Monday, July 2, 2018
I recently sat for the Master of Wine exam. I was in my own apartment, alone, and I was wearing only a bath robe and a Donald Trump merkin, which is how I imagined an insane person would take the test. I aced it. Insane people always do.
I’m not sure why people imagine it to be a difficult exam. Have you met any MWs? How hard could it be? I found it rather simple. Wine isn’t particularly challenging to understand. It’s made from grapes, rather like steaks are made from cows. Both are meant to be delicious. And, coincidentally, recent studies have shown that a large contributor to climate change is the methane produced by the belching of WSET candidates. It’s neat when things start to add up.
I remain the World's Only HMW, but I thought it might be interesting to take the Theory portion of the Master of Wine exam and see how I'd do. Luckily, the Court always publishes the questions from the exam every year. They're often quite whimsical. One of the questions this year asked which two grape varieties, one white and one red, would you rescue from a pernicious global wine disease. I love science fiction. The whole business of tasting and reviewing wines is based on science fiction. I couldn't decide which two varieties to save. Instead, I wondered which two MWs I would save, one man and one woman, if there were a disease that only killed MWs. I decided it might be best to let them all go. The two I saved might mate.
For the questions and answers, you'll have to go to the site of that most prestigious of MWs, Tim Atkin. I was surprised at how easy the test was, but you can judge for yourself. Though it's no longer in vogue, feel free to leave your comments, or alternative answers, at Tim's place. Or, if you must, check in here with your various witticisms and thoughts. Which two varieties would you save?
TIM ATKIN MW
Monday, June 4, 2018
“You want to know what really drives me nuts?” Sam Euthanasia, World’s Oldest Wine Critic, tells me, “The whole place smells like pee. It’s like spending the day judging goddam supermarket New Zealand sauvignon blanc. And if I wanted to smell Band-Aid, I’d buy wines Neal Martin recommended. I’m old, but I can still smell, for Christ’s sake. I can’t remember what it is I’m smelling, but I can smell it. I’m turning into Laube.”
A peek into the future, and a visit to the Napa Valley Old Wine Critics Home. My old friend Sam Euthanasia gives me some insight into what it's like at the rest home for iconic wine critics. As ever, use the link to read the rest of the piece over at Tim Atkin's site. And, as ever, please feel free to leave a response, a comment, a fond wish that I'd finally really retire. Every little bit helps. Or, of course, your comments are welcome here. Perhaps one day you'll be eligible for the Sonoma County Old Common Taters Home.
TIM ATKIN MW
Monday, May 7, 2018
He was the most handsome man in the bar. I knew he was the one when he walked over to the jukebox and selected my favorite song—The Police’s “Qvevri Little Thing She Does is Magic.”
He caught my eye and then casually took the bar stool next to mine and introduced himself.
“Hello,” he said, “I’m Nat. I’m hoping you want me to be your Pet.”
We've all got our kinks. I've long been a fan of erotica, whether written by Anaïs Nin or Steve Bannon, so I thought I'd try my hand at arousing the partisans of natural wine. God knows, they seem so joyless, it might help. You can read the dirty stuff at Tim Atkin's site, the home of wine erotica. Feel free to leave your breathless and satisfied comments at Tim's site, or, if it makes you hot, return here, have a satisfying smoke, and lay your thoughts on me. I need a cold shower. Or any shower, for that matter.
TIM ATKIN MW
Monday, April 2, 2018
Hello, I’m Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association inviting you to become a member of the NRA Wine Club. At the NRA, we believe that nothing goes better with live ammunition than several glasses of specially-selected NRA Wine Club wines. Let’s face it, friends, if your weapon is loaded, you’re better off being loaded, too.
There really is a NRA Wine Club. It seems like the worst idea since the Edward Scissorhands Vasectomy Clinic. I didn't have it in me to actually join the NRA Wine Club and taste the wines. I think I'd rather put a loaded gun in my mouth. But I thought it might be fun to share the introductory letter I received from the NRA's Sociopath in Chief, Wayne LaPierre. It's set to ambush you over on Tim Atkin's site. Please leave your comments there, or, if you must, take your potshots at me here.
TIM ATKIN MW
Monday, March 5, 2018
The two words that come to mind when one thinks of the “Wine Spectator’s” lineup of wine critics—James Laube, Matt Kramer, Tim Fish, James Molesworth, Harvey Steiman, et al.—is Artificial Intelligence. And, in fact, the entire publication is written by software developed by the entrepreneur Elon Muscadet. I suspect that the news that “Wine Spectator” is written by a machine will not come as a shock to anyone who reads it, but, nonetheless, it’s an astonishing achievement.
Artificial Intelligence is slowly taking over our world. By the way, why are they always portrayed as women? Siri and Alexa and Ivanka... Anyhow, I recently uncovered the uncomfortable truth that "Wine Spectator" is entirely computer generated. Seen in that light, the magazine starts to make sense. You can read the full report only at TimAtkin.com. You might be surprised to learn that my jokes are also entirely written by a computer app. Not that surprised, I'm sure. Feel free to leave your randomly generated thoughts there, or wander on back over here where Artificial Intelligence was invented.
TIM ATKIN MW
Monday, February 5, 2018
Hello! And welcome to So You Wanna Be a Wine Judge.Com!, your online wine judge certification program. Once you complete this simple online course, you’ll be completely qualified to judge in any wine competition in the world! You may even be overqualified. It’s a little-known fact that proven wine knowledge is not required to be a wine judge at many major wine competitions. Believe it or not, it’s actually frowned upon! Expert opinions are overrated, tiresome, and unwelcome where real people judge wine. What is required? You’re about to find out! Let’s begin.
There are hundreds of wine competitions held every year. Many, if not most, are for profit. There's no money in being a judge--most competitions pay travel expenses and a few hundred dollars for a couple of days work. Others, notably the "prestigious" SF Chronicle Wine Competition, pay nothing. Zero. Nada. So I thought it was time for an online course that would qualify anyone to judge, anyone to make absolutely nothing judging wines for wine competition promoters and wine country newspapers. Just hop on over to Tim Atkin's blog and you can become a wine judge TODAY! You're welcome!
TIM ATKIN MW
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
When I first began blogging about wine back in 1988, there wasn’t even an internet. The whole world was like North Korea, except with dogs. That didn’t stop me from writing a weekly blog about wine. (I’m actually the person who came up with the word “blog,” which was based on the noise my stomach made when I sat down to write. I also coined “tweet,” which had to do with flatulence, and, given the 45th President, has never been more appropriate.) Without the internet, my blog (I was then the “HoseApprentice of Wine™”) wasn’t widely read. So nothing has changed.
I must say, my predictions for 30 years in the future are astonishingly accurate. Maybe I should take a whack at 2048. What do I care about 2048? I'll be either dead, or 96, or both. To read my prescient 20th Century remarks, you'll have to head to Tim Atkin's site. It's a New Year, friends! Let's celebrate with lots of clever remarks and witty banter over on Tim's. Or, if you're shy about appearing in front of a live audience, leave your thoughts here. I promise not to read them!
TIM ATKIN MW
Monday, December 18, 2017
Dear Ms. Perrotti-Brown,
I thought I’d save you the trouble of contacting me first. I know with all of the recent defections from “Wine Advocate” you must be desperate for help. First, it was Jeb Dunnock thinking he could go it alone. Great decision, Jeb, it sure worked for Art Garfunkel! Next thing you know, Neal Martin goes and takes a new job with Antonio Galloni, which is pretty disarming—in the sense that he’s the new Vinous di Milo. Up on a pedestal, but essentially can’t go anywhere.
Much to my chagrin, the Wine Advocate decided to publish my cover letter to its editor, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, on its Wine Journal site. I haven't heard back yet when I'm going to start working for her, but it shouldn't be long. If you want to read the rest of the note, you'll have to head to their site. They, wisely, don't have a comments section. Unfortunately, I do. Use it.
WINE ADVOCATE'S WINE JOURNAL
Friday, December 8, 2017
This Christmas, I don’t want anything for myself. I have everything I need, Santa. A cellar filled with the great wines of the world, and Oregon wines, too. A Roederer International Wine Writers Award that I bought online from an “A. Jefford.” I’ve even grown and implanted my own replacement Biodynamic liver using the latest stem cell technology, mixed with the manure of a lactating cow. I feel born again, and, as a bonus, my new set of horns is great for opening beer bottles! I’m very content. Soon I’ll have my own cheese! I really enjoy the milking. No, not like Harvey Weinstein.
I still believe in Santa, like I still believe in aerators, Riedel Oregon Pinot Noir glasses, and en primeur Bordeaux. We live in an age where belief Trumps truth every day of the week. So I sat down and composed my annual letter to Santa on behalf of the wine business I love. Who else is going to do it if not I? To read the rest of this missal, toe the line and hop over to Tim Atkin's site. And feel free to leave your own wish list for Santa. I'll be sure that he reads each and every suggestion.
Merry Christmas, Common Taters!
TIM ATKIN MW
Sunday, November 12, 2017
I wanted to read Jon Bonné’s latest wine book, “The New Wine Rules,” but I have a new rule myself. I don’t read books about wine rules. Books about wine rules, which every famous wine writer seems to feel is his or her duty to write, though the books are universally dreadful and particularly predictable, always come down to one conclusion. When it comes to wine, throw out the rules. Rules are for suckers. The apparent contradiction never discourages them from writing the book. It’s like a politician saying every politician is corrupt, vote for me. And like an idiot, you vote for him, and then you go out and buy another book about wine rules. P.T. Barnum was only half right. Yes, there’s a sucker born every minute, but, also, every sucker is reborn every minute, too.
It takes a lot of time to not read a new wine book. But I want to be as fair as I can to the author, so I'm willing to invest virtually no time at all to the review. This is exactly how wine is reviewed by the likes of Jon Bonné, and every other wine critic. To read the rest of my thoughtful and timely review, you'll have to jump to Tim Atkin's place. And even if, ironically, you don't want to read my review in order to judge whether it's funny or not, go there as well. And, please, feel free not to leave a comment so that we know what you think.
TIM ATKIN MW