You tube and the wine industry

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Many Thanks – Dave

Pic_youtubelogo_123x63I’m going to share a secret.  The wine world is a bit short on fun and a bit long on seriousness.  OK, maybe it’s not a big secrect.  But one thing I learned at Bonny Doon is that wine is more popular when sold with a healthy dose of fun.

So I’m thinking a series of wine videos would be a wise addition to our efforts – part education, part demonstration, part entertainment.  But before I leap off the cliff of time-consuming fiascos, I need your feedback.

Many approaches are not right for us.  For example, here is a short list of wine videos representing a wide range of styles and options.  Which one works best?  Which ones miss?  Do you like the talking head in front of the camera?  Or the "travel video" with a narrator behind the camera?  Please add your comments, and let me know what you think we should begin doing…

  1. Joe Gets Smashed!  This is like "Jackass meets the Wine Industry".  I think the poor folks over at Grgich Hills had no idea what they were in for when they agreed to be the venue for this endeavor.  This is nothing like what I’m thinking of doing, I only include it as an amusing introduction to the range of wine videos currently being produced.  Let us know what you think!
  2. Crush, the new video from the refreshingly creative folks at Don Sebastiani and Sons.  Beautiful music and imagery tells the 10-minute story of a crush.  Tell us what you think! 

3. Wine Library TV.  Gary Vaynerchuk is the young New Jersey wine merchant behind this daily series of online wine reviews.  His style is divisive, so please tell me what you think!

4. CBS News.  Just one example of how can be used for short vignettes about developments in wine country.  This is closest to the sort of video I’m thinking of producing, though I don’t have the polish that CBS has at its beck and call.  What do you think? 

To "Vote", please click the "Comment" link and leave a note about your favorite (or least favorite!), or include a link to your favorite for everyone to look at.

Swclogogs3x3 Cheers!

Dave Chambers, Wine Merchant

Toll Free 866-746-7293

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Many Thanks – Dave

18 Replies to “You tube and the wine industry”

  1. I thought each of the three videos was interesting in its own way.
    The Sebasiani one was very beautifully crafted, but was far too serious, and never really said much about either the wines or their making.
    “Joe gets smashed” was a lot more fun – but perhaps a bit too much so. It didn’t really get into the wines at all.
    “Wine Library TV” was interesting, and actually _did_ discuss the wines in depth, and even proffered scores for them. I was mildly irritated that he didn’t have the sense to turn off the telephone and that he wasted so much good wine simply rinsing his glass! Couldn’t he just start with four _clean_ glasses? Oh, and the glass was really the wrong shape for Burgundian wines BTW.
    The CBS bit on the baby doll sheep was cute – but rather off topic.
    I think some sort of distillation of the first three videos, plus some added “insider info” for afficionados would be the way to go. Why not get into some of the details of fermentation and aging, including strains of yeast, barrel selection, choice of forests, toast levels, and all that nitty gritty stuff that true wine geeks really love? Throw in some fun stuff, an accident or two and you’re off to the races!

  2. I love Gary Vaynerchuk’s wine reviews and the raw honesty of his reviews are exactly what I want to see from a wine review on a video. You learn so much from him, have some fun, and he’s got a marketing genius about him that is penetrating the wine industry and should be modeled by others.

  3. My favorite was “joe gets smashed”: funny, self-depricating, entertaining.
    Second would be the cbsnews story of using the sheep to keep the weeds and grass down: natural vegetative management, short, focused, cute, and to the point.
    I drink wines that I enjoy and not because someone else gives them a score with wierd comparisons like Gary seemed to do. Cyndie Lauper smell and Christine Agulera taste, yuck.

  4. OK, so in the early returns it seems the tide is moving us toward replicating Gary’s Wine Library TV approach. But I’m not Gary. And our store (a small inventory of hand-picked boutiqwue wines) is very different than his mega-store of “something for everyone”.
    So I ask you, is there an interest in seeing videos of how we select our wines? Reviews of the wines that make it as well as the ones that don’t?
    What would you think of videos from inside the wineries we have chosen to work with – during harvest, on the sales road, in the vineyard, etc.?
    Do tell,
    Dave Chambers, Wine Merchant

  5. The CBS story was interesting information but delivery was too dry. The Sebastiani was beautifully shot, lots of detail but definately serious. Gary seemed to be a pill – he was my least favorite! Joe was lot more fun but rather insulting to the winemaker. Would it be possible to be fun, with good info, and not too serious?! I really like the idea of you doing videos! Thanks!!

  6. Dave,
    Just know up front, YOU ASKED for it…
    #1 – Tries too hard to be funny, but not a bad effort. Hey, I’m no snob. Wine should appeal to the masses, and stay simple. The snobs just want to justify to themselves that it is high brow. Huh? Here are the good points:
    Real people. Good Length. Keep subjects to a minimum. Jackass, BUT amusing, and entertaining. Gimme a beer, and let’s go see Sideways.
    #2 – Art. Too esoteric. C’mon; A black Audi that is shown on a bunch of country roads DURING CRUSH, but hasn’t a particle of dust on it? Wine is business, history, chemistry, and art. Don’t make it out to be something it is not. But, I did enjoy it, and lasted through it. Hmmm.
    #3 – I only lasted thru Black Bart.Zzzz. He tries to do too much. A quick comparison, don’t dwell on each for too long. Who cares about the sports angle. And Who the hell is this guy, to give his own “90” point rating to a wine? Not credible.
    #4 – A story about Sheep, not wine. But for YouTube, perfect in terms of length, humor, and real.
    The perfect vid. is a bit longer than #4, but can be as long as #1. 5-7 min. It does ONE subject in a new, witty, and informative way. Hmmmm. Maybe like Sideways? I like to see who is talking, if even in cameo. But I should have a good idea of who is talking, and what their grounding is.
    There’s my 2 bits worth. Russ

  7. Hello Dave–
    For me the key question is: who is the target audience? Knowing that helps filter the choices.
    The wiseacre is very much on the right track for the under 35 bracket. But the focus has to shift from the him/the humor to the wine. Just a little dialing one up and one down. Good length.
    The second one was beautifully filmed but too long and boring.
    The wine library guy is your classic, dyed-in-the-wool wine snob review. The fact that he’s young doesn’t change that. This doesn’t fit your goal of “a healthy dose of fun”. It’s an unhealthy dose of arrogance.
    The CBS spot was good subject- and length-wise, but network news is a dying format. Stay away from the approach unless you’re going for a dwindling crowd.
    My 2 cents! Geoff

  8. Dave,
    I think there was something to take away, and something to disgard from each of the videos. As a wine enthusiast, I consider myself to be learning w/much, much more to learn. Can you ever really know it all, or even most of it? So, the educational aspect is a key factor, as is the humor.
    Perhaps a Viticulture 101, 201, 301, etc. series would be interesting, something for everyone to learn from, novice and expert alike. Just ask yourself: what would interest both Jack AND Miles in a wine video?
    The Sabastiani video was the only one that focused on the many people involved w/the production of wine. I liked that. I definately felt in touch w/the working folks. Maybe others will too.
    Suggestion: Invest in an inexpensive, on site studio where you can shoot most of your stuff and you can control the environment. This would enable you to produce quality bits, at an affordable price. Low budget doesn’t mean it has to be low quality, like the Wine Library spot, which had so many production problems it eroded the goodwill of it’s more commendable attributes.
    Whatever you decide to do, I have confidence that it will be well received, as are the efforts being spent already on the Sideways Wine Club. We’re all grateful for that, I’m sure.

  9. Thanks Russ, Geoff, Kim and everyone who has responded via email or blog comment. I have but one more question for you (at least, at the moment it is but one) – have you a recommendation on VERY basic production and editing software for use with digital video? Comments most welcome!

  10. I watched all four of the videos and was most
    impressed with the Crush video. The music reminded me
    of the music they use in surf movies when surfers are
    going to beautiful remote locations – It really gives
    a feeling of adventure and excitement – It makes you
    want to go and discover it for yourself.
    If you could capture the magic of the central cost
    [like they captured the magic of the Crush] and then
    tie it to Tastes of the Valleys in a classy way,
    traffic to your wine bar and website would increase.
    Crush was good because it gave a REAL perspective of
    what goes into the crush [Mexicans, taco stands, five
    hour rush of harvest, drying the water with a towel,
    What if you did a video that gave a REAL [behind the
    scene] perspective of what goes into producing central
    cost wines [make sure it is filled with the things
    that are unique to central cost producers].
    You could tie it back to Tastes of the Valleys by
    focusing on the producers that your wine bar carries.
    After seeing this video people would know why the
    central cost is so special – they would want to
    discover it for themselves – and they would come to
    your wine bar to do so.
    You could title the video “Behind Sideways” or “A
    Sideways Truth” or “A sideways View” …
    P.S. the movie would have to be of a high quality.
    Music – Unique camera angles – great commentary- the
    works. If the movie was done poorly it could have a
    reverse effect.
    Never settle for good. Good is the enemy of Great ; )
    Dave Bosson

  11. OK, this is it – here’s an example of the type of videos I plan to do, by the award-winning Ed Deitch. I like his approach but promise you our videos won’t be as slick. For better or worse. Check out this video Deitch did last November.

  12. Number one was just -ridiculous, unless you’re 8 years old.
    Number 2, “Crush” was a self-important, “let’s take outselves so seriously”, self-tribute. As a winery owner msyself, I cringed when I heard phrases like “the RITUAL begins,” and “I had the PRIVILEGE of following the winemaker”… This is the kind of condescending attitude you need to get rid of if you really want to connect with people.
    The wine critic was irritatingly self-absorbed and totally not fun. Saying that wine tastes like Fruity Pebbles and Grape Nuts cereals (essentially junk food) gives him away as being a total fake.
    The last one was the best, though off-subject as Thomas commented. It would be fun to make/see similar short reports on subjects that my customers often have questions about, ie: “choice of varietal to plant and why?” What is biodynamic viticulture?” Why oak barrels?” etc.

  13. Thanks Kate, I appreciate the input from producers as well as from fans of the vine. Any interest in participating in a video project with me?
    By the way – and this is a note to all – I’m struggling to find time to get some hi-res digital content edited and ready for the internet. Can anyone recommend share ware to help with this?
    Dave Chambers, Wine Merchant

  14. haven’t been on for a while…
    While most of the comments about “crush” were extremely positive, and i thank all of you for that..i’m a little disturbed by the others.
    Kate seems a little angry or jaded…keep in mind 99% of all of the wine media out there is “self important”. It’s all about Winery owners and celebrity winemakers pushing labels, talking about how special thier little slice of life is…At the end of the day, its all the same.It all looks the same.
    I made a film about wine without showing a label, a bottle, or anyone with an attitude. (like a winery owner)
    “crush” is about a more human connection…i can’t find what was so condescending about that. Condescending means demonstrating an attitude of superiority…
    obviously as a “Winery Owner” kate is in a position to feel like she call it like it is.
    The future B. Napa films (you can expect one every year) will continue to find the true essence of wine. If you want to know about toasted heads, and brix levels…if you need to see what wine tatses like…there’s plenty of content to choose from, and it’s all really good.

  15. B. Napa, nice to hear from you. We look forward to your next film and appreciate your work to date.
    Not everyone will cotton to your style. Most will.
    Keep the stories coming – the wine industry needs good storytellers.
    Dave Chambers, Wine Merchant

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