Wine Blogs Are the Attention-Barking of Lonely Poodles
Monday, January 18, 2010
What's the HoseMaster Drinking?
ABBAZIA DI NOVACELLA 2007 LAGREIN STIFTSKELLEREI NEUSTIFT
This is a wine that's an absolute joy to drink. Every Italian wine lover is familiar with the wines of Abbazia di Novacella and their brilliant winemaker Celestino Lucin. And Lagrein is one of the great underappreciated varieties; where it shines is the Alto Adige. So you take a great winemaker, working at one of the oldest wineries in the world (founded in 1142 by Augustinian monks St. Mickey of Dolenz and St. Peter of Tork), producing wine from one of Italy's great red wine grapes, and you get this beauty. St. Augustine of Hippo (not to be confused with Kirstie Alley of Hippo), whose teachings the Augustinians follow, taught, among other things, that "Nothing conquers except truth and the victory of truth is love." Now there's a pithy little aphorism. Though I always thought the victory of truth is divorce. But I would never argue with a guy named Saint Augustine of Hippo. Unless I was Saint Ron of Oxpecker, and, believe me, I know Oxpeckers, I worked with Oxpeckers, I am certainly a long way from an Oxpecker. Baboonpecker, maybe, but no Oxpecker. Oh, where was I? Drinking this gorgeous bottle of red wine actually reminded me of drinking one of the great red wines of the Loire, with its lithe body and insistent acidity. Lagrein isn't always this compelling. Many examples are light and stupid. But in the hands of Celestino Lucin Lagrein shows its powdery, floral, cherry and almond skin beauty. This stuff is as racy as a Victoria's Secret runway show but without that depilatory smell. Tell me that doesn't make you want to try a taste.
The HoseMaster Score: 777,500 Points
Disclaimer: As a young Leo chicken I always wanted to be an Augustinian friar.
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."