“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, September 4, 2009
The Grapeful Dead
I'm just not in the mood to post. Writing a wine blog is a thankless task, about as rewarding as doing the makeup on cadavers. You love what you do but all you get in return is a lot of blank stares. The usual reaction to the latest HoseMaster So why keep doing it? Well, essentially, you never run out of dead bodies.
The wine business is full of dead bodies. It often feels like nothing new has been said in a hundred years. So I dress those dead bodies up, maybe it's the old Cork vs. Stelvin cadaver or the smelly Wine Competitions are Stupid corpse, sculpt a smile on their faces, lighten up their cheeks a bit with some rouge, and put them on display. We love the gruesome. "Gosh," we say, "it looks so alive, so real," when it isn't. It's as dead as Dick Cheney's conscience, it's deader than Jay Miller's palate, it's starting to smell like editorial meetings at Wine Enthusiast. But we keep poking at it, trying to make it move, see if there's any life left to squeeze out of it. And even when we're certain it's dead, we feel the need to resurrect it by talking about it. So many dead bodies...
Do Wine Bloggers Matter?Deader than Jenna Elfman's career
The 100 Point ScaleIt's stupid, it's not stupid, it's subjective, yeah, but it's useful, it's just a guide, but it's so easily influenced, blah blah blah--D E A D.
Social Media--For Selling Wine or For Building a Brand?Stillborn. Never had any life. Cute little thing, but never took a breath. So it makes us especially sad to see its little lifeless body lying there mimicking real life. So sad. Steve Heimoff may never get over it. But it's still dead.
Shipping Laws, Boy Do They SuckYeah, we know, wineries are victims, consumers are victims, liquor lobbies are evil. This should have been buried with Jimmy Hoffa, if they'd found where he was buried. It's dead like Mutineer Magazine's prose style.
The "Sideways" EffectFor Christ's Sake, this idiotic piece of crap film is five years old! It had about as much to do with killing Merlot as Son of Sam did. And, sure, it put Pinot Noir on the map, after all, Pinot Noir had only been popular for, oh, a hundred years. "Sideways" is Hollywood, narcissistic garbage that keeps floating to the surface like a Mafia victim in the Hudson River. It's bloated, it's rotten, it's Dead. All the makeup in the world can't make it seem less revolting.
Parkerized WinesNow that Parker is dead, why are we still talking about Him? No one makes wines to please Parker any more! This is the oldest and deadest opinion in the wine business. Get over it, it's dead. You don't have Parker to kick around any more. There's lots of bad winemaking, but, really, it isn't his fault! There have always been lousy wines, always! And there always will be. Alice Feiring loves a lot of wines that are crap, wines that she saved from "Parkerization." (God, please save me from Feiringization, the belief that one is truly inspiring.) You can dress this cadaver however you want to, but it's dead, dead like Phillipe Melka's cachet.
Wine and Music Sort of like people who think Obama's health care plan is Socialism, this is a subject that is simply too stupid to live. Matching wine with music is something akin to matching your shoes to a loaded weapon. This is one of the subjects wine pretenders love because it illustrates not only their educated choices in wine but their eclectic taste in music, sort of like finding out your date not only dresses like a federal inmate he can also wax ignorant about politics! There is no correlation between wine and music. It's dead. Not even Madonna would adopt it.
And the list goes on and on. But once again, I've dressed the corpse up, made it look real, and got you to look. "The HoseMaster of Wine," you say, "it looks better than it ever did when it was alive."
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.