Wine Blogs Are the Attention-Barking of Lonely Poodles
Monday, December 28, 2009
HoseMaster of Wine 2009 Wine Blog Circle Jerk Awards
It's fashionable and damned near required, if you have a wildly successful and famous wine blog, to bestow awards upon lesser wine blogs. I've seen this demonstrated all over the wine blogosphere in recent days; HoseMaster of Wine was even mentioned here and there. I think the BrixChicks gave me something--I think it was indigestion. But it's an honor to be mentioned on another blog--just ask that other blog, he'll tell you it's an honor. You know, there just aren't enough self-congratulatory posts in wine blogdom, if you ask me. And, honestly, when a guy writes a completely useless and uniformed wine blog himself, why wouldn't I be interested in what other blogs he thinks are worthy of my attention! It's the same reason I get my restaurant recommendations from the drive-thru cashier at Burger King. Why I only buy books that feature a blurb from Sarah Palin on the cover and come with their own crayons. Why I only get electroshock therapy from the same doctor as Glenn Beck. It just makes sense.
And since HoseMaster of Wine is clearly in the upper echelon of must-read wine blogs, right up there with Hitler's Wine Diaries and BevMo Sommelier, it's time for me to bestow the Wine Blog Awards of 2009 upon some lucky wine bloggers. If you're one of the lucky ones, be sure to graciously thank me, praise me, and bestow one of your awards on me. So here they are, friends, the HoseMaster's 2009 Wine Blog Circle Jerk Awards.
TOP FIVE NEW WINE BLOGS OF 2009!
Boy, this was really a contentious and tough category. It was hard to narrow it down to only five. There are at least another three hundred that are equally as wonderful as these, but these five struck me as the best and as the ones most likely to garner me some attention for mentioning them. Which is the point of this masturbatory exercise.
Steve Heimoff (www.steveheimoff.com) First of all, I love a guy who won't allow Tish to comment on his blog! That really helps me feel comfortable. I never liked her anyway. Steve has nicely catapulted himself into relevance from the obscurity of Wine Enthusiast, where wine reviewers go to die. And there are laughs aplenty when Steve goes into comedy mode. Why it's like he's channeling Alex Trebek! Steve has created a wonderful forum for less-talented people to promote themselves while talking about wine issues as fresh as last June's Time magazine. Tish and Steve
Dr. Vino (www.drvino.com) Tyler Colman (who, in a lovely bit of irony, is to wine as Gary Coleman is to height) has a refreshing approach to wine. He's always right. If he'd just ban Tish from his blog, he'd be perfect. Dr. Vino posts endlessly interesting columns about impossible food and wine matchups. So the concept is sort of like Match.com, with the food playing the part of the loser blogger who just wants to be loved. Why it's an honor just to be able to mention Dr. Vino, an honor he knows he bestows on every reader when they visit his blog to share in his unrivalled hubris.
1WineDude (www.1winedude.com) You'll be astonished at the Dude's ability to crank out post after post and make them sound exactly like they've been cranked out! This isn't as easy to do as you might think. Something original and interesting tends to slip in accidentally. Not at 1WineDude! Dude keeps it predictable and cliche, which the wine marketing people love! And it's just so surprising that a Social Media darling is so quick to preach about the power of Social Media! Totally fresh and unexpected. Don't be surprised if one day he works for Wine Enthusiast. I don't think Tish is allowed here either--a tip of the cap to the West Coast 1WhineDude, Steve Heimoff.
Mutineer Magazine (www.mutineermagazine.com) If there is a better argument for saving our trees than Mutineer Magazine, I've yet to find it. Like the endless cocktails it promotes, it's a crappy mix of filler, wasted space and pathetic attempts at hipness. Its cutting edge is as sharp as your Dad's old lawn mower. Want to identify a trend once it's already dead? Here's your guide! Written with the sharpness of Muhammed Ali and the vocabulary of your eight-year-old niece, it certainly makes you wish you were drunk when you read it. Where's Tish when you need her?
Palate Press (www.palatepress.com) So, you ask yourself, where do I go to find the finest wine writing on the web? Isn't there somewhere I can go to be amused, entertained, informed, engaged? Not here! Palate Press is proudly mediocre, a choir of voices from the School for the Deaf. There's really no sense in surfing wine blogs, spending all that time searching for an original voice, when you can just go to Palate Press and discover how dull the wine blogosphere is with once click of your mouse! Want provocative articles, well-written and compelling? Buy the New Yorker. Want to understand why wine writing today is largely ignored? Then Palate Press is for you. And it's all Tish all the time!
I have many more awards to bestow. It's the least I can do to give a lift up to all the tireless and wonderful wine bloggers out there now that I'm one of the elite and powerful wine bloggers. To all of the recipients, Keep up the good work! And welcome to my world! The world of relevant Social Media!Share the fantasy!
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."
"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."