Broadening Your Wine Palate on a Lighter Wallet Most American oenophiles are familiar with seven or eight wine varietals like merlot, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. But there are hundreds of others — for a variety of budgets — to please your palate. Scott Simon tasted a few.
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Broadening Your Wine Palate on a Lighter Wallet

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Broadening Your Wine Palate on a Lighter Wallet

Broadening Your Wine Palate on a Lighter Wallet

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Recession, stagflation, inflation, now none of those words make the heart feel light. But we've invited a friend into the studio who always does, Gary Vaynerchuk, the proprietor of Wine Library and host of Wine Library TV. We're hoping that he'll help relieve some economic pressure with some advice with where you can spend your wine dollars, pennies is even a better idea.

Mr. GARY VAYNERCHUK (Proprietor of Wine Library and host of Wine Library TV): I like that.

SIMON: Gary, always a pleasure to be with you.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Oh, well I'm thrilled to be here. It's exciting.

SIMON: Now, can I - the first time you've actually been in our studios with us.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Yes, yes, you came to my library in New Jersey.

SIMON: Right, exactly.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: And we've done studio in New York, but first time I'm here, D.C.

SIMON: Before we begin, how's business? Have you noticed a downturn in most business…

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: You know, we've kind of seen a little bit, you know, a little bit less cases are now looking like six-packs, some of the six-pack buyers are looking like four-pack buyers. We're definitely seeing it. You know, we're very proud of our anticipation skills at Wine Library, so we've been readjusting our buying for a while now and I think that, you know, this thing was planned in reverse has made people worry.

SIMON: Oh wow. Yeah, because they - oh my - things must be bad…

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Oh, wait, they're giving us money back. Well, we're dead.

SIMON: Well, all right what are we do? What are we going find out about first?

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Yeah, let's get into our first wine. Now we once talked about not too long ago the 2005 Vintage.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: In Bordeaux. And what we have here is a very nice 2005 value. It's a $10 wine that is mainly made from Cabernet and Merlot, The Chateau Au Grand Paris. Now what do you got?

SIMON: This is really nice. Well, I would say apricot, a little bit of chocolate.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: So I'm very on point with you on chocolate. I get like - I get really chocolate covered black sour cherries.

SIMON: Yeah, yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: You get it now?

SIMON: Yeah, yeah, that's good, yeah, probably what I meant by apricots, yeah. Um-hum. I like that.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Isn't that good?

SIMON: I like that, yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: This is a ten dollar Bordeaux.

SIMON: I had forgotten that.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Ten dollars. Now, let's think about that for a minute. The Euro is kicking the dollar's face in. I mean this is like, you know, if we were even Steven, we're looking at a six dollar wine.

SIMON: This is amazing actually.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Well, this is why the 2005…

SIMON: Chateau Au Grand Paris.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Correct. All right. Let's move on.

SIMON: A little Scottie dog.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Yeah, and a little Scottie dog. It's from Spain. It's a Rioja.

SIMON: Um-hum.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: The Prado Ayala, smell this. I'm excited to see what you think of the snippy snip.

SIMON: Um. That's very good.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Now do you get the vegetal fertilizer, maybe even a little sheep butt action.

SIMON: Now, there's…

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Do you embrace the sheep butt?

SIMON: There's - there's sheep butt actually. I'm kind of a Midwestern boy.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: That's right. You talk like - but let's be honest. This is a very barn yardy component to this nose. But I also get like black liquorish on the backend.

SIMON: This is quite a nice smell.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: You like it?

SIMON: Yes, I do.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: You're a Midwest boy.

SIMON: Yeah, yeah, I know.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: You can deal with it.

SIMON: It's a - gosh yes.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Now, here's where it gets real fun.

SIMON: Yeah.


(Soundbite of wine swishing in cup)

SIMON: That's a whole lot of flavor, isn't it?

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: To me, this is food wine. The complexities, you pair this with short rib, with a steak, incredibly complex for a ten or twelve dollar price point. And I think when people are concerned about the economy, they still want to drink good wine, and there's no reason you have to go to 20 or 30, there's plenty of things between 8 and 12 still bringing the thunder. And again, two European wines going against a very bad ratio right now.

SIMON: Yeah. All right.

(Soundbite of cup banging)

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Now, we're going to get real, real serious.

SIMON: Okay.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Now, this is a 2004 Chateau Pavie. This is $130 retail bottle of wine. It's predominately Merlot. It's a very serious producer.

SIMON: Before you chug a lug…

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: 'Cause I want to chug a lug.

SIMON: We will chug a lug…

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: That's not a lot there, I wanted more.

SIMON: Let me ask you a - I - let me ask you a philosophical question.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Yeah, please.

SIMON: Somebody who buys art…


SIMON: …at least you get to see it on the wall.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Correct.

SIMON: Somebody who just puts money into a bank account, at least you get to see the zeros collect.


SIMON: For why?

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: What's the plight?

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: The plight is that wine like this, we're drinking this Chateau Pavie, it is screaming at us, idiots, why are you drinking me now? This wine is going to hit its peak in 15 to 20 years.

SIMON: Oh my gosh.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Okay, so I actually flipped the switch on the argument. I say hey, if you have a wine cellar and you're spending that kind of money, people coming down and looking at your Romani-Contis and your Chateau Petruses…

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: …and all these special wines. You can have a showcase and the art of the label for 15 years. But then, listen, most art doesn't taste good. But after 10 or 15 years of, you know, impressing your friends or whatever you want to do…

SIMON: I've had a couple - I've had a couple of water cutlers.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Have you?

SIMON: And mixed media.


SIMON: I mean they weren't bad.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Not too shabby, huh?

SIMON: Yeah, not too bad.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Better than some wine you've had.

SIMON: Well, yeah, a little bit. But, yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: So the fact of the matter to me is it's the reverse. You get the art angle…

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: But then you actually get to enjoy it at the end of the road. I mean, listen. I've looked at baseball cards, but you know, I'm not going to eat my Johnny Bench rookie card.

(Soundbite of wine pouring)

SIMON: Well, it is - wow. It is utterly smooth.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Yeah, it's a totally different dimension, isn't it?

SIMON: Yeah, um-hum.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: And the other think that I think is incredible is the flavor profile. I don't know what you get, but I get this incredible coffee, you know, mocha…

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: …like I just opened my mouth and Starbucks punched me in it.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: You know, that's what I feel like when I taste that wine.

SIMON: Very intense, yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: You can tell the wine is angry 'cause it brings some backend tan and structure. Again, decanting, let's talk about it real quick. Decanting this wine for five to seven to ten hours…

SIMON: We opened it up a couple hours ago.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Yeah, and listen, I'll be very honest with you. I'm far from angry at this wine. It's pretty beautiful.

SIMON: It's wonderful.


SIMON: Yeah, it's terrific.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Now, the last one.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: This is a 2005 Turkey Flat Shiraz from Barossa , a very well-known producer, great color.

SIMON: Barossa?

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: From Barossa Valley, um-hum.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: In Australia.

SIMON: This is almost raisony.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: That was the best thing you've said so far about wine. I'm being dead serious.

SIMON: Really?

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: This is extremely raisony on the nose. I also get a little bit of like a lilac floral component on the backend.

SIMON: Um-hum. This is wonderful.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Would you say that's your favorite of the bunch?

SIMON: That's my favorite by far, yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: I mean really, right, exploding with fruit?

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: To me, this is like riding the rainbow of skittles, just like candy, Big League Chew.

SIMON: This is, no, this is just amazing.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: You want to get real excited?

SIMON: Yeah.


SIMON: Let me see that label. Really?

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Absolutely. Isn't that awesome?

SIMON: You set that up. That's amazing.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: I didn't set it up. It's just a great wine. Now you're looking at what I'm really talking about which is a wine that is great for this time.

SIMON: Um-hum.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: When people drink serious wines and they're making money, and things get tightened up…

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: …they still want to drink great wine.

SIMON: yeah.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: But maybe walk away from the $100 wines and you drink some more $40 wines. Now there's a sea of $40 wines that doesn't compete with this wine or the other wines or even the first $10 wines we had.

SIMON: I'm just going to take these.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: He's going to drink a little more Shiraz.

SIMON: I'm going to take the Turkey Flat around like that. All right. Gary, wonderful to see you. And…

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: Great to see you too.

SIMON: One last spit into our bucket.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: No, I drank that part.

SIMON: Gary Vaynerchuk, read his new book, 101 Wines Guaranteed to Inspire Delight and Bring Thunder to Your World. Thanks so much, Gary.

Mr. VAYNERCHUK: This is awesome.

SIMON: And you can watch us taste a variety of other wines with Gary, find out more about his wine picks, and a special variety called the Norton crate at

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