Wine Videos–An Observation and My Favourites – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

It is no guessing that I like video…. No I love the art and the pulse of video.

YouTube is my main channel and I have posted duplicates on Vimeo as well.

I have talked about how many people are not watching the wine category on YouTube and how ironic that is as there are videos on every topical matter and most categories with decent hit rates.  It is a great resource for “how to” and now the rise of the vlogger has been an important original source of entertainment good for both YouTube and the individual vlogger.  iJustine has 3.2 million subscribers and over 480 million video hits on all of her YouTube channels.

Wine as a category is both simple and complex at the same time.  While wine is a very important beverage category it does not have the same power to get people to view wine videos.  I have examined and theorized a few reasons why that might be the case.  I think the wine interested viewer looks to YouTube for any and all other categories except wine videos.  Wien videos are undiscovered country.   People are interested in whisky, beer, coffee and tea have good click rates on YouTube; I would certainly say that these categories have been discovered to wines un-discoveredness.

Wine is complex because of the many combinations of characteristics:

  • Vintage
  • Varietal
  • Cuvee
  • Vineyard or non-vineyard selection

While the above may not seem, on first glance, to have the power to increase complexity of this beverage category but it does.  Vintage is a rare distinction that perhaps no other category beverage or not does not have a year-by-year difference. There is small category of vintage beer.  Overall vintage is a quality mark that wine has variation while, beer for the most part and spirits do not have.

Wrapping one’s arms around the big, complex and even illusive category of wine is hard for even those who are in the wine trade and media.  Imagine consumers trying to grasp the many aspects of wine—there are many aspects to enter and find content.

Gary Vaynerchuk was wine’s flash star –his videos showcased his boisterous and high energy and for about 5 years.   Gary’s approachability and New York Jets dump bucket and overall New York Jets talk certainly attracted one demographic and perhaps scared off another.  The wine industry’s white knight was everywhere and everyone wanted a snapshot or video with Gary.  Gary ended his videos at Wine Library (his families business) and then started the Daily Grape.  The Daily Grape was not a daily but several times a weekly video.   Though a name change the format was not necessarily a radical change.  My guess is that the hit rate was not an increase but more of the same metrics that he had on YouTube and hence the retirement.  Gary did not given up on the video format all together.  While I have not and will not spend any time giving a statistical analysis his video click rates seems to be very similar to his wine library video days.

Gary Vaynerchuk was very unconventional and many saw this in welcoming ways.  As an example of his way of speaking about wine is his video on Aglianco in Tasting #984 where he termed the salinity of a particular Aglianico to be like Sardines.  To anyone who had not tasted an Aglianco might find that description a warning to stay away.  Gary got a lot of mileage out of his channel and PR program.  Before observing his video click rate I would have assumed his metrics would be at least several thousand to ten thousands.  Some of his videos don’t move the needle as much as I would have expected Episode #838 with 505 views in four years.  Also Gary’s videos are very time bound—i.e. how the New Jets were doing at a particular point in time.  Even for New York Jets that might be less interesting over time.

I don’t doubt Gary’s overall persona helped to recreate and redefine wine library from a relatively unknown wine retailer to a national known one.   Not only just being known but lifting sales of his family’s business tremendously.  Gary’s successes were many fold and still live on today.

When Gary retired it was a topic that was talked about at each wine gathering I attended.  It was a mourning by some producers, fans and some wine bloggers.  I think the wine world was at a loss of who would or who could replace him.  Ultimately wine with it’s inherent complexities is no less compelling beverage that it should be sidelined on YouTube or other video mediums.   Wine as a category requires many voices not just one—and it has always been that way.  I think people harken to Robert Parker days as being a sole voice of yesteryear.

Some producers like Jordan Vineyard and Winery has done an excellent job of creating very popular videos and living the brands potential to give it 3,739 subscribers and 1,1 million hits.  Jordan is alone in this category but I do think it shows potential for other producers and even personalities to have a greater share of the YouTube viewing pie.  Inherently wine has great merits to be talked about.  Whiskey and beer have proven that these categories are alive—and wine can also grow it’s audience and can look to some of these personalities for tips to create a wine presence on YouTube.   There has to be much more content and consistently in order for the wine viewing public to be engaging wine videos.

I think the keys to the ignition of the wine video on YouTube is to do the following:

  • Branding, branding and branding—no doubt a voluminous topic:
    • what is your brand?
    • Is your brand message apparent?
    • Consistency in format
      • Opening
      • Closing
      • Titling – adding your name / brand to title / animation
      • Information
      • Call to action
        • I have seen videos titled only with wine name and vintage – e.g. “Villa Marie Sauvignon Blanc 2012”
          • Is this to introduce the brand?
          • Is it a particular view point on this wine?
          • What is the Call-to-Action or reason for me to view?
          • Why would someone want to watch?
          • Information in comments section
          • Links to your related videos
          • Background music / visuals / graphics, etc.

Below I have selected a few of my favourite videos that I have completed (18 are selected here).  I decided to not select any wine labels/brands and instead larger topics.   I have learned a lot in making 1,501 videos.  Also the more you do videos the more you develop yourself and you will be attracted to do continuous improvements.

I created my video format for wine brands to be a shorter format.  I did this for very pragmatic reasons—wine has so much content and that is the reason I am at 1,501 videos.  There is a lot to talk about and it isn’t a proposition of quantity versus quality.   I use to incorporate topics like “Beverage Arts” in a particular wine label video but the problem with not is having a stand alone video on this topic which cannot be not indexed and ultimately will not be found.

I like what iJustine had to say about subscribers (in her video: Zombie apoalyspe) “…even though thou subscribing really matters anymore….?”  Justine sounded skeptical but in her example I think it has helped  her over time and do think it helps other producers as well.

At time of this writing, I have 544 subscribers and 128,000 views and over 51 hours of content online.   I wanted to share these with you and a brief description on why I selected these videos.


My 100th Video – World Wide Wine Day – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

When I began making wine videos I didn’t think I would get to 100 videos.  I also wanted to create and promote a World Wide Wine Day which I think still has potential.  Hence I wanted to not just say a milestone number and not have a specific topic.

My 1,000th Wine Video – 1,000 Thanks! – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

A purposeful goal.  A long distance between a 100 and 1,000 videos.  I was looking at the content I had planned and it was nearly 900 subjects.  Hence I decided to complete this in a certain period of time.  I got to Gary Vaynerchuk’s number but had no intention to retire.

My 1,100th Wine Video – La Bastide Saint Vincent Gigondas – 2009 – 9.1 (91/100 Pts) – James Meléndez

I didn’t plan a certain date to get to this number.  I selected a Gigondas wines.

My 1,200th Wine Video – A Thank You! – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

A delight to give thanks to my viewers.

My 1,300th James the Wine Guy Video & Brand Promise – James Melendez

I had to give my points of difference and brand proposition.

My 1,400th Video – Nino Franco Prosecco Superiore DOCG NV – 9.3 (93/100 Pts) James Melendez

I had to celebrate with something sparkling.

Episode #1,500 James the Wine Guy Video – 1,500 Thank yous! – James Melendez

A time out to give a heartfelt thanks.

James the Wine Guy Comments about 100,000th Hit on YouTube – James Melendez

A rare number to got beyond in the wine video world.

How to Open A Bottle of Sparkling Wine – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Simply…difficult to do this in one take!  Rarely ever happens and once the cork is off I would have reach for another bottle.

The Beverage Arts – #Episode #1484 – James Melendez / James The Wine Guy

Talking about a great movement we have today that I call the beverage arts.

¡Bienvenidos al Dia Mundial del Vino! World Wide Wine Day (en Español)

So far my only video in Spanish.

World Wide Wine Day le 1er Juillet 2011 (en Français) – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

And my only video in French.

A Wine Descriptor I Never Use: ‘Rounded’ – Episode #1472 – James Melendez

Since I never use the word “rounded” when it comes to wine and why.

Keeping an Open Mind On All US Wine Regions – Episode #1461 – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Delving into the a plethora of wines beyond Calfornia, Oregon and Washington.  And central theme is to keep an open mind on other regions, wines and producers.

Not All Wines Are Created Equal – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

One of many reasons why I do wine reviews and that wine is not all the same.

Romanian Wines – Four Thousand Years in the Making – James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy

Fascinated to finally taste wines from Romania; a very large wine producer with a long producing lineage.

Best of Wine times…Is Now – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

Thematically that there has been no better time for quality and artistic input.

Wine and The Power of Brand – James Melendez / James the Wine Guy

The power of brand is alive—this is the only producer this day that had such a long line –Kosta Browne

James the Wine Guy Intro – James Melendez

And something I should have done from the very beginning.  Gives a recitation of brand and purpose.

Thank you for your viewing and reading!  And as always more wine videos to come.



Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Read more of my wine reviews:   WORDPRESS

© 2014 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.

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About James Melendez

I love wine and have had the privilege of working in the wine trade as a senior national wine marketing manager for a wine, food and home goods retailer in 30+ US States. I executed into making wine experiential and made 'wines of the world' programme work in a highly regulated framework for a successful business proposition. My "wine" site also incorporates those categories intimately involved with wine such as food, travel and lifestyle. This site incorporates my many dimensions of interest. I love to review and also talk about many aspects of wine. I have been privileged to visit many wine countries and find them enthralling no matter how many times I visit. I love all aspects of wine: viticulture, history, winemaking, brand development, wine regions and many more aspects. This is a living tradition that needs documentation, education, reporting and reviewing. Do I have favourite varieties and styles? I love so many varieties and often it is situational and yet there are time honoured wines that I anticipate and I am passionate about. I like all colours of wine and all styles. I have had a mad passionate affair with sparkling wines and they are always top of mind. Wine nourishes our soul and is the key to connecting with other people at our dinner table. Salute, James © 2014, 2017 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social medias.
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