Friday, January 8, 2010

The Morgue the Merrier

The wine business lost a lot of very important people in 2009. OK, they weren't lost, they died. Why do we always say "lost" when they aren't lost at all? We know exactly where they are. Rotting in Hell with all the other inebriates. OK, let's start over. A lot of very important people in the wine business died in 2009. Many were overlooked by the vast majority of the wine-drinking public, but not here at HoseMaster of Wine. You know, my favorite part of the Academy Awards is the Death Montage--the morgue the merrier! So here's a brief rundown of those in the wine business who were bulked out in 2009.

D.B. Cooper (1932-2009)
When you talk to the best winemakers in California and ask them who made the finest barrels, the name that jumps to their lips is usually D.B. Cooper. After a long battle with termites, Cooper could no longer stave off death. Cooper was eulogized by Michael Jordan as "a fellow king of hoops who knew how to perform under fire." Not that Michael Jordan. Cooper turned out perfect barrel after perfect barrel in a world filled with cheap junk foudre. He was our barrique Obama.

Michel Rolland (1947-2009)
The wine world lost its most famous consultant in 2009, Michel Rolland. Michel consulted for over 30,000 wineries worldwide, most notably Chateau C'estmoulle-Plonque in Bordeaux and Blankcheckiet Estate in Napa Valley. In his prime, Rolland commanded as much as $25,000 for fifteen minutes of his time, a salary that placed him right up there with Bill Clinton, Heidi Fleiss and Sarah Palin's speech therapist. He was widely condemned for his contributions to the globalization of wine, though astute tasters could tell the differences between his wines by reading the labels. Rolland was responsible for countless 100 point wines, none of which any of you will ever taste, so stop your whining and go back to your crappy 92 point wines and feel miserable--100 point wines are too good for you and you know it. Rolland was killed in a freak hyperbaric chamber accident where he was micro-oxygenated.

Ann O'Smia (1953-2009)
Ann O'Smia was one of the country's leading wine critics in her role as chief wine reviewer for the prestigious publication "Wine Extortionist." Ann is credited with creating the subtle form of magazine blackmail that asks wineries to pay to have their labels displayed next to their reviews. When that was a success, Ann cleverly asked that wineries pay "Wine Extortionist" not to
publish lousy reviews of their wines. If a winery made horrible wine after horrible wine they were required to place a full-page ad. This practice continues today in every major wine publication--the full-page ad a sure sign that the winery produces crap. Ann's innovations made "Wine Extortionist" the most successful magazine of its era, and Ann its most powerful critic. It was said a bad review in "Wine Spectator" could cost you hundreds of cases of sales, but a bad review in "Wine Extortionist" only 75 bucks; and a great review in "Wine Spectator" cost you the respect of your peers, but a great review in "Wine Extortionist" only 75 bucks. Ann was killed in a rear-end collision with Marvin Shanken--no cars were involved. Ann in her usual tasting mode, wine contortionist.

And, happily, several bloggers died this past year, among them:

Hardy Stew, 45, whose blog about how wine affected his personal life, CirrhosisoftheLover, was the first to combine wine reviews with stories of his struggles with impotence. Though his blog was very popular, he struggled every day with getting it up.

Gary Vainasfuck, 48, of WineLiberryTV, whose illiterate and thoughtless ramblings about wine on his creepy video blog captured the imaginations of pathetic losers everywhere. Gary inspired an entire generation of wine drinkers to believe they too could be wine experts without knowing a single solitary thing about the subject. His death leaves no void.

HoseMaster of Wine, 57, from complications.


Samantha Dugan said...

Great post Ron! Keep up the good work, they were all so funny...ya know, except that last one, not funny at all.

Thomas said...

Too funny, Ron.

Small point, however: people either pass on or pass away, depending upon the strength of their belief in an after life or their inability to make a decision.

El Jefe said...

Thank for adding "bulked out" to the lexicon of death euphemisms. Your contributions to the Queen's English will not go unnoticed.

Puff Daddy said...

I am worried that Sam is onto something. The last paragraph makes all that came before it into one of the best death scenes ever.

We will miss the old Hosemaster of Wine, but just as with royalty, we must all proclaim, "The Hosemaster is dead. Long live the Hosemaster".

Rumor has it that Hardly Wallace has a new gig. Say it ain't so, and this is all a dream.

I think I liked Heimoff better today. Someone accused him of pontificating. Now I liked that, because obviously, one has to be a Pontiff to pontificate and that made Steve into the Left Coast Pope for A Day--or as Thea Dwelle, the WineBloggingBrat is known, Queen for A Day.

Question for the day: Do pontiffs pontificate on yontiff? A dollar to the first person who gets the bad joke?

Ron Washam said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

I actually enjoyed selling myself off in bulk. Was it Mark Twain who said, "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated?" Though it would be a nifty way out of having to write another chapter of "The MS Conspiracy."

And, as always, I adore you!

Hey Thomas,

I'll pass on a response.

El Jefe,

Hey, send me some wine to review! As for the Queen's English, see Puff Daddy's blog preference today.

Puff Daddy,

I believe I can pontificate with the best of them. I even have a scepter. 'scept I never use it.

And, you're not going to believe this, but it is absolutely true, I spent the day filming a webisode (now there's a stupid word) of Judd's Enormous Wine Show with Thea Dwelle. So now she hates me. Too.

Puff Daddy said...

You and the WineBrat. She signed up to follow me on Twitter, but left in such a hurry that I was practically drowned in the vortex. Must have been something I said about stupid posts on Twitter about how much you want to drink, how much you have drunk, how wasted you are and how sick you now are. Great reading.

So, I checked her Twitter account today. You can no longer follow her unless you have permission. So much for the openness and transparency of the new social media.

Thomas said...


I never figured you for being passamystic!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Puff Daddy,

If Heimoff can banish Tish, Thea can ban you. The Twittersphere is filled with Theacracies. I'd follow you on Twitter, but I'm not on Twitter. I'm banished from the whole concept.

And, anyway, you, of all people, should know that criticism is in very bad taste in the wine blog world. It's a world where if you can't say something nice, you're supposed to keep your big mouth shut. Which is why wineries like Social Media so much. I looked at Thea's blog, quickly, and she likes every FREE sample she receives! Amazing that she keeps getting more! So she can keep Tweeting about how drunk she is.



Anonymous said...

Puff Daddy...
The wine world has numerous high priests who dole out their "wisdom" virtually every day of the week, not merely on yontifs .
Some of these employ a digital scoring system and these people are Pointiffs .

Glad my name wasn't on this list...


Puff Daddy said...

Anon 1--

I believe I owe you a dollar. I should have known that a goniff (hah) would get the joke.

Anonymous said...

Puff Daddy is a bit of an alter cocker , but I have respect for my elders. Please donate the dollar to a worthy charity and I will simply kvell in knowing I won a small amount of gelt from a mensch such as the great Sir Charlie Olken!


Samantha Dugan said...

Puff Daddy,
How's about donating that dollar to my education because I don't have freaking clue what the hell you all are talking about!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Boys,

Keep this up and I'm going to have to change the name of my blog to HoseMeshugga of Wine.

Works though...

Puff Daddy said...

Indeed, Ron, you may be the HoseMushugga of Wine--although I am not sure that my good friend, Anon 1, did not claim the title years ago. Have you ever read any of his store's newsletters?

Puff Daddy said...


It was all part of an ancient Tribal ritual from years past. You would have to be indoctrinated as an MOT (Member of The Tribe) to understand.

But here are a few hints.

A pontiff is a guy who wears a pointy hat and is the head of an ancient religion.

Yontiff is how some holy days are referred to in the ancient language of an even more ancient religion.

A goniff is a member of that even more ancient religion who sells things to other members of that even more ancient religion, and is thus referred to as a goniff (a thief--which, as you know, all retailers are).

An alter cocker (and here the spelling is just disastrous) is a member of that even more ancient religion (Tribe) and it otherwise known, in your language, as an old shit--of which I stand accused and am unable to deny.

This Anon 1, who I know to also be an MOT, is going to kvell (gush about his good fortune)over winning a dollar from me. Shows how bad things are going in his store in this last year.

Gelt is gelt. You know, from the old saying, all that glitters is not gelt.

And a mensch is a person of substance, good standing, high repute, a doer of good deeds, a fine and admirable MOT--just like me.

Now, if you have reached the end of this story and have not already said, "Oy, vey". Please repeat after me, "Oy, vey".

Oh, and yes, Ron is Meshugga, which makes him a high priest in any ancient religion. Kind of like being the HosePontiff of Wine.

Anonymous said...

Mister Hosemaster would be termed the HoseMossik of Wine.
Sam is definitely a maidel mit a becher.
Puff Daddy is also an alter bok.
Oy gevalt...


Samantha Dugan said...

Oy Vey! I so had to consult the Yiddish glossary but I have the giggles in the worst way right now. Who'd a thunk that a post about dead wine folks would have caused this?! Ron would, which is why we all love him, and which is why I am guessing he is laughing his ass off right now.

Anon 1,
You adorable thing you, I don't wear dresses, (glossary) but I am so spinning around in my baggy jeans, and "Big Beer Big Wood" T-Shirt for You right now....cannot stop giggling