the components of the “taste” of wine, do I make it any easier for a beginner wine drinker to understand the wine? Will the attendee be empowered by the experience or intimidated, and ultimately, will it get the person to purchase more wine?
First of all, I don’t have the answer, that’s why I’m in a quandary – there is no answer, sometimes just looking at the question brings awareness to the situation (my Zen side!). So I posed an additional question to myself: if we break down wine into its individual parts, shouldn’t we do so for food as well? In my book “I Drink on the Job” I spend alot of time talking about the connection between food and wine. I have one quote – read it, consider it, make a picture of it in your mind:
Americans don’t seem to trust their sense of taste with wine. If you like steak, then you don’t need anyone to tell you if it’s good or not; you’ve enjoyed steak since you were young and you know what you like–medium or medium-rare, one-inch thick, two-inch, rib eye, filet or strip–even if someone else disagrees. We have no experience with wine as a culture, so we seek peer approval..
Charlie Adler with Gary Vaynerchuk on Official Launch of “I Drink on the Job” Book
OK, time for “I Drink on the Job”s 15 minutes of fame..it all started on a cold rainy day, windswept and forlorn..
Actually, I met Gary V on his “Crush It” book tour when he visited American University in Washington, D.C.
Crush It has had a huge influence on my book marketing via Social Media..
I give Gary V credit, he’s a very savvy guy, and being on the show is about the most exhilarating experience I’ve ever had,
I mean it’s like an emotional roller-coaster, it was scary and fun at the same time!
I’ll have more on this tomorrow – I’m watching I Drink Amazon.com Sales go through the roof!!
My book is done – off to the printers! I received the Author’s Proof copy in the mail yesterday of “I Drink on the Job: A Refreshing Perspective on Wine” and I went through it thoroughly – found a few typos, but I felt it was good to go – Onward!! So do I feel relieved? Well kinda, let me explain:
First of all, now that the book is done, now I have to sell it! Oh, you mean these things don’t just sell themselves, shouldn’t I just sit back and wait for the royalty checks? After talking with quite a few first time authors, this myth was quickly erased for me. Marketing, promoting and selling a book today is a jungle – you gotta go out there with your machete and cut through all the brush in order to get to your sales paradise. I’ve been talking up the book for about a year now (according to my estimate, the book was finished about 8 months ago!) and I even held a pre-launch through Adams Morgan Main Street, a non-profit that was interested in having me speak at their monthly wine tasting. My formal “Launch” is on Wine Library TV on Monday, February 15th in a few weeks, but I still have pretty wide open plans.
I’ve signed up to be one of the wine seminar speakers at various wine and food festivals in the DC area including Great Grapes, Virginia Wine Showcase, and many more in Virginia and Maryland. The DC Intl. Wine Festival no longer has wine seminars, but I will be attending (still waiting for my Trade/Press pass, what’s up with that DC Fest??). I’m talking with various local wine retailers (a few national chains too!) and wine bars for events as well. When I charged speaker’s fees for wine tastings before, I cut out so many charities who couldn’t afford my services, now all they have to do is purchase a minimum number of books and they have an event to go!
I REALLY strained my sciatic nerve really bad lifting weights this week, and I can barely walk without wincing in pain – ouch!! I think that injury is related to stress – I had too much on my mind when I hit the gym and I hit it a bit too hard. If someone says you can’t be “over” motivated, they’re flat out wrong – I’m capable of losing a limb without noticing when I’m pumped up..but I really need to take it easy at my age (40+ – that’s all you need to know!), I have to be the turtle, not the hare..
OK, back to watching the snow fall in DC and wondering how to market my first book – questions like “where should I do a book tour?”, “will wine bar events sell books?” and “did I price my book right?” are all floating happily in my brain – think I’ll relax in front of the fire tonight – Cheers!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
I’ve just completed the final touches on my manuscript for my book “I Drink on the Job: A Refreshing Perspective on Wine” and I’m almost at the finish line. In football parlance, I’m probably at the five yard line just waiting to take the ball and break the plain for touchdown. But just as in football, there are defenders..
The lesson I’ve learned about writing a book and self-publishing is that you learn enough from completing a first book that it would be a big mistake not to write a second! There is a huge load of details you deal with in a first book and now I’m way up on the learning curve with one major hurdle: I don’t know how to sell/market the book! BTW – that’s very important, if you think that people will just “find” your book, well, there are alot of books on the market that sell less than 500 copies, and my breakeven point is about 1,500 copies. I’ve dealt with three edits, three designs, two covers, my publisher merging (that’s actually a good thing – Book Surge merged with Createspace which offers MANY more opportunities for product extensions such as DVDs, audio CD’s and even a new sales outlet), a web design (phase 2 right now for I Drink on the Job Blog – Soon to Be Website) and advice from many knowledgeable and kind human beings.
If you are thinking about writing a book, I think self-publishing is the way to go. If you can get a publisher to really put their marketing muscle behind a book or you’re a best-selling name author, the traditional publishing route might make sense, but if you want control over your destiny, self-publishing is supreme. My goal is promote my book everywhere I go and to ultimately have product extensions like audio CD’s, possibly a tchochke or two! Traditional publishers are having financial problems and are understaffed. They focus on blockbusters and books they can make money on quickly, it’s all about ROI. You might get an advance from a traditional publisher, but you essentially are indebted to them (they’re non-recourse most of the time with some exceptions) until you earn it back through sales. Self-publishing will cost you some money depending on how much you use the service – I’m probably just at $4,000, but I used their editing, cover design, and I will most likely use their PR/marketing as well – but you have no pressure to sell quickly. My thinking is that the book might have a soft launch to test different marketing avenues, and as it progresses, I might discover new potential sales channels. I’m only selling my book online and “in-hand”, but there are some retail outlets that may be interested in having me do book signings. I’m new to the process of book signings, I’ll blog about that when it begins in February!
BTW – I’m scheduled to be on Wine Library TV with Gary Vaynerchuk “Crush It” Book Site on Monday, February 15th, 2010, so peeps, you better be watching! Something like 100,000 people watch Wine Library TV every day, so I’m getting a strong start and who knows – maybe Gary will plug the book even more! He has a 10 book deal himself, so honestly, his book plate is full, so to speak – on the other hand, I may mention to him my wine audio CD’s, hmmm, maybe get a Gary V endorsement, but again, just one more option for promoting the book.
Last thought – people often ask me if I enjoyed the process of writing. My reply is generally, “No”. Putting my thoughts on paper was fun, but editing and trying to get all the pieces of the book together so that each Chapter fit into the big picture, was not an easy task. The longest paper I had ever written in college was maybe 25 pages, but with a multi-chapter 250 page book, it’s significantly more difficult. It’s sort of like college gut-level 101 classes: I always did poorly in general broad coverage courses, but in the 300 level and above I mostly got “A”s. My first book is my Intro book about me and my approach to teaching wine, actually more like “experiencing” wine. Any future books will most likely focus on an aspect such as food and wine pairing or specific ways to broaden wine knowledge. I’ll take one chapter in my current book and make it the premise for a whole book. Then possibly I’ll extend the brand with audio-CD’s and a new website. Another note: I took Gary Vaynerchuk’s suggestion to use my name domain (yes, I own charlieadler.com!) as the gateway domain for all future websites. If I become a “name” in the industry, there’s value to my vanity domain, and potentially alot of cross-pollination of my various endeavors.
OK, back to writing, editing and drinking – Cheers!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler