Follow This Blog Or The Wine Gets It!

Wine Snark Intro 1

This is a bottle of 1982 Chateau Margaux. It is the rarest and most expensive bottle of wine in this picture. Its life is in danger and only you and a few thousand of your friends can save it. To find out how you’ll have to read this blog….


Robert Parker, the great and powerful wizard of wine, has taken his leave somewhere over the Alsace Lorraine-bow, passing the batonnâge to a new generation of wine bloggers. I only mention this because you should know I’m not some mercenary wine blogger trying to take advantage of Parker’s departure from The Wine Advocate. I wouldn’t stoop that low. No, I write about wine for the money, even though writing about vin de pays very little.

Truthfully, it’s not really money that I need, but a platform. At least that’s what my friends in publishing tell me. Apparently it’s not enough to write about wine; people actually have to read what you write if you want to get published. Who knew?

What’s more, it doesn’t matter if your writing is good, what matters is how many “followers” or “friends” you have that “like” you. Becoming a wine blogger is like joining some weird cult. It starts with drinking wine but I suspect it ends with drinking the Kool-Aid.

So I’m abandoning my dream of playing harp in a delta blues band and becoming a reluctant wine blogger instead. How long before I become pretentious, arrogant, and boring? (Never mind, that was rhetorical). At what point will my wife grow tired of me rating her meatloaf on a 100 point scale and my friends start acting like I’ve got brettanomyces breath?

It’s surely only a matter of time before people point at me behind my back and whisper, there goes an oenophile! It doesn’t matter if oenophilia is legal in most states and that French part of Canada, they’ll whisper just the same.

I have to confess, wine bloggers confound me. Where do they find the time for it all? Don’t they have jobs, family, illegitimate interests?  Blogging is a big commitment and I’m worried about the consequences when I don’t feel like sharing my innermost thoughts about Chateuneuf du Pape. Can I simply say “the dog ate my Rhone work.”

You know it’s not really bloggers, but bloggees that taint my cork.

As a wine retailer I’ve been around all kinds of wine geeks. Just last week I asked one of my customers what kind of wine she liked and she said “I like anything rated 90 points or higher.” I try not to laugh out loud at customers as it’s generally bad for business, and I was able to quickly turn my snort into a cough so she didn’t catch on.

“Umm, white, red, or pink?” I asked.

“It doesn’t matter. I’ll like it if it scored 90 points.”

“Hmm, would you like it hard, tannic and clueless, or plump, smooth and gullible?”

“Any of the above will do nicely.” She said, “Providing it scored 90 points.”
So I sold her a 90 point wine. It received 90 points from my uncle Ralph the sheep farmer and part time wine blogger, but it scored 90 points nonetheless and she was happy.

People like that scare me, which is why I’m feeling some trepidation about writing my first wine blog. I haven’t taken any formal writing classes but I have attended my share of grand cru classés. What if my gallant efforts amount to nothing more than noble rot? What happens if I write knowingly about the microclimate and soil of a region but you think my wisenheimer wisecracks are terroirble?

I ask that you stick with me for a while even if my snarky sarcasm is not your cup of Chablis, because sooner or later my blogs will grow on you, kind of like planter’s warts or ringworm.

Wine Snark Intro 1Look, I’m going to need your help if I’m ever going to get noticed by Alfred A. Knopf or even Alfred E. Newman, so here’s my offer to all you wine aficionados out there. Read my blog for a while. Love it, hate it, I don’t care, but know this; if you don’t “share”, “follow” and “like” this site, I’ll blow away this bottle of 1982 Chateau Margaux!

That’s right; if this blog site doesn’t have 100,000 visitors within one year, I put a cap in its capsule. Well I don’t actually own a gun, but I own a corkscrew so don’t underestimate me, share this blog or the wine gets it, one way or the other.


  1. Ben Carter
    Jan 30, 2014

    This was more ripe with innuendo than any whiny message heard through the grape vine. Jolly good stuff, I could really see this growing into something sweet.

    • Don Carter
      Jan 30, 2014

      That’s jolly good commentary Ben. The grape doesn’t fall far from the vine in this family – I may have to pick up the fruits of your labor someday (AKA steal your ideas). Stay tuned for more innuendo, double entendre, and general hijinks.

  2. Bill Wright
    Jan 30, 2014

    Thank you Mr. Snark. I am looking for a nice Super Bowl wine. Could you recommend something about 92 points in pink that emits a bouquet with hints of manure and coffee?

    • Don Carter
      Jan 30, 2014

      You can call me Snarky. My Dad is Mr. Snark. I don’t know of any Super Bowl wines with a bouquet of coffee and manure, but how about something from the Tidy Bowl? Coincidentally, in my house, coffee scents are often followed by aromas of manure.

  3. Jeff Stadelman
    Jan 30, 2014

    When blogging, speak slowing and use short syllable words because I am in the retail wine and liquor business.

    • Don Carter
      Jan 30, 2014

      I can relate. At a trade tasting last year, one of those Real Housewives from NY was pouring her new wines. When I asked her what she made, she replied, “I make both kinds, red and white.” When she leaned forward and gave me a glimpse of the hills and valleys of her homeland, I bought 20 cases.

      • notable wine
        Feb 2, 2014

        I’m so ashamed. I just can’t compete.

  4. Ryan Cote
    Jan 30, 2014

    Don, good luck with this website. I don’t usually read a blog post from start to finish, but your witty writing kept my attention. If there’s anything I can do to help you, let me know. I’ll work for wine…as long as it’s 90+ points.

    • Don Carter
      Jan 30, 2014

      That’s high praise coming from an internet guru like you, and I’m impressed you stuck with me for 782 words – that’s like the Harry Potter 7 of blogs. If you’ll consider working for wines rated 90+ by my Uncle Ralph, I may take you up on your offer!

  5. Ruth Kalamaridis
    Feb 2, 2014

    We are true followers of Don’s passion and history of winemaking! One of the great storytellers! Looking forward to your reading your book when it’s published!

    • Don Carter
      Feb 2, 2014

      Thanks Ruth. I’m thinking I should write the book as a graphic novel – you know spice it up a little. Besides, pictures take up so much more room than words. Can’t decide if I should draw myself in a trench coat and fedora or in a cape with leotards.

    Feb 4, 2014

    DON. You know I am not a blogger, but a fan and friend; read this and as always very impressed. I really think you have “missed your calling” and any ad agency would be proud to have you. Or, write a column. A blog. Magz articles, NP column, Novels. Whatever… but no need to sell wine. Sell your writing ability. Some have it. Some don’t. You do. Just write.

    • Don Carter
      Feb 4, 2014

      Thanks Leon. I do love to write but I don’t think I have the speed to turn out articles for magazines. I’m just too picky about words and can’t stop editing myself. I may “have it” but the doctor told me some cream should get rid of it in a week.

      • Jeff Carter
        Feb 19, 2014

        Gotta love the brett.
        Like the blog lots, will help you get to 100,000 but you gotta share. And not some old crap (can I say crap, I had a hard time getting cat pee past the censors on my other comment). I want something BREWED in the 19″90″. A nice Belgian would be be most fine. That one in the pic may make a nice cooking wine. You may like my recipe for Frites w/ a nice Chateau Margaux Aioli (thats mayo by the way)