“…any food product that feels compelled to tell you it’s natural in all likelihood is not.”—-Michael Pollan
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
In Vulva Veritas
I am so happy to be here at the 2009 Wine Bloggers Conference! It's like the Oscars only everyone's wearing GarAnimals. I can't believe I'm actually in wine country, where they grow grapes and stuff. I tried a couple of grapes right off the vine! Kinda green though. I guess they were grapes for Green Hungarian. Can't wait to taste some Chardonnay grapes, but I hope they're not too oaky. Wineries' preferred wine blogger, right
What a gorgeous place the Flamingo Hotel is. It's luxurious. And you know how when you go to a zoo and you can smell the flamingos, that sulfury, birdshit smell--they pipe that right into the rooms! Unbelievable. If only we could tweet smells! I'd Twitter a little bit of Flamingo right to you. And I'd bet you'd blame your dog.
I've already met so many famous and influential people here. I admit, it's a little hard to think of things to say when you're so nervous. Tom Wark, yes, THE Tom Wark, came right up to me and offered to take me to Mexico for a week. I think he was drunk. He kept calling me Alice and asking me if I believed "In Vulva Veritas." He was cool though. Turns out he invented the Internet! Then I ran into the guys who publish "Mutineer Magazine." If you haven't heard of "Mutineer Magazine," it's like a wine and beverage publication written for sixth graders by sixth graders. The guys that publish it are really smart. I know this because they kept telling it to me. They want everybody to join the mutiny. Not sure how another untimely wine publication is a mutiny, but, what the heck, I'm in!
I never expected so much attention just because I write a wine blog. It kinda makes all that work I've put in feel like it's paid off. I've posted over 50 entries on my blog this year--that's nearly 700 words! And now I'm here in Santa Rosa meeting all these winemakers and tasting their wines with them. You know what's really cool? None of them even care if I get the facts right when I write about their wines! In fact, they like it better if I don't. As long as I write something nice about the wines, they don't even care if I know what I'm talking about! They're sick of journalists, and I don't blame them for being sick of them. Bunch of snooty nitpickers. Wine bloggers are much cooler. We don't care about the facts. Facts? This is the goddam Internet, where facts go to die. We have something more powerful than facts. We have too much free time.
In a little while we're going to blog Live! I'm so nervous. I've never been Live before. We only have one minute to taste a wine and then blog about it. Not sure that gives me enough time to go to the winery's website and use their descriptions of the wine, but I'll try. I'm not really that good at tasting wine without some notes. And what if I get some kind of wine like Tempraniloo (sp?) or Roossane? How do I know if those are good, or what they taste like? Who am I? Hardy Wallace? (Ooh, ooh, I got to meet him! He was wearing a big Murphy-Goode shirt and holding hands with Steve Heimoff.) But I can type like a bastard, so this should be easy. Maybe I'll get discovered, like Hardy, and get a job at a fancy winery like Murphy-Goode. Lots of desperate wineries here in Sonoma looking for people like me who don't know much about wine but know enough to praise whatever they put in front of us. Like Alder Yarrow of Vinography (he won for Best Wine Blog--he always wins though, he's basically like the Harlem Globetrotters, it's fixed). Alder is every winery's dream blogger. He's like cat litter--no matter what kind of crap you toss at him he makes it all seem fresh and pretty. That's what wineries like. Stupid journalists think it's important to take wines apart, maybe even say something critical of them. That's why wine blogging will replace wine critics--we're much nicer! Who would you send samples to? Not that HoseMaster asshole.
So much more to post about, but I need to go now. I'll write more later. I have to get dressed for the big AWBA gala! I'm going as Uhura.
After 19 years as a Sommelier in Los Angeles, twice named Sommelier of the Year by the Southern California Restaurant Writers' Association, I moved to Sonoma County to explore the other aspects of the wine business. I've spent, OK wasted, 35 years learning about and teaching about and swallowing wine. I am also a judge at the Sonoma Harvest Fair, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the San Francisco International Wine Competition--so I can spit like a rabid llama. I know more about wine than David Sedaris and I'm funnier than James Laube. Stay tuned for an informed but jaded view of everything wine and everything else.
I'm living proof that alcohol kills brain cells.
What the Critics Are Saying About HoseMaster of Wine
"If you want a great hoot and howl moment or two...go read the HoseMaster's year-end reflections...that guy is without a doubt the funniest SOB in the blog-world...and thank him for having the brains and balls to target his laser of laughter on anybody...HoseMaster for President...HoseMaster for Blogger of the Year...although he would be the first to say the bar is so damn low for that award, he should win it every year..." --Robert Parker
"...With sometimes crude analogies and occasional droppings of f-bombs, Washam cleverly uses satire to expose the underbelly of the wine business. It's often hilarious stuff as long as you're not the one being lampooned. Washam takes no prisoners in skewering all that is silly, stupid, frustrating and pretentious about wine, and his favorite targets are other bloggers and writers. No one is immune."
--Linda Murphy in "Vineyard and Winery Management"
"No one is immune from California sommelier and wine judge Ron Washam's skewering. He polishes that skewer with boundless enthusiasm and acuity." --JancisRobinson.com
"As serious as the world of wine is, it does allow time for humor. Each Monday and Thursday, Ron Washam customarily posts a commentary on his needling wine blog HoseMaster of Wine. Washam, a former sommelier and comedy writer – he might say they are closely related – is the most opinionated, humorous and ribald observer in the wine world. His body of work is irreverent and remorseless. It’s almost always satire and parody, though he occasionally drifts into straight commentary, sometimes even with tasting notes. This past year, one of his posts was named the best of the year in the Wine Blog Awards. His success has spawned several imitations, which in their awkwardness show just how difficult satire is."
--Mike Dunne, Sacramento Bee
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/21/6089630/dunne-on-wine-wine-blogs-and-bloggers.html#storylink=cpy
"Please let this guy write the scripts for Saturday Night Live which has gotten so lame...his newest "wisdom" is worth an Emmy....I wonder if he is the genius behind all those Hitler/Parker,etc. clips? No one else is remotely as funny or as talented.And the wine world sure needs someone to poke fun at all the nonsense and phoney/baloney unsufferable crap out there."
"Washam uses his own blog, HoseMaster of Wine, to skewer the industry in general and wine blogs in particular. If your mouse scoots to your browser's close box while reading a wine blog, Washam may be the blogger for you."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"Ron Washam, former sommelier, is easily the most bitingly funny blogger/wine writer that we have ever come across. He is an equal opportunity crusader who pillories big wineries and amateur bloggers alike, as well as everything and everyone in between...One needs a sense of humor and a tolerance for earthiness to enjoy reading The Hosemaster. We must have both because this guy deserves a wider audience, in our humble opinion." --Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
"In my opinion, and that of many others, his blog is one of the best. And in terms of satirical or parodic wine blogs, it has no peer. Ron’s alert eye catches every pretense and skewers it with laugh out loud mercilessness."
"This site should carry a warning label. It's sort of a Dave Barry/George Carlin approach to wine. The Hosemaster (real name Ron Washam) skewers fellow bloggers and industry savants with glee, while offering hilarious wine guides such as his Honest Guide to Grapes..."
--Paul Gregutt, Seattle Times
"Washam is a skilled wine judge (I have judged with him) who is willing to judge wine double blind, in public. To my knowledge, Parker does not do this and never has. So Ron's credentials are in place, and so is his sense of the absurd."
--Dan Berger, VintageExperiences
"...I consider Ron a very talented writer and I’ve long been an admirer of his scathing wit..."
"And if any free sites think they can conquer the world, there’s always the Hosemaster to take ‘em down a notch."
--Tyler Colman "Dr. Vino"
"Those of you who know Ron either love or hate him, because he throws jabs like a punch drunk boxer, and we’re all in the firing line. He’ll throw them if he hates you, and he’ll throw them if he loves you. He’s a satirist of exceptional quality."
--Jo Diaz "Juicy Tales by Jo Diaz"
"I must say you are an idiot. I've never liked you. I have no idea why people find you funny."
--Reign of Terroir
Robert (Joseph) was/is funny unlike HoseMaster who wasn't/isn't.