“For something to be funny, the audience has to be in a position to sense the truth of it. It has to be primed. Satire can crystallize what’s already in the air, but it can’t really put it there.”--Garry Trudeau
Friday, July 24, 2009
Interview With A HoseMaster, Part II
Why aren't you attending the Wine Bloggers Conference?
Sadly, it fell on the same weekend I have my electroshock treatments, though the featured speakers are an adequate substitute. My Green Lantern costume is at the dry cleaners. I never taste wine in a room where people are typing. If I want to hear about the future of blogging I'll listen to Kurt Cobain. They may have changed the sheets in my usual room at the Flamingo. I'm allergic to sanctimony.
When you get to Heaven, what is it that you want to say to God?
Couldn't you have given me a bigger penis?
What's the best way to get into the wine business?
Start a blog, kiss winery butt, what you don't know fake, find suckers to get behind you, apply for a job at a big corporate winery as social media consultant. Repeat every six months. Consult your doctor before attempting, ass kissing can be dangerous for those with HIV, gum disease or the least bit of integrity.
Actually, there are many ways to get into the wine business, none of them advisable. It may be your passion, but it's everybody's passion it seems. There are too damn many people in the wine business as it is--find another line of work that's not so crowded. Surrogate for root canals. Enema blogger. Circus washroom attendant. Ombudsman for Wall Street. We don't need more fools in the wine business. We're overstocked.
What wine blogs do you read?
I must spend three to four hours a day reading blogs. I even use Google to translate blogs--and those are the domestic ones. I hate to single out favorites, there are so many. I read Vinography for my diabetes. I'm a huge fan of 1Wine Dude--I've never missed a post. Never read one, never missed one. When I think my personal life is a mess I head on over to Fermentation to be comforted that I'm way better off than most. And then there are so many "undiscovered" gems out there in cyberspace. If you haven't already, you should read WinePimp. WinePimp solicits wine from wineries and guarantees he will give them a positive review, but if they don't send him a percentage of the sales of that wine he promises to beat them like Rihanna. Hilarious! First guy to figure out how to monetize his blog. Then there's BrettMaverick, who writes about his love for Brett and how it got him a gig as a major wine critic. Claims he invented the 100 point scale. And when I really want to learn something about wine I read Doyouwanttoreallylearnsomethingaboutwine. I've learned a lot about wine from reading blogs, but this one tops them all for valuable wine info. Of course. It's written by a guy who's worked in a wine shop for three years! Way overqualified. I smell an AWBA in his future. See question #2:If Rihanna can do it, why can't God?
Why do you continue to blog when so many people wish you'd stop?
My idea for "monetizing" HoseMaster of Wine is to get everyone to chip in and pay me to stop. Or, alternatively, if every winery in California sends me a free sample I'll quit. I promise to say something nice about all of them. But not in a blog. I'll be talking to myself. Which, when you think about it, is exactly the same as blogging. Just less typing.
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.
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.