Wednesday, June 18, 2008

@garyvee's 101 Wines

I've just finished reading 101 Wines Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World, by Gary Vaynerchuck, star of I am definitely inspired and delighted, and once I purchase and give one of the several wines I've highlighted as "must definitely buy" a go, I'm sure I'll feel the thunder and my world will be rocked because well, I adore wine.

I do have a HUGE confession to make and it's a bit embarrassing...I don't really know, know Gary. I have never watched Until very recently, I didn't know Gary's a "wine guy" by trade. I thought he was an "Internet tech start up" guy. See, I heard about Gary on Twitter, he was organizing Good People Day.

When I saw his video, I thought to myself this is a guy after my own heart. He is passionate about people, he truly loves helping people - making them feel good, sharing the love, paying it forward...all that good juju stuff that makes me tick - he's all about that.

I started following him on Twitter and I refer to him as "garyvee" which is his Twitter handle. In my mind, when I say it I'm visualizing @garyvee, which is the way (@ in front of someone's twitter handle) you send a message (tweet) to someone's specific attention on Twitter.

So, I found out about his book via Twitter and was intrigued as I love big, bold red blends. Full disclosure here - Gary was sending books out to bloggers to review. My blog has maybe 20 readers on occasion, so I doubted I would receive a book. I'm delighted Gary sent me one. So, yes I got it for free, but now that I've read it, I have 3 copies on hold at Border's that I'm gifting tomorrow. Yep, it's that good.

Anyway, I started his book over the weekend and just finished it tonight. I decided not to check out until after I wrote this post because this review is about the book.

For some reason I actually read the introduction to Gary's book, typically I don't. For me, intros seem like afterthoughts in most non-fiction's with little real value.

Well, this intro truly sets the stage for what 101 Wines is and specifically what it's not. Gary is a "no-bs-cut-to-the-chase-this-is-how-it-is-baby" type of a writer. His style drew me in.

I strongly suggest reading the book from front to back, first read through. Don't skip around. Gary expands thoughts from one wine story to the next. He weaves in wine education, humor, amazing descriptions of tastes ranging from leather to chalky cellar-dust to lilacs to rare game topped with a spread of mouth was actually watering with several of his pictorials.

Gary freed me from some preconceived notions I had on blends. I love them and have since I was introduced to the Cain Five 1998 blend in 2000. I just thought for some reason I should only be drinking pure 1 grape wines - Cabs, Pinors, Merlots. A lot of the wines, Gary has chosen for his 101 are blends.

I have highlighted wines in this book that are right up my preferred palate and have found others that I'm eager to try that are way out of my comfort zone and I love, love, love that I've gotten a push to do so.

This post could go on and on, because obviously this book has struck a cord with me. Here's the deal though, I really don't know a lot about wines as you can tell, I just know what I like - the tastes. With this book, I now have better parameters when I'm telling the wait staff, Joe at my local liquor store or a wine sommelier what I'm looking for - usually I say I want a peppery blend with a nice finish. Now I will say, I'm an Old World, Eastern Spice, Dark Vader - Dark, full-bodied, OS terrior blend lover.

My favorite element of this book though, is the continuous "people" theme Gary has throughout. It validates what originally drew me to Gary, his caring nature. I'm looking forward to getting to know Gary and wines even better through

Monday, June 2, 2008

KC tweetup

(photo courtesy of @riebschlager)

Kansas City twitterers got together for our maiden happy hour (in Twitterspeak "tweetup") last Friday night. Having conversed over Twitter for months, Friday evening's tweetup was the first time for most of us to meet each other IRL.

It all started with the following tweet from @QueenofSpain:

After a few more tweets looking for a sponsor, Barkley came through. And a week later, we were enjoying each other's company at the first KC tweetup! Mark Logan (@mlogan) and Celeste Lindell (@average_jane) hosted the primordial event at Barkley's Mile High Club and Rooftop Deck. Thank you, Barkley! Celeste, a special mia cuppa to you for your efforts on pulling off a fun evening with such short notice!

About 50 Kansas City locales along with our special guest, power blogger Erin Kotecki (@queenofspain), discussed interactive trends, swapped shop talk and enjoyed putting real faces with twitter ids.

Mingling with other social media passionates was the highlight of the evening for me. It's great to see the interactive pulse is beating strong in the heartland. Youngest and most adorable KC twitterer attending goes to @tatertini hands down.

Here's a partial list of attendees from the RSVP tweets received (I'll add to, as ids come my way):

If you are interested in attending the next KC tweetup (looking for a sponsor as well), please let me know.