Turn Up The Broadband.

Can’t You Feel The Algorithm!

turn up the broadband ransom noteThis cork is from a precious bottle of 1982 Chateau Margaux. If yous wants to see the rest of this bottle alive, yous better follow this blog, cause if it don’t have 100,000 visitors within one year, the Margaux meets its maker – and I ain’t talkin’ about Corinne Mentzelopoulos…


I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to embrace this whole blogging idea if I plan on attracting enough followers to get noticed by a bona fide book publisher and save my bottle of ‘82 Margaux from a horrible end.

You’re probably thinking, “Why bother with a traditional publisher. Get with the times, self-publish, write an e-book, create a podcast then shut up and drink your fancy-schmansy wine.”

Let me explain why that’s not a viable option. Technology makes me break out in bytes. Lots of them – I’m talking megabytes. After an hour at the computer I usually head to the scroll bar to drink and dance because I’m overcome with the fever-induced misconception that I’ve suddenly developed algorithm. Oddly enough I react the same way to Tequila and British sitcoms.

I know this hertz my blogger image but it’s not my default. Until last year I thought bluetooth was something you got from drinking Shiraz, overwrite meant you used too many adjectives, and broadband is what you called the Indigo Girls. But I’m coming around, my technological platform has been built, and I’m here to blog.

Blogging is a new format for me so I’ll need some guidelines if I intend to entertain a bunch of freeloading wine geeks so I can sell books to people with money and real jobs. The time has come to turn cépage and lose the oak chip on my shoulder.

I’ll need fortification … so I’ll pour myself a brandy. This will come in handy if my writing becomes too dry and I have to stop the blogmentation. Better yet, since this blog is to be my magnum opus, I’ll open a magnum of Opus.

I’ll employ new writing methods, like the Method Champenoise to ensure my blog sparkles. Each week I’ll pick a subject and use my new formula to fill in de blancs. I’ll plant a seed and let it ripen in the inebriated terroir of my brain (the perfect compost for raising ideas – it’s full of schist), then I’ll compose my blog and let it breathe until it’s ready to drink in.

Like the great chateaux, I’ll use crop thinning to eliminate excessive adjectives, a process more commonly known as crap thinning. I’ll allow each blog to ferment until the humor is fully dry and finally, I’ll drone on and on because every wine geek knows a long finish is a sign of quality.

Perhaps I’ll start with a historical blog, you know, something about the phyloxera epidemic. But I suppose most of my readers already know phyloxera was the era following the Jurassic era.

Maybe I’ll write about something technical, like night harvesting when the sugar levels drop and picking takes place when the grapes, skins and pips are at their optimum ripeness. You heard it through the grapevine that I’m going to call that blog glad it’s night and the pips.

I’ll need to uncork a unique theme for my blog site of course, one that encapsulates my twisted view of the wine world. I’ve been studying wine for 30 years, five ounces at a time, and I’ve come to realize that so far I’ve been taught very little worth sharing.

I’ve been schooled, seminar-ed and tasted until I was blue in the face and purple in the mouth; I can tell you how the maritime climate influences the production of wine in Sanlúcar de Barrameda or how the Humboldt Current affects the vineyards of northern Chile (my education may have taught me a lot of useless things about wine – but at least it was thorough). I’ve read voluminous works on the subject that never really answer the questions on everyone’s lips. “What does wine taste like? How do I describe what I taste? How do I pair this wine with my dinner? Will there be another Brady Bunch reunion?”

Through it all I’ve clung to one simple truth that will be the cornerstone of my platform; drinking wine should be fun. Sure wine drinking is a civilized pursuit, rich in history and able to conjure up profound emotions with a simple sniff, but it’s also how people get snockered. So if you’re seeking a little guidance about the flavor of wine, how you perceive it, describe it, and how food affects your perceptions of it (and you don’t mind an occasional foray into wise-ass debauchery) then pour yourself a glass of wine and let’s get this party started.


  1. GF
    Feb 5, 2014

    Right from the get-go or attack, if you will, & right through to the finish this was a complex, full-bodied, & viscous essay!

    • Don Carter
      Feb 9, 2014

      I try to keep my writing as full-bodied and viscous as a Turley Zinfandel because then it pairs deliciously with the foot I already have in my mouth.

    • GF
      Feb 10, 2014


  2. Richard Bucher
    Feb 5, 2014

    Great start Don. We will miss you at The Wine Seller, but want to wish all the best with your new endeavor. We will be frequent readers. Rich and Annemarie

    • Don Carter
      Feb 5, 2014

      Thanks Richard & Annemarie. This has been an emotional night for me so I’m not feeling very snarky. As you know I announced my departure from The Wine Seller about 2 hours ago and my phone has been ringing and pinging ever since. I’ve been trying to keep up with the responses but the cumulative affect of the outpouring of good wishes, shared memories, and sad goodbyes has been overwhelming. I made lots of friends, forged many strong bonds, and experienced some tremendous times over the past 20 years and I will miss you and the hundreds of others that may have started as customers but parted as friends. I will continue as a purchasing and marketing consultant for The Wine Seller, so you can rest assured that when new wines show up on the shelf I probably had a hand in their selection. Meanwhile I am headed west. To paraphrase Rod Stewart, I’m going to find myself a winery that needs a helping hand. I will sorely miss the life I built these past 20 years and the people like you that shared it with me.