by Markus Stolz

Thank
you New York

byMarkus Stolz
June 1, 2010, 16 Comments

Visiting New York is special – my recent trip was certainly unforgettable for me. Thanks to social networks, many U.S. contacts welcomed me online, and I received best wishes from my European connections. Arriving at my hotel on a Friday afternoon and reading all the messages on twitter and Facebook was a very touching experience.

On Saturday night, I finally met in real life with two wonderful ladies who have been amongst my favourite twitter contacts for quite some time. Viviane Bauquet Farre and Meg Houston Maker – with their respective husbands Marc and Steve – went out of their way to present me with a truly memorable night. Great people, exciting conversations, superb wines (a great selection of Bonny Doon Vineyard wines) and a stunning menu prepared by Viviane made my day – there simply could not have been a better way to start my U.S. adventure!

The next morning, I boarded the Greyhound bus and made my way to Philadelphia – coming from Greece, I was in awe by the fact that there was free WIFI service available throughout the journey. What a great service, instead of a boring 2½-hour trip I was able to work efficiently. I met Mark Squires and some of his friends for a lengthy lunch, and thanks to their generosity we tasted a solid number of wines, including several Greek offerings.

Monday was to be a big day – I was due to appear as a guest on Gary Vaynerchuk’s Wine Library TV show. For those who do not know who Gary is, this article/interview by Mario Schulzke from Idea Mensch is a great source of information. Kristen Murphy, who is one of the nicest people I have ever met, welcomed me at the offices. She is one of those people where conversation is just flowing naturally. After touring the premises, I took a seat in the kitchen, waiting for Gary’s arrival. After a couple of minutes, his dad actually walked in – I only knew him from his own guest appearances on the show. It was a totally unreal moment; it reminded me of how I first met Goofy at Disney World, not knowing if he was for real or not.

Just after 1 p.m. Gary entered the offices – I was still in the kitchen, but suddenly there was a burst of activity. Within seconds, he must have checked updates with at least 5 different employees. Kristen walked me into his office, where Chris Mott, who shoots nearly all of the episodes, was already waiting. Gary still had to finish another meeting, so Chris and I chatted for half an hour. He is a real nice guy, and I was very happy for the chance to learn a little more about him. Around 1:45 p.m. Gary rushed in and sat down next to me. There was this moment that lasted for just a few seconds where Gary was nearly Buddha-like, very calm, softly spoken, he looked straight into my eyes, greeted me, then received a hand signal form Chris and the next second he literally exploded with energy. “Hello everybody and welcome to Wine Library TV. I am your host …” – I have heard this famous line so often, but really had no idea just how loud he shouts it! At that very moment, it hit me that this was for real, and I could feel nervousness creeping up. Luckily this feeling did not last long, and excitement quickly took over.

I was shockingly impressed with Gary’s tasting abilities. I brought the wines directly from Greece, and no one knew what they were. There was no way that Gary could have prepared beforehand. I believe many people underestimate this skill, usually we read what a great showman he is, or how he is using unusual vocabulary to describe wines. Rarely is it pointed out that he is an extremely talented taster – but he most certainly is, you can’t make comments like his just up.

The show was put online the same evening, and I was busy throughout the night answering comments and messages. The “thundershow” was such a great way to raise people’s awareness about Greek wines, I am really grateful for this opportunity! Thank you so much Gary, it meant the world to me!

On my last evening in NY, I organised a meeting of fellow wine enthusiasts via twitter. We met at the highly recommended Terroir Wine Bar in Tribeca. Thanks so much Sarah, Melissa, Konstantine, Viviane and Marc for making the effort to meet me there. It was a great pleasure to spent time with all of you.

 

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  1. Viviane Bauquet Farre / Food & StyleJune 1, 2010, 11:43 pm

    Markus, What a wonderful post – straight from your heart! It was a great pleasure to meet you. I could tell by the quality of your writing and by the amount of energy and passion that you put into your work that you were a very special person. But I must say that you were far more wonderful in person than I could have suspected. Marc and I had a fantastic time with you and were so grateful that you were able to spend some time with us. Thank you for your kind words about the dinner – I am very touched.

    On another note, I must tell you that I am immensely proud of you for the video you shot with Gary Vaynerchuk. You were most eloquent and the video was very informative. As I have told you before, your efforts to promote Greek wines around the world will pay off. Certainly you have made me a fan.

    New York misses you Markus! We all hope to see you here again very soon.

  2. elloinosJune 1, 2010, 11:55 pm

    Viviane, this post was so easy to write – I really felt so welcomed in NY, and you most certainly played a pivotal role. I am still in awe that you and Marc made the effort to meet me twice! Thank so much, it is so refeshing that a “business trip” can end up in such personal experiences.

  3. Viviane Bauquet Farre / Food & StyleJune 2, 2010, 12:02 am

    Oh Markus! You truly touch my heart… I believe that when one loves what one does, then “business” becomes a personal experience. We are both very lucky that way. Thank you again…

  4. Lindsay MorrissJune 2, 2010, 12:56 pm

    Wow, Markus—-congratulations!!! That is wonderful… and great episode, as well!

  5. elloinosJune 2, 2010, 1:08 pm

    Lindsay, thank you so much! It was great exposure for Greek wines, and I am really grateful for the opportunity!

  6. Thomas PellechiaJune 2, 2010, 3:22 pm

    Ah, too bad I didn’t know. I would have loved to have met you.

  7. elloinosJune 2, 2010, 3:51 pm

    Thomas, I am very sorry, I used twitter for communication, and of course did not give a lot of thought that not everyone is active there. I promise though that I will make an extra effort to meet you whenever I visit NY again!

  8. Thomas PellechiaJune 2, 2010, 11:10 pm

    Markus,

    I don’t live in NYC any more, but I was there briefly last week. Yes, I have decided against Twitter in my life–must have something to do with the constraint of 140 characters, or maybe the characters that are on it… ;)

  9. jasonJune 3, 2010, 11:48 pm

    Sounds like your trip was every bit as great as it seemed! Hope to cross paths with you sometime soon!

  10. elloinosJune 4, 2010, 4:35 am

    Jason, the trip was super good! Trust me, you are on the top of my list of people I must meet – be it here in Greece, or in the US!

  11. StamatiSJune 10, 2010, 4:59 pm

    Markus,

    I am sitting here with my German friend (Michael), watching the WineLibrary Video – you conveying the GreekWineMessage to NY. We envy you and we wish you more of that…

    All the best!

  12. elloinosJune 10, 2010, 5:04 pm

    Stamati, thank you so much – it was a great opportunity to let the world know more about the wines from Greece. I am very grateful for the chance!

  13. katJune 17, 2010, 3:46 pm

    So sorry to come late, but I’m happy you had a productive and good time. New York is a great city, lots of everything on offer and dynamic people also. You fit in well.

  14. elloinosJune 17, 2010, 4:39 pm

    There is no “too late” in the comment section ;) Thank you Kat!

  15. Melissa Sutherland AmadoJune 25, 2010, 7:01 pm

    Markus — What a lovely night indeed. Reflecting back, I recall the wines you shared and how the conversation flowed. We were all so giddy and thrilled to be coming together in real life. To spend time with Sarah, meet you, Konstantine, Viviane and Marc was the perfect way to kick-off the approaching season. Some wine friends just returned from Greece. They especially loved Paros. Wishing I were there again! Next time, here or there, we’ll do it again.

  16. elloinosJune 25, 2010, 7:12 pm

    Melissa, great to find you here in the comment section – I have to say, it was really great to meet everyone in real life. What amazing times we live in, where one sends out a tweet and is able to connect with so many super people. I would love to meet up again, and somehow suspect that this will happen at some point.