The Best Of WineSnark 2017

Authentic 100% Top QualityEver since grade school I’ve felt motivated to express myself through writing and by the time I was ten years old I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up; a mortgage banker. That’s right, I figured I’d make a fortune writing books so that I could follow my true passion; reading amortization schedules.

January is when we reflect on the memorable moments of the past year and I can think of no better way to bid 2017 adieu (that’s French for good riddance) than with a glass of wine. On second thought, better make that a bottle of wine. A magnum should suffice.

Once you have your glass in hand it’s time to settle in and analyze all the great accomplishments of 2017. To help you sort through the maze of mediocrity, lists have been compiled, magazines have been published, and awards shows have been scheduled. To absorb it all I suggest you set aside a full 10 seconds of your time. Every January I close my eyes, pinch my nose and select some favorite WineSnark moments from the previous year because I firmly believe any joke worth telling is worth telling again and again.

And again.

I’ve narrowed this year’s list down to just 20 snarky observations, some of which I’ve edited for brevity and because my New Year’s resolution is to spend less on ink cartridges. If you don’t find these observations humorous then you obviously haven’t had enough to drink. This might be a good time to switch to whiskey.  A magnum should suffice.

Here then are some of the lighter moments shared on WineSnark in 2017.

• Lately I’ve come across several articles about rejecting a flawed bottle of wine when it arrives at your table. I thought I’d join the conversation since I’ve been married for over 30 years and that qualifies me as an expert in rejection.

• Of course price is insignificant to a big spender who spares no expense when he takes his wife out to dinner. I know because there was one at the table next to us.

• I’m drinking beer as I write this which means I’ll forfeit any chance of winning a Wine Blog Award. This article won’t even qualify for a beer-writing award because I used too many four-syllable words.

• India Pale Ale (IPA) pairs well with fatty Thanksgiving foods because the searing hop levels deliver loads of bitterness. I usually opt for something with less bite because if I want that much bitterness on Thanksgiving I’ll just talk to my mother-in-law.

• What you want to do with a well-aged wine is carefully decant it to eliminate the sediment, let it gently breath to allow it to blossom into its fullest potential, and then quickly drink it before the guests arrive.Winesnark Wally World 2 poster

• I’m not one to obsess over matching specific wine varietals to their own particular type of wine glass. Just last week I tasted Shiraz from a Riedel Syrah glass and I couldn’t even tell they were spelled differently.

• I always make the kids leave the room when the football game starts. This begins with some simple cajoling but usually ends with a tantrum and a lot of tears. Sometimes the kids get upset too.

• I was so disheartened by the Giants playoff loss that I actually stopped eating for a minute. I felt more deflated than Tom Brady’s football.

• Thanksgiving is that special time of year when wine bloggers give thanks for the overabundance of tired old clichés they get to recycle. I firmly believe that writers shouldn’t rehash old boring clichés. My job as a writer is to create new boring clichés.

• It’s been nearly three years since I first put pun to paper for this blog and most nights I still find myself thoughtfully staring into the monitor, a glass of wine in hand, thinking, “I wonder what’s on HBO.”

Winesnark cat with wine• I don’t really get along with cats. There’s just something about that self- absorbed, narcissistic, egocentric demeanor that my cats don’t like. I don’t know why I mentioned my cats. I usually keep my felines to myself.

• For some unfathomable reason, my wife thinks you need to have people over when you throw a Super Bowl party. I allowed her to invite some friends because I’m a thoughtful, considerate husband and because she scares the bejesus out of me. Unfortunately this means I’ll have to watch the game with my pants on. I prefer watching the game alone because I don’t like to answer a lot of complex questions like, “What’s a play action pass?” or “Who farted?

• When I was dating my wife we’d dance and drink Rosé d’Anjou like a couple of sophisticated continentals until we puked. Today Rosé d’Anjou has fallen out of fashion as young American consumers have decided it’s much classier to puke Provence rosé.

• My family comes over for Thanksgiving which means an assortment of drunkards, criminals, and racists will soon be gorging themselves on my hard-earned bounty. No wait, that’s not my family, that’s congress. I want to stress in no uncertain terms that my family are not drunkards, criminals, or racists; they’re just drunkards.

• My cousin Eddie is a Presbyterian which means that while the Unitarians are seeking proof of the Holy Spirit, he’s in the kitchen seeking 80 proof spirits. I don’t mean to offend anyone. You should know it’s okay for me to make jokes about Presbyterian drunkards because I was raised one-half drunkard.

• As it just so happens, turkey has more umami than any other meat. Now don’t get nervous and cancel your Thanksgiving turkey; umami isn’t some flesh-eating bacteria or breast-enhancing hormone, those are added later.

• Noble rot is a fungus that affects grapes and is not a reference to atrocious aristocrats like King Henry VIII. Hank may have been a fun guy when he wasn’t beheading his wives but he’s not the same fungi responsible for the sweet wines of Anjou-Saumur.

• Since fermentation imbues wine and beer with both umami and alcohol, they pair beautifully with the turkey sitting on the table and help you get through dinner with the turkeys sitting at the table. Suffice it to say that without fermentation Pinot Noir wouldn’t have a magical kinship with turkey and beer wouldn’t have an endorsement deal with NASCAR.

• My family’s wine glass standards are slightly more relaxed than mine which comes as no surprise to those familiar with their standards in cleanliness, clothes and spouses.

• Movies have the Oscars, theatre has the Tonys, television has the Emmys, and it has just been announced that WineSnark has something in common with the winners of these prestigious awards. That’s right, I am also a pathetic, insecure narcissist desperately seeking validation!

In 2017 it became increasingly difficult to produce articles with any regularity so I’d like to start 2018 by thanking you for putting up with my irregularity. One of the reasons I found it difficult to produce a weekly post was because my job kept cutting into my personal time. It didn’t matter if the creative juices were flowing or it was perfect weather for golf, my boss actually expected me to go to work. And by “boss” I mean “wife”.

In 2018 I will continue to eke out articles for WineSnark in the spare time between work, golf and reading amortization schedules. I’m committed to my faithful readers, all nine or ten of you, because you continue to make my hit counter spin. I don’t know exactly what that means but I do know that WineSnark will reach one million hits in 2018 and that will make my mother very happy. You see I told her that when we reach a million she can stop visiting the site 300 times a day.



  1. Joe Hopkins
    Jan 29, 2018

    Don — With all the junk e-mail I receive and routinely discard, an update from the Wine Snark is a welcome oasis in that wasteland which I stop and read immediately. And then discard.

    In all seriousness, thanks for keeping up the writing, it’s great and always informative and enjoyable. And even though my wife has zero interest in wine and thinks I’m ridiculous for owning a decanter and having bottles pile up in the basement, that just means there is more for me. Not the guests or family, what do they know.

    Have a great 2018!


    • Don Carter
      Jan 29, 2018

      Hey Joe,
      I like the way you think. Collect, age, decant, let breathe, then quickly drink before the friends and family arrive!
      Thanks for writing – it’s good to know there’s someone listening out there.

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