Wine Blogs Are the Attention-Barking of Lonely Poodles
Monday, February 8, 2010
Coming Soon! More Useless Blogs!
I feel kind of confined by HoseMaster of Wine. Sure, it's brilliant comedy and, well, there's not a lot of that out there in the wine blogosphere, though LusciousLushes is hilariously inept. And sure I've won the Nobel Prize, a Pritzker, several Humanitarian awards, a People's Choice, an NBA MVP, and a coveted Psoriasis Society Biggest Flake Award, but I'll be honest, there are so many other bloggers I want to be, so many different kinds of blogs that I admire and want to emulate. So I'm thinking of starting a few more wine blogs. Hey, I'm basically unemployed, I've got the time, and, besides, as so many so aptly demonstrate, they don't take much work or thought.
I love the blogs that just review the stupid and virtually worthless samples that are sent to them. Listen, friends, here's a clue: When the cost of shipping the bottle exceeds the bottle's price, don't review it! It's crap, and the winery is fishing for a fool to slap their label on their wine blog, and you're the bottom feeder they've hooked. But I love the concept. Post after post about truly mediocre wine, every one praised as though it's the Second Coming of Yquem. I get the wine for free, I steal descriptions from the marketing material included with the bottle, and then I match it with a poem or a song or a porn movie, and, voila, I have a successful wine blog. One thing about the Internet--no shortage of stupid people reading it.
"The Ironstone 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon would be perfect with Vivid's 'The Hurt Licker.'"
If cyberspace can be said to be wasted, this species is the Cheech and Chong of wine blogs. I'd model mine after WineHarlots (please, for the love of God, I'm begging you, believe me, you MUST believe me, do NOT go there), which, if there were any justice, would be ground up and put in cow horns and buried in a BioDynamic vineyard. Here two sisters, equally ignorant about wine, review samples that seem to have been sent to them instead of The Dollar Store. Not only do they wax rhapsodic about these dogs in prose that is surely computer generated and stiffer than the lead actor in "The Hurt Licker," they feel the need to tell you what closure the bottle sports (no doubt because you wouldn't want to rush out and purchase a fraudulent bottle of this unmitigated piss), and they match the wine with music. So I'm supposed to believe that two women with very little in the way of discernment when it comes to wine know music? And, hell, am I supposed to chug the bottle in the four minutes it takes to play your crappy iPod selection, or do I just play it over and over until the wine is finished and my sanity deeply injured?
There are countless blogs out there like WineHarlots. I see them as the Special Olympics of Tasting Notes. I want in. I think WineBottomFeeder will be a huge hit.
So this would be my blog where I list lots of events going on in the wine world and act like I'm doing a public service by writing about them, tweeting about them, and posting them on my Facebook page, so I am generally responsible for their success. This gives me great feelings of self-importance. I get an email from someone putting on a wine-related event, I jot down the info on my blog, make it sound like it is of critical importance for everyone who loves wine to participate or read about it, and, there, I've got me a blog! You can do these posts in your sleep, and lots of bloggers do. The lastest conference on Social Media and Wine, you should go!! (Hey, if Social Media is so powerful, why do we have to have a conference? Can't we just do it from home, at our computers, on our iPhones? Do we have to go to some dumpy hotel to listen to Alder and Andy and Joe and Steve tell us how much influence they have? I already know how much influence they have--look at the dumpy hotel ballroom they're speaking in.)
Of course, a blog like this demands that you post five days a week. So keep those PR notices coming! Otherwise, I might actually have to have something to say. Have a stupid wine event? I'll publicize it! And then I'll tweet about it so that my 674 followers on Twitter can feel like they're important, that they're the very lifeline of existence without whom information simply does not exist, and I'll post it on Facebook because, well, that's where I go to reassure myself I have friends, really good friends, friends who would do anything for me. All of this proves I am important in the wine business, and, as we all know, importance translates into expertise. Not the other way around.
OK, I'm a little old to start this blog, but I can pretend. I play the part of a frustrated writer (my friends always tell me I'm so good at writing I should start my own blog! I wrote for my high school newspaper, you know) who has discovered his passion for wine. Join me on my journey of discovery! Why? Well, because it is so interesting and I have so much to say. Together we'll explore wine. And none of that icky European stuff, and nothing that costs much money. Frankly, tasting all of those expensive and great wines just ruins your palate and you can't really enjoy the kind of wines you can afford, so why bother? I've had lots of wines under $15 that I'd rate over 95 points! Why? Hell, it's easy when you don't know anything. That's why they call it a journey. But wouldn't you much rather enjoy a $12 bottle that gets 95 points than a $125 bottle that gets 96? And you can! Just join me as I discover the amazing world of wine! Here are just a few of the things you'll learn along with me:
Did you know Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are the same grape! They mean "old pinot" in Italian and French.
Did you know not all Gewurztraminer is sweet? I know! Neither did I? And the "w" is pronounced like a "v," just like in Der Wienerschnitzel--and they're a perfect wine and food match!
Did you know professional wine people spit wine out when they taste it?! Not me. That's just stupid.
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."