“…any food product that feels compelled to tell you it’s natural in all likelihood is not.”—-Michael Pollan
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Murphy-Goode's Social Media Director's First Post!
Wow, it's me! I'm the new Social Media Director for Murphy-Goode Winery! I'm still in shock. Imagine, Jess (he wanted me to call him "Huckleberry," but I think he meant Jess--something going on there I don't understand...) laid off 20% of his work force, mostly just laborers and stuff though, no one important, in order to pay me sixty grand to Twitter-twatter and Faceybook and blog! That's a lot of pressure on me, but I know I'm going to be worth it. I'm going to be the best danged Social Media Director ever! That's me with my insect boss!
Welcome to my first blog post. First, let me tell you a little something about myself. I love wine. I really love Murphy-Goode wine. I like how they can take lots of really quality fruit and magically transform it into a totally inoffensive wine. That's just awesome. A lot of winemakers don't know how to blend in order to offend the fewest number of people. But it's kind of a religion here at K-J. Heck, everybody's trying to make the next great wine, reaching for the enological stars, someone has to strive for average! Oh, I was talking about myself. Besides loving wine, my friends tell me I'm a really talented writer like Dan Brown or Dear Abby. I have 782 friends on my Facebook page, and one day I hope to have my entire birthday calendar filled out with friends. Anyone born on February 29th or April 31st want to be friends? I've never lived in wine country before, unless you count Modesto where I spent a summer as a volunteer for a heat stroke study. They say I won't need that part of my brain.
I think I'm really going to like living in Healdsburg! What a wonderful little town. It's so quaint, like a picture post card of "Our Town" by Billy Wilder, only without the dead people. But it's a very small town. Healdsburg is so small the only prostitute works part-time. Oh well, now I'm here. Healdsburg is so small the high school doesn't even have enough kids for a whole football team so they only play defense. They beat Geyserville High last week. Their kid was sick.
But as small as Healdsburg is it is filled with tourists all summer long. And why do they come here? Murphy-Goode, for one thing. It turns out people will come from all over the country to taste wines they could have been overcharged for in their own supermarkets!! I know, it's amazing. They want to see vineyards and they want to see wineries and they want to taste the wines where they are grown. OK, we don't tell them that a lot of our Murphy-Goode wines are grown far away from here--it would be a long way for them to come and feel disappointed. You know what Social Media Directors' always say, "A little bit of prevarication goes a long way." I had to look up "prevarication."
So it's going to be a lot of fun living here. I have a beautiful home to live in filled with lots of souvenirs and mementos from the early days of K-J. There's an old photo of Jed Steele passing the secret formula for K-J chardonnay to some old drunk lookin' guy at Rombauer. There's some history for you! And next to the bed in a drawer, where a Gideon Bible might be, there's a copy of the lawsuit Huckleberry (OK, boss?) slapped on Jed after Jed made him rich in the wine biz. I was so excited my first night here that was the only thing that helped me sleep. And there are photos of Huckleberry and his buddy up at Chalk Hill smoking cigars and sitting in big piles of money like Scrooge McDuck. It's quite a place.
Tomorrow I have a busy day playing Liar's Dice with Dave Ready the winemaker. I guess from the name that I'm supposed to bring the dice. Dave Ready is a really cool guy, and seems happy not to have all the pressure of having to make great wines any more. Shoot, no vineyards, no big winery, no tasting room, he's got plenty of time to escort my butt around and play lots of poker and dice games and drink wine. What's really cool up here in wine country (this is like the first of my insider info that will make you feel like you live here yourself, my writing is so lucid!) is that you can go to other wineries and swap wines! Yeah, you can. It's like wife-swapping but with Cabernet (I made that analogy up just now--I think I'll Twitter it in a minute). So we never have to drink Murphy-Goode. We do. We do because we like it, we just don't have to drink it. We can drink Geyser Peak or Simi or Clos du Bois! I must have died and gone to Heaven, I just drank Clos du Bois Chardonnay for free! I don't know about you, but I find the smell of urine cakes comforting.
I hope you'll follow me on all the different Social Media thingamajiggies. Five months and 29 days to go before the paychecks dry up. I'd better get busy. Just like in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" I have a podcast to make!
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.