“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
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The HoseMaster Becomes the BlogMeister
Many thanks to Tom Wark for turning me on to yet another wine blog in his recent post, A Glass After Work. Though I confess, I thought he wrote A Glass After Wark and it was a blog about hemlock. I perused A Glass After Work on Tom's recommendation and was utterly captivated by yet another complete waste of time. There is something oddly pathetic about reading someone's tasting notes for Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay (so much superior to their regular Frei Brothers Chardonnay--or else they couldn't call it Reserve could they?) that end with knitting and Harry Potter. But if Tom says this is a good wine blog, who am I to criticize? But it was a lot like spending ten minutes with your elderly aunt with halitosis. But to her credit, Alleigh, the creator of A Glass After Work, learned very quickly to beg for samples, but, hell, yarn ain't cheap, my friends, and wineries are plenty stupid, so it's a win-win. Looking forward to posts on St. Supery, Hahn, Murphy-Goode and all the other dull as W. wines in California.
But I'm a little sick of Tom Wark being the designated Blogmeister. He's not the only guy who discovers new wine blogs. Your HoseMaster has been surfing the net in search of new and thrilling voices in the wine blogosphere and I've found some great new sites. Do yourself a favor and check these out.
Sex For Wine
Corky Screw (a pseudonym? Nah) has a fantastic new blog with something for everyone. She writes fantastic tasting notes. And she willingly has sex with anyone who gives her a decent bottle of wine. Unlike most blogs where tasting notes are dry and unimaginative, Corky's notes are very clever and creative, and hint at all the fun she's having writing her blog. Here's an example:
"On my scale of 5 Orgasms, 1 being I faked it to 5 meaning it was great served alone, the 2006 Cakebread Chardonnay was a 2. Man, I've done it fifty times if I've done it once. Same old crap. I took a sniff, I put it in, hell, been there done that. Yeah, it's fine, but this is the kind of style that is best done cold, and I mean I just found out you had sex with my sister cold."
Corky writes that her cellar is rapidly filling up. I'm hoping this isn't a metaphor. I think she means that folks are lining up to give her wine in exchange for sexual favors. Sadly, I couldn't find out whether that's her real name. Or where she lives. Sorry, Hardy, I tried. And that's "good" wine, without the "e." And you need some balls.
Fox News Wine Blog
It might seem odd at first glance, but, really, who can you trust more than Fox News? Come on, friends, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh? There aren't three bigger assholes in the Ringling Brothers elephant compound, but they know their wines! And they are not afraid to speak the truth, they're not big old liars like those Africans running the country. (Warning: You do have to have a link to your birth certificate to enter this site so if you are a person of color or are from a Muslim country you might want to go to their alternate site first, www.wehopeyoustarvetodeath.com, to save some time. And if you're Muslim, why are you reading wine blogs? Hell, if you're not Muslim, why are you reading wine blogs?) Here's Rush on his favorite Bordeaux:
"Ladies and gentleman, I know it's French wine, and the French, well, they're cowards and their President would have sex with an eclair, but if you haven't had Chateau Margaux, well, your life is shabby and miserable and you'll never have health care if I have anything to say about it. Nothing I like more than a big glass of Margaux from a good vintage, say 2000 when Bush was elected, matched with a prescription pain killer, a big dose, Oxycontin from around 2007, with a gorgeous fake prescription label. Friends, this is the kind of pleasure a man is grateful to have had. Just isn't the same with some crappy Third Growth and a Midol. Ask Ann Coulter."
Add Hannity and O'Reilly to the mix, the Twin Towers of Human Waste, and, well, this is wine writing at a level of prevarication only the best bloggers, the AWBA winners, can achieve.
A Couple of Bottles A Night
I love this guy. Ralph Chunks writes a blog about his habit of drinking two bottles of wine every night, and the funny consequences that follow. Always a great story when Ralph's around. In one recent post, Ralph writes about drinking a bottle of great Chablis and following it with a bottle of Clos du Bois Chardonnay. When he's driving home he gets stopped by a cop who asks him what he's been drinking. Ralph tells the cop, "A great bottle of Raveneau and your mother's piss." Hilarity ensues as the cop beats him senseless and Ralph wakes up in jail with some guy groping him. But is there a better description of Clos du Bois Chardonnay than that? In another yarn, Ralph drinks a bottle each of two different Siduri Pinot Noirs but then goes on a drunken rampage because he's convinced it's the same goddam wine in both bottles! His email exchange with the folks at Siduri is hilarious, as is his conclusion about the two wines, "These two Pinots are about as different as my left nut and my right nut tasted blind in my bag." Yup. Ralph Chunks nails it again.
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.