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A trip to New Jersey

31 Oct 2008 by Jancis Robinson

I spent a fascinating afternoon yesterday recording a show for Gary Vaynerchuk’s WineLibrary TV about which one or two purple pagers had grave doubts, as discussed on this thread in the members’ forum. (Shame about my expression in this still from the show...)

WineLibrary is a substantial three-storey store next to a defunct Grease Monkey in the New Jersey suburbs, less than 30 minutes’ drive west of central Manhattan. It’s run by Gary and his father Sasha, who emigrated to the US from Belarus 30 years ago. Their business thoroughly irritates its competitors by its aggressive pricing. Gary is a Web 2.0 nut and an entrepreneur and showman to his fingertips, so has capitalised on this with a daily online tv show.

I’ll be writing in more detail about all this in a couple of weeks’ time but in the meantime you might like to check out our 45-minute tasting session recorded yesterday with our discussion of, for starters, Greek whites such as Assyrtiko, the primacy of Ridge Vineyards and  sherry – not a new subject for visitors to this site but it clearly was for most of the watchers of the show who bothered to record their impressions below the screen on But I realise in retrospect that we didn’t discuss geography nearly enough. I should have pointed out that Ridge Geyserville is a great story of American immigration in a bottle, based on old Zinfandel vines brought to Sonoma by Italian settlers.

A translation note for British viewers of this show: Gary’s chief motivation, apart from promotion of wine, business and himself, is the New York Jets, the local (American) football team. Their colour is green. That tablecloth once was too.


I just watched the WLTV episode, after seeing a reference to it on this website. Jancis, you came off brilliantly, tolerant of the ADHD wine hypemaster and his egregious 'sniffy sniffy' stuff, putting him in his place when necessary, but always encouraging genuine exploration. Instead of judging, you teach a person to follow his instincts, drop the pretense and just enjoy a good drink. You raised Wine Library TV to a whole new level. I just hope that Gary and his Mutt don't forget what they learned from your visit.

1 Nov 2008 04:53 by Rhonda Johnson

Great show Jancis, I've been a fan of WLTV for a year and a half now and this was possibly the best episode ever, you were briliant!

31 Oct 2008 20:52 by Karl Laczko

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