The deadline has passed for applying to be resident Social Media Stooge at Murphy-Goode winery. I don't envy the person who gets the job. It's going to be like hosting the Oscars. You're playing to a very jaded crowd, no matter what you do the next day everyone is going to second guess you, and, essentially, you're not allowed to tell the truth. It's a job for a gigantic suckup. In fact, I have it on pretty good authority that Larry King is one of the finalists. But he can't hold a suckup candle to that Dirtysouthwine guy (whose motto is "Remora the merrier").
OK, yes, sure, I applied. Why not? Does that make me a bad person? I'm just like any other blogger. I want my marginal talent to be recognized, I want to make some real money for a change, and I'm hoping to ride Rachel Alexandra in the Breeder's Cup. (Or co-star with her in a remake of "Equus." That is one cute filly.) I thought my audition tape was pretty good, I did two minutes as the Nutty Professor tasting Murphy-Goode wines, but then I found out the winery wasn't started by Eddie Murphy. In hindsight, I think the blackface probably won't help my cause. So I guess I shouldn't wait for the phone call.
Dressed for my first date with Rachel Alexandra
But I thought it would be fun to visit the Murphy-Goode tasting room in Healdsburg and taste through the wines, see what the Stooge will be up against. The Murphy-Goode tasting room is located just off the Healdsburg Square next to a shoe store. I mention this because I inadvertently walked into the shoe store and demanded a tasting. I was there for an hour. Found a lovely pair of Via Spiga open-toed spiked heels that I rated 93 points for their distinctive bouquet of leather, farm girl sweat and just a hint of toejam. And a pair of Ariat boots that I had trouble getting my nose into, but once I succeeded I succumbed to the heavenly aromas of the leather of a lactating cow (Biodynamic boots?), sandalwood and new French oak (94 pts).
When Jess Jackson purchased Murphy-Goode he only purchased the label, not the vineyards and not the winery. It's a little bit like just buying the jacket of Stephen Hawking's latest book and putting it over the latest piece of crap from Dan Brown (Dan Brown writes like Mickey Spillane, only with a much smaller vocabulary). The cover might fool you, but all you have to do is open it and out spills that same old formula.
The wines available to taste in the tasting room are an interesting mix of the new Murphy-Goode wines and a bunch of leftovers from when the Murphys and Goodes and Readys owned the joint. They make for an interesting contrast. The older wines were all over the map in quality, but were loaded with personality. The new wines are very consistent, but had the personality of, well, a lifestyle blogger. Striving to be inoffensive.
Leaving the remnant wines behind, here are my impressions of the wines, as the HoseMaster, and as the new Murphy-Goode Social Media Stooge.
Murphy-Goode 2008 Fume Blanc Sonoma County
HoseMaster: I have no idea what the case production is on this wine, but it tastes like it was machine harvested--by a lawn mower. No faults to this wine, and it will probably discount down to nine or ten bucks, but it's about as interesting as the latest issue of Parade magazine.
Stooge (via Twitter): This is a lovely example of Sauvignon Blanc and would work great with whatever is on the latest bogus Oprah diet--acai berries, pomegranates, or dregs from liposuction bags.
Murphy-Goode 2007 Chardonnay Minnesota Cuvee Alexander Valley
HoseMaster: Even without any malolactic fermentation this wine is flabbier than a contestant on "Biggest Loser." It sports plenty of tropical fruit-from-a-can flavor and the distinctive character of Duluth on a hot August day. Actually, it's quite palatable in a cocktail wine sort of way.
Stooge (via Facebook): What are you doing now? I'm relaxing at my Healdsburg pad sipping Minnesota Cuvee. Yum! All that tropical fruit! It's Don Ho in a glass!
Murphy-Goode 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley
HoseMaster: This represents pretty good value for the money since it checks in at under $20. It reminds me of HoseMaster of Wine--nothing profound here and it's almost worth what you pay for it. Which is more than you can say for a Murphy-Goode Social Media Lifestyle Consultant. But it's hardly comparable to the best Alexander Valley cabs.
Stooge (via website): I don't know about you, but I think tannins are yucky. They tan hides with it, you know. Ewww. You want that on your tongue? Next thing you know your mouth is like the inside of a loafer. So drink the '07 Cabernet from Murphy-Goode. It's soft as a guy in bed who uses steroids. I wouldn't say it if it weren't true! What day is payday?