I stumbled on to a wine blog a few days ago, DrinkWhatYouLike.com, and the author of the blog mentioned that one of his goals for 2010 was to meet the HoseMaster. Wow. Here's a guy seriously in need of a psychological evaluation. Of course, two of his other goals were to learn to stay inside the lines in his coloring books, and to learn to say "Gewurztraminer" through his sphincter. I wish him luck with all three. Though you might start with "Falanghina," should be a little easier.
But his delusional post got me to thinking. As did a comment by Charlie Olken on this blog to the effect that he'd like to see my list of the people I'd like to have a drink with in 2010, from a play by Tom Wark. Note to people who don't otherwise read wine blogs: Charlie Olken and Tom Wark are imaginary characters I created for HoseMaster of Wine, and bear no resemblance to actual human beings. And, well, since ideas are not something I am much given to, though I can say "Smaragd" with my armpit, I thought, what the hell. Here is my short list of people I'd like to meet in 2010.
Dottie and John
I know, I know, who wouldn't want to meet the folksy and charming couple who used to write a wine column for "The Wall Street Journal?" They created their own dream job, writing a column about wine to pay for their drinking habits without knowing anything about wine. This is brilliant. I wonder if I could get "The Economist" to pay me to write a column about candy. I love candy. I've tasted lots of candy. I have an awful lot to say about candy, and I can do it in a friendly and heartwarming style. And then I could go out and buy all the candy I want and "The Economist" would pay for it, and I'd start an "Eat that Dessert Day!," and I'd be on "Oprah" (which is different than being on Oprah, which is what cellulite does) and you wouldn't be able to look at a Tootsie Roll without thinking about me (of course, you probably can't do that now). It worked for Dottie and John! Why not me? The other thing I admire about Dottie and John is that they had the common sense to get the hell out of the print wine reviewing business before the whole thing starts to stink like your mother's chipped beef on toast left outside by the pool for a week, which is no doubt going to happen the minute Robert Parker dies, or 2009, whichever comes first. And, a bit of a warning, John, I wouldn't leave me and Dottie alone for very long...
Plus, I can't wait to say, "See ya later, Dottie Gaiter!"
Jess "Huckleberry" Jackson's fabulous four-legged sensation is the filly I'd most like to meet in a wine bar in Sonoma. OK, she's underage, but I've seen her teeth, she looks older. What a babe! Huckleberry isn't just a guy with the rare gift of being able to buy mediocre wineries and then magically transform them into genuinely worthless brands, the guy can sure pick horses! And when he purchased the sexy Rachel Alexandra (after a couple of cocktails I hope to be calling her "Rach") right before the Preakness and had the sense to have Hardy Wallace mount her (but, luckily, not be the jockey), well, is it any wonder Rach is leading candidate for Horse of the Year? And, really, who would you rather meet, Time Magazine's Person of the Year Ben Bernanke or Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra? My thought is, if you're gonna meet a horse's ass, just meet an entire horse.
I love Dick Cheney. I love how he fights crime and all the bad guys in the world--Mumbles, Flattop Jones, Pruneface...hell, the whole Bush Cabinet. And the cool 2-way wrist radio, so people can listen to you jerking off. I love Dick Cheney! Oh. I guess I'm thinking of Dick Tracy. Never mind. Who wants to have drinks with Dick Cheney? What does he drink, sneer and tonic? And he'd probably accidentally shoot you afterward. And call you a pansy. And send your kid off to fight in a senseless war. Not my idea of a good time. Forget I even brought him up. Is he dead yet?
I always think, what if Ron Popeil had turned his genius to wine? Why didn't he? The guy comes up with Pocket Fisherman and Spray On Hair (which, by the way, looks great on the rainbow trout you've caught with Pocket Fisherman) and, of course, Veg-O-Matic, what might have he invented had he tackled the wine industry? Though I think they did use Veg-O-Matic for Santa Barbara County Cabernet once upon a time. Maybe he would have invented Pocket Port Tongs that you can heat up in one of his rotisseries. Or a Ginzu corkscrew that even goes through a Stelvin and never dulls! But wait, there's more! If you order now you'll receive this handy Magic 8-Ball Point Generator! Just ask the Magic 8-Ball what score your 2005 Opus One deserves, flip it over, and, magically, it displays the proper score in its window! 84! And it's never wrong! It's exactly how the major critics do it! What would you pay for this? $50? $75? If you call in the next fifteen minutes, it's only $19.99 plus shipping and handling! Operators are standing by!
Aside from these five, there are many others I'd love to meet. Among them:
Robert Mondavi, this just in, still dead. But I'm patient. We'll have hot toddies. Very hot.
Osama bin Laden, still living in a cave, but recent intelligence suggests it's at Jarvis.
Stephen Hawking, love him in "Glee." Want to confirm that he's a Muppet.
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."