“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, December 16, 2009
My Heartwarming Christmas Mailbag
We're well into the Holiday Season, so what better time to rummage through my voluminous hate mail? It always warms my chestnuts to receive thoughtful venom this time of the year. We spend so much time during the holidays communicating affection and gratitude to those we love, but so often we forget to express our heartfelt contempt for the people we wish were dead. I feel lucky that I inspire so many to unabashed and heartwarming hatred. Here are just a few samples from the ol' HoseMaster mailbag.
I've been expecting this letter, but was genuinely moved when I finally received it.
Dear Mr. hose,
where do you get off making fun of me? your always calling me a trained chimp, or a clown, and I don't appreciate it because I'm not a clown or a chimp--you're the trained chimpie, DoucheMaster! I'm a wine internet star and i know more about wine than you'll ever know about chimps. For example, can you just stick your nose in a glass of Italian priorat, say something funny about how it smells, like maybe you say it reminds you of the time uncle larry made you rub him and there was that funny kind of chlorine smell coming from him, and then give the wine a number? maybe one of your chimps can do that but I bet you can't. DoucheMaster of Wine at work
You don't want to mess with me, Mr. Master, i rule the Internet and my little boy toys at Wine Enthusiast gave me an award to prove it. I'm the next Parker and with just one little podcast i can sell whatever crap i decide to. nobody reads your little excuse for a blog. i sniffed one of your posts and i told everybody it smelled like the time i had Jancis Robinson on my show, i bet you never even met him (yeah, people think it's a she, but I know better, i was there), and had eaten some bad borscht and she made a lot of faces but it wasn't that bad, but your post reminded me of it and I gave you a 76! So there.
be sure and let me know if some wine rag gives you an award so i can send my collection of ice wines to hell to store them at a freezing temperature.
happy holidays Gary Vaynerchuk
Sometimes the letters are just short and to the point...
I'm not dead, OK? But if I were dead I'd come back as a Zombie and eat your brain for lunch. With a nice bottle of D'Arenberg 2002 Dead Arm Shiraz which I rated 96 Points--last tasted 6/08.
And your Million Point Scale is stupid too. Who ever heard of a million words on a spelling test?
In vinum illis est meus verum, Robert Parker, Jr.
And I can only be flattered when someone takes time out from their busy schedule to honor me with their prose.
Dear Ho's Master,
Somewhere there's a pair of Port tongs with your name on it, and one day you'll have a tong tattoo around that pencil neck of yours. This is the wine business, you terroirbag, and we conduct ourselves civilly. We don't post insulting remarks about wine and people on the Internet; we don't lampoon distinguished figures in the industry; we don't pull our metaphorical pants down and fire pooty rockets at wine critics! We only say nice things. Didn't your mother, Rosemary must have been her name, ever teach you the wine blogger's creed, "If you can't say something nice, say something stupid?"
In case you hadn't noticed, these are hard economic times. Many wineries have cases and cases of $150 bottles of wine just languishing in their cellars. Some winery owners in Napa have actually had to go to Mustards for dinner!! Mustards! And you sit at your keyboard and make fun of them! Wine critics are losing their audience, their clout. Where once they sold truckloads of admittedly overpriced wines, their very recommendation enough to start a ten-year waiting list for yet another cult Cabernet Sauvignon, now they brag about moving crap that sells for under $20. Bragging about it! It's our #1 Wine of the Year! Imagine their shame, the disgrace the economy and thoughtless bloggers like you have brought upon them. What next? The New York Times Book Review puts a Dan Brown novel on it's Ten Best List? The Playmate of the Year is Helen Turley? The Oscar goes to Tom Cruise? At a time when midgets rule the Earth, is this a time for your two pathetic cents? Your blog is disgusting, and everyone who reads it needs to get a Home Lobotomy Kit for Christmas. I just hope you get what you deserve for Christmas, Ho's Master, the worst thing that can happen to a guy like you. Success.
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.