Thursday, April 24, 2014
My somewhat deranged intern Lo Hai Qu showed up more hungover than usual the other day, and when I asked her what she’d been up to, she said she had been conducting a social experiment with her girlfriends, and asked if she could publish some of the results on HoseMaster of Wine™. I have no idea what she meant, but I told her she could write about it here. I’m going to regret this, but here she is, the inimitable Lo Hai Qu:
So me and my friends joined this wine expert dating site, Geekholes.com, cuz we’re all like sick of the dickwads who hit on us at wine bars. Like this one guy comes up to us and says, “Hey, sexy, if you got a split, I’ve got just the magnum that will fit.” I thought Loqueesha was gonna hurl her Prosecco at him. Not the glass, she was just going to hurl. She crazy. But I just gave the wad my Lo-cut dressing down look and told his sorry ass, “If I wanted to screw a loser, I’d buy a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.” Another time me and Shizzangela was gettin’ our drink on, Shizzy all upset because Dr. Conti dumped her for some white chick with an M.W. (Massive Wormhole), and this dildo walks up, can’t he see we’re drowning our sorrows in Moscato, and says to her, “You’re so beautiful, I’ll bet your tears taste salty like great Manzanilla.” Which Shizzy thought “Manzanilla” was that big dinosaur that ate Tokyo so she goes, “How’d you like me to teach you how to detect sulfur by shoving your head up your ass?” So we decided we’d sign up for Geekholes.com and see if we could find us some maybe older guys who’d buy us really good Champagne, like Veulva Clicquot or one of those expensive new Growler Champagnes, though why the fuck you’d put Champagne in a bucket I don’t know. Anyways, I like beer in a bucket cuz I prefer a pail ale, but Champagne? I want to try that!
Geekholes.com is kinda like one of those wine chat rooms, you know, those wine chat rooms where there’s hardly any women so the boys can break out their wine hardons and wave them around like they’re playing Dungeons and Dragons with their meat thiefs. I was looking at one of those stupid chat rooms, like it was called winebazookas or something, and it was such a waste of time. Like there’s a million posts, but only three different topics. “Hey, the new BlowJob releases are out! Who gets to taste them first?” And, “Last night I drank a wine that got a bunch of points and you didn’t, Tiny Balls.” And, of course, “Anyone here ever had sex with a woman that you didn’t fold up and put back in the bag after?” Fuck, are those guys for real? I guess you get old and if you know a lot about wine being on those chat rooms, it’s basically just like strokin’ it to online porn, only when you finally let the gunk fly, you’re saying your own name outloud.
So I sign up for Geekholes.com just for laughs. Lo doesn’t have any problems getting dates. I get hit on more than one of that asshole rapper Chris Brown’s girls. And like I got so many Friends with Benefits I could start my own Blue Cross—I issue ‘em cards and sign ‘em all up for Lobamacare. Lobamacare is just like Obamacare--we’re all gonna get fucked. But I thought it would be hilarious to date some wine experts, like, just sit there on a date and see the looks on their faces when they’re sitting across from an actual woman. Well, me and my girls, we thought it was a good idea at the time. But it sucked like wine-by-the-glass at a Chinese restaurant. Dating wine experts is like reading those fancyass wine descriptions that those shithead wine writers crank out—their words always make them sound good, but you put ‘em in your mouth and there’s just nothin’ there.
About ten seconds after I put my profile on Geekholes I had like fifty date requests. Loqueesha had about a thousand, but that’s because under “Likes” she put “AC/DC” thinkin’ that was what they call those French appellation laws. I told her that’s “AOC” but she says that’s stupid, “AOC” is the beginning words to the “Star Spangled Banner.” She always trying to sound smart about wine, but she don’t know Riesling from Ryan Gosling. Anyhow, I was trolling through my date requests and see this kinda cute sommelier who’s asking to take me out for coffee. Like I’m gonna get all Tête du Cuvée’d up for a cheapass date at Starbuck’s—I’ve got better Têtes than that. And he’s not that cute, he’s just sommelier cute, which is like being Lite beer. It’s not really beer, but there’s nothing else to call it. So I tell him if he wants a date with Lo, go big or join the Go Fuck Yourself Club™. Man, is that Club getting full. I’m going to have to start a waiting list for new members, especially with the new Poodle Awards coming soon.
I never dated a somm before. Turns out “somm” is short for Sominex. This dude was talking about wine nonstop and I was about to pass out into my bean burrito. Yeah, that’s right, he takes me to a Mexican restaurant. Asshole. He asks me before the date if I like salsa, right, and I think he means dancing, so I get all excited. I should have known--somms can’t dance. All they can do is curate. He tells me he spends a lot of time curating his wine list, like he’s running a fuckin’ museum. Yeah, MOMA. Museum of Modern Assholes. So this somm is so dull he makes those Sister Karen MacNeil videos seem hilarious. Which they are if you’re wasted from huffin’ Private Preserve, which is a great high, and you’re still fresh in the morning, but otherwise those might be the lamest wine shit on the Internet since that Suckling dude doing his best Phillip Seymour Hoffman self-destruct act rating wines. Every Go Fuck Yourself Club™ needs a Suckling member. If you get my drift.
The HoseMaster told me I shouldn’t date somms, and he would know. Well, his poor wife would know. It’s an obsession being a somm, like the most important thing in the world is wine, like how many "unicorns" you drank last week. Yeah, like little girls, somms chase unicorns. It also explains why most of them are virgins. Not that they care. Wine they can put in little compartments, like that one’s “natural,” or that one is made from Nebbiolo, or that one is “Grand Cru.” You do that with people, and, well, your life is gonna get tough. So they don’t bother with people. They hang around with other Geekholes, bragging about their wine knowledge, and never really wonderin’ if that’s the way to spend your life, tasting wine instead of people. I kinda feel sorry for them. No, not really, that’s not how Lo rolls. Some people think knowing a lot about wine is something to be proud of. Well, that and Boner In a Can® will get you laid.
Monday, April 21, 2014
I seem to have a lot on my mind. When I sit down to write a new piece for HoseMaster of Wine™, I often don’t know where to begin. It’s obvious I also don’t know when to end. I keep a running list of ideas for the blog, and I never run out of ideas, but many of those ideas are not good enough to warrant an entire piece. Which assumes I have any ideas that are worthy of an entire piece. So I thought I’d assemble a few of those random ideas and make a throwaway post out of them, a kind of closet cleaning, taking all the worthless crap to the Salvation Army. You can sift through all of my junk ideas and see if there’s anything you want. Leave a little change on the front counter. It’s all for charity.
Hey, it's a slow day after Easter, a Monday, time to throw out the trash.
Does anyone doubt that the major wine publications, not to mention Wine Enthusiast, have inflated wine scores over the past decade? Their explanation is that wines are simply better than they’ve ever been. This might be true, but it’s a stupid argument. If wines are better than they’ve ever been, then adjust the goddam scale. Here’s an analogy. Gymnasts are also better than they’ve ever been. Way better. Almost every woman gymnast now has a more difficult routine, and is better, than Nadia Comăneci was when she scored the first perfect 10 at the 1976 Olympic Games, yet not one of them scored a 10 in the most recent Summer Olympics. Why? They adjusted the scoring, recognizing that the bar for the sport was being set a lot higher as the competitors improved. Why can’t wine writers do the same with wine scores? It would bring some actual meaning back to a 95 point wine when it becomes a rare occurrence. Those thousands and thousands of 89 point wines, why can’t they become 80 point wines? That’s what they are. Wouldn’t it be nice to read a review of a wine and be excited that it got 91 points? No one gives a crap about a 91 point wine any more. That’s like falling twice off the balance beam. The whole team is laughing at you.
My beautiful wife remarked to me the other day, “You’re the Napa Valley Wine Twain.” Not true, but a quality joke.
Why don’t I have a Wikipedia Entry, OR a Facebook HoseMaster of Wine™ Fan Page?
This is a complete mystery to me. I have two, yes, two Wine Blog Awards! I’ve been featured in countless publications, a few of which still exist. I’m a famous sommelier. I bet Raj Parr has a fucking Wikipedia entry. But he’s a kiss-ass, and that’s how it works. Only kiss-asses get Wikipedia entries when they’re alive and not really anybody—Alder probably has one too. So, OK, now I don’t want a stupid Wikipedia page.
The Most Interesting Man in the Wine World
“He can use his tongue in place of an ah-so."
“He’s given an orgasm to every M.W.—blind.”
“He drew the maps for the Cistercian monks.”
“Winery dogs lick his balls.”
“He sabers Champagne with his penis.”
He’s the Most Interesting Man in the Wine World:
“I don’t always drink wine, but when I do, I drink somebody else’s.”
STEVE! A Throwaway Joke
The wine world was surprised by Steve Heimoff's announcement that he was leaving his job as wine critic for Wine Enthusiast to take a position with Jackson Family Estates. The surprise is everyone thought he'd been working there the past ten years.
Wine Blog Leagues
I always think that the wine blog world in the United States should break up into competitive leagues—Western Division, Central Division, Eastern Division and Southern Division. It’s kind of that way anyway, when you think about it, but we should formalize it. And then have playoffs at the end of the year. I know my Western Division would kick ass. I mean, look at our lineup! Heimoff leading off—he’s a pesky little hitter, a guy who knows how to work the count, and with him at the top of the lineup, well, he scores a lot. Then behind him you have Wark, who can hit from both sides of the plate, often at the same time, not with any power, but gets on the other team’s nerves constantly. Alder bats third—sure, he’s way past his prime, but he’ll see even more softballs thrown at him with the HoseMaster batting cleanup! Every Poodle knows the HoseMaster has all the power. Behind me, you’ve got Samantha Sans Dosage—she brings a big bat and isn't afraid to swing it. Hitting sixth is Charlie Olken—easy out, but has a big fan base. W. Blinky bats seventh—constantly and effortlessly strikes out, but, hey, he looks good doing it. I mean, this is a strong team. Some speed at the bottom of the lineup with RJonWine—no one can catch him with 200 wines in front of him, except maybe Alder, but Alder’s lost a step since he’s carrying an M.W. around. And, for gravitas, WakaWaka hits ninth—she has VERY long at-bats, which really wear down the opponents.
The Central Division? What a joke. Nothing but sissies. Alfonso—come on! All talk. Dr. Jeremy Parzen? Oh, please, the guy’s all flab—he put the high Ph in Ph. D. And with the Wine Curmudgeon in the lineup, well, cheap is the active word.
The Eastern Division looks formidable—1WineDoody, Dr. Vino, Lenn Thompson, Evan Dawson, Meg Houston Maker? Looks impressive. But, really, when you take a close look at them, it’s all empty chatter. Not a power hitter in the bunch, just a lot of reputation with nothing to back it up. Yeah, they have Asimov, but it’s a team game. He tries, but he just can’t carry that dead weight East Coast load.
Well, you get the idea. Fun idea, but way too Inside Baseball. But bloggers love to see their names on HoseMaster of Wine™!
Thursday, April 17, 2014
You don’t have to know much about wine to enjoy it, and you need to know even less to write about it. Knowledge can enhance your pleasure drinking wine, but it gets in the way of writing a wine blog. This is yet another of wine’s mysteries, like why so much wine tastes alike. No one knows why so many wines taste alike, though I think we all agree they do, but it does explain why so many of them receive exactly 89 points. When it comes to wine, shit just works out. You will find that if you become interested in wine, knowing more about it will enhance your experience, deepen your relationship with wine. This is how wine differs from women.
My goal in publishing The HoseMaster of Wine™ Wine Class is simple. I’m tired of answering stupid questions from readers individually, so I’ll answer those idiotic questions here, in a format that won’t single you out as one of the dumbest wine drinkers since Kathy Lee Gifford. At the end of each month’s course, I hope you’ll be encouraged to return, discuss the wines I’ve recommended, and pray to Almighty God I won’t be present in the comments to ridicule your puny and irrelevant “insights.” I think you’ll find that by participating you’ll discover just how little you actually know about wine, and you will begin to keep your thoughts to yourself when among more knowledgeable wine people. I see this as a public service.
As you follow my lead and taste the wines I tell you to, you’ll begin to understand your own tastes and where you have failed to appreciate how much better mine are. Wine can be an intimidating subject, but that’s what makes it worth knowing about. Lots of beverages will get you drunk, but when you know about wine you can use that knowledge to intimidate other people, and that’s where much of the joy of wine lies. If you take my Wine Class seriously, soon you’ll be able to make your superiors look stupid, and, honestly, isn’t that just about the best thing in life? Aside from setting cats on fire?
I taste hundreds upon thousands of wine each year, but tasting is different than drinking, in much the way a food fight is different than eating. When you taste a wine and write about it as a professional, you’re extrapolating from that tiny taste how you think it will go with food, how it will age, and how it measures up against other wines in its category. How is this like a food fight? People throw shit at you when you do it, that’s how. Fat people with powerful wine publications. When you drink, you make all that go away. You can assess the wine with food, learn about it as it evolves over the course of the evening, and maybe work up the courage to tell your critics to fuck themselves with a four-foot ah-so. This is the way to learn about wine.
The class will require some work on your part. Genius. I’d like for you to take notes on each wine. If you want to go all Schildknecht (check Wikipedia under "Logorrhea"), use your imagination, describe smells and tastes that can’t possibly be there. That’s a good way to feel superior to the others, and increase your vocabulary. But, for the most part, I’d recommend you stick to your general impressions of the wine. Is it red, and why? Hold the glass up to the light and admire the legs. Idiot, the legs don't matter, I'm just screwin' with you. Would you describe the aroma as intense or is it delicate? You’re old, how do you know you’re not just losing your sense of smell like so many of our prominent wine critics? Does the aroma change, and if so, did you blame the dog? Would you say the texture is soft and silky like the inside of your mistress’ thighs? Or is it harsh, like the feel of her whip? And why are you so easily aroused, what does that say about you? Finally, what is your overall impression of the wine? Did you find it pleasant or profound? Or did you find it crappy despite knowing you’d be wrong because I selected the wines, you moron, and what do you know? These are all questions I’d like you to entertain, as well as what makes you think anyone will even read your thoughts about wine? There, now you know what it’s like to have your own blog.
My purpose is to get you to think about wine in a way you may never have before, that is, from an educated perspective, not your usual stultifying ignorance. Those of you who are already knowledgeable about wine might find that joining in the discussion will reaffirm your own particular arrogance in a pleasing manner. Perhaps wine’s best quality is its ability to powerfully affirm self-importance. This is certainly reflected in all of the wine world’s major personalities, some of whom should probably be publicly shamed only they’re too drunk most of the time to notice, often appearing in worthless videos dressed in a nun’s habit. Yup, I’m talking to you, Jon Bonné.
Alright, let’s get started. What better wine region to begin with than Bordeaux? Everyone acknowledges that France makes the finest wines in the world. In fact, you’ll find that the countries that make the best wines are the countries that hate Americans the most—France, Germany, Italy and, of course, Napa Valley. There was a time when every beginning wine drinker cut his teeth on Bordeaux. Now no one gives a crap about Bordeaux except the face-obsessed Chinese. But I think that Bordeaux still has a lot to offer the novice because once you discover how overrated the wines are, you have learned a lot about wine. I’ve recommended a few wines, but, truly, considering the ones you can afford, you’ll find that a wine from any vintage from any appellation will disappoint.
Try to match the Bordeaux with a simple meal. Beef would work, even something so simple as Grandma’s Alpo. Note how the wine enhances, or fails to enhance, the meal. Think about ways you might better have spent the forty bucks the Bordeaux cost you, say by giving Grandma some human food. Everything I’ve mentioned in this beginning column is important to your ultimate appreciation of wine. If at the end of these Wine Classes you don’t feel more comfortable about wine, you’ll have only yourself to blame. I can’t hold your goddam hand all the time.
Finally, don’t worry about the glassware you use. Like you would. Make sure and put lipstick on before you taste or you’ll look like you don’t have any self-respect. Men, mind the backwash, what are you, a hillbilly? Use any glass you like; especially with Bordeaux, it just won’t matter. Worrying about using the proper wine glass when you drink wine is like worrying about what kind of paper bag you put the dog shit in before you light it on fire on your neighbor’s porch. It just doesn’t matter, it’s the quality of what’s in it that counts.