The number of articles and studies done on wine and health is astronomical. I've always sort of wondered about this fascination for proving that wine benefits us. We know that it doesn't. We know that we drink too much and then graciously act as case studies for crash test dummies. We know that it harms our kidneys and livers and makes us sleep with people we'd otherwise touch only with oven mitts. We know that it kills millions of brain cells, and, worse, as a corollary, creates hundreds of wine blogs. Yet, being human, we insist that it's good for us. In moderation, as though anyone practices moderation. Moderation is like birth control--it's for other people. People who don't want to be on "Maury." We rig endless clinical studies so that the results say wine is good for us. We know the studies are bogus, but we believe them anyway. Like we believe wine publications that accept advertising are objective. Like we believe wineries when they say they don't filter. Like we believe "organic" on Safeway produce.
But the studies about drinking wine continue. Here are some of the latest findings.
In a recent study, drinking wine was shown to eliminate halitosis. An astute observer noticed that Alder Yarrow had the freshest breath despite unmitigated and frequent buttkissing. This lead to the study. A similar study concluded that wine not only relieved halitosis, it also removed women's mustaches. That study was done on walruses.
When fed a steady stream of expensive Napa Valley Cabernets, mice overestimated the size of their penises by a factor of three. Mice fed Shenandoah Vally Zinfandel started a boys choir.
In a test done on Rhesus monkeys it was discovered that the primates fell into two categories according to the amount of wine consumed. The monkeys who drank less wine were more likely to be aggressive and warlike. The monkeys who drank steadily and moderately were more likely to be the Rhesus Peaces.
People who consumed moderate to heavy amounts of wine were shown to be far more immune to Swine Flu even though they slept with far more pigs. Many became Swine Connoisseurs.
A large and comprehensive study showed that people who drank a lot of wine on a daily basis usually died peacefully in their sleep. Not like the other people in the car.
Another study showed that there is a significant correlation between moderate consumption of wine and the belief in ones ability to speak foreign languages. After three glasses of wine white people often believe they can speak Ebonics.
Moderate consumption of wine has been shown to lower your risk of catching fly balls. This is good news for the flies.
Oh, I could go on. But, really, all this academic hooey trying to prove wine is part of a healthy lifestyle is stupid and basically wrong. Drinking wine doesn't improve your health, it improves your attitude about your health. Just look at the people you know who drink a lot of wine, who drink if for a living or as a hobby, they're all sallow, bloodshot-eyed, out of shape people several teeth short of a full grimace. This is the picture of health? Who cares? Not one of us drinks wine for his health, not one of us. We drink it because it tastes good, and because it gets us drunk. Saying you drink wine as part of a healthy lifestyle is like saying you read Playboy for the interviews. Like saying you had a vasectomy to lose a little weight. Like saying you eat panty shields for the fiber.
Wineries, the wine industry, promote wine drinking as part of a healthy diet. Oh brother, who buys that crap? Didn't they used to sell cigarettes the same way? Look where that got the tobacco companies. Beer gets it right. It's fun to get drunk! Gorgeous babes are drawn to drinkers. Drinking is democratic--anyone can do it and look stupid. Time for wineries to get on that bandwagon.
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
"No one is immune from California sommelier and wine judge Ron Washam's skewering. He polishes that skewer with boundless enthusiasm and acuity."
"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
"...that guy Hosemaster has real talent...if you ask me sign him up for Comedy Central...he's the funniest guy since Adam Carolla's hilarious book...IN 50 YEARS WE WILL ALL BE CHICKS..."
"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."