In skipping around the wine blogosphere reading other wine blogs, something I was forced to do recently when I inadvertently swallowed some rat poison sent to me as a winery sample and the bottle said to induce vomiting, I noticed that many of our "top" wine bloggers, and by "top" I mean most self-absorbed, fill posts with announcements of wine events. This is a public service to no one, but when you only have one thing to say and four posts a week wherein to say it, it's a necessity. Whether you're Alder going on and on about, well, Vinography and how it's the most valuable wine blog in America, certainly worth more than the amount of talent put into it, which is pocket change, or Dr. Vino, the Reader's Digest of wine blogs, the kind of wine blog you might read in a doctor's office, ironically, right after you finished the latest edition of "Highlights for Children" and wanted something easier to read, a Calendar of Events is the best filler since Styrofoam peanuts, and just as satisfying. But, hey, I get it, I've got nothing to say. I was going to write a post about Robert Parker in order to attract lots of comments, but then my email was flooded with upcoming wine events that I thought my loyal HoseMaster readers should know about. I think these are events you won't want to miss.
All-Star Tribute to HR Bill 5034, May 1st
Here is an event everyone will want to attend. As you may know, HR 5034 is an attempt by the Beer and Wine Wholesalers of America to destroy every winery in America; it's a totally unnecessary bill since this is something wineries themselves manage to do just fine. It has created outrage in many quarters of the wine business, particularly those quarters who have been trying to do the same thing for many years--winery marketing people, critics using the 100 point scale and other predatory insects. The highlight of this gathering on May 1st will be Fermentation's Tom Wark reading aloud the story of "Chicken Little" accompanied by a chorus of wine bloggers portraying Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey, and all the other domesticated animals (a classic example of typecasting) who will run around the stage at Tom's command and yell, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling..." Don't forget the date. Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!
The First Annual Wines That All Taste The Same Expo, May 15th
Here is an idea whose time has come. Gathered under one roof are representatives of major wine regions whose wines all taste the same. It's a chance for critics and enthusiasts alike to taste hundreds of examples of wines and write only one tasting note. In the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Pavilion, sixty producers will serve the same wine from sixty different bottles. Can you spot the differences? Yes, that's a kiwi on that label, and, absolutely correct, that's a kea on the other! Most people think a kea is a Korean car! You're good at this! Don't forget to wander over to the Austrian Gruner Veltliner Tent where you'll be able to taste Gruners from more than forty producers, all with incomprehensible labels. This is a rare treat to taste dozens of wines that all deserve 83 point scores and a single tasting note--"Dippity Doo!" When you're finished with the whites, stroll over to the Lodi Holiday's Zin Hotel (oh, those Lodi punsters!) for dozens of fresh baked brownies in a glass. Don't forget to spit! Somehow, I don't think that will be a problem. Also featured, the Wines of Maremma ("We're oh so Maremmarable!") and Australia's Most Expensive Shirazes ("From Dead Arms to Dead Palates").
Germany's Wine Exposition, May 29th
Modeled after the wildly successful Vinitaly, you won't want to miss this gathering of the best German Riesling producers--VinDiesel!
Wine Bloggers Benefit Auction, June 24th
Oh, you won't want to miss this! As part of the Wine Bloggers Conference (or, as its more commonly known, Oodles of Poodles) there will be an auction of valuable items from world famous bloggers. The proceeds will be donated to their favorite charity, the Wine Bloggers Conference. Auction attendees will be able to bid on remarkable collectibles such as an autographed copy of Alice Feiring's latest book, "The Battle for Wine and Puffs, or How I Saved the World from Charlie Parkerization," the clothes 1WineDude was wearing when he first met Steve Heimoff (should fit your son's GI Joe), signed photos from Alfonso Cevola of On the Wine Trail in Italy (of him and all the Trail Micks), a complete set of seven hundred commas from one post of Samantha Sans Dosage, Tom Wark has several wedding cakes you can bid on (all of them with three tiers) and, my contribution, a self-portrait of the HoseMaster--video from my recent colonoscopy.
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."