“For something to be funny, the audience has to be in a position to sense the truth of it. It has to be primed. Satire can crystallize what’s already in the air, but it can’t really put it there.”--Garry Trudeau
Monday, April 26, 2010
Spring Pledge Drive
We'll get right back to HoseMaster of Wine, but, as you may know, it is time for our annual Spring Pledge Drive for Wine Blogs. Wine blogs depend on contributions from people like you, the people who read these brilliant works for absolutely nothing. We don't charge you exorbitant subscription rates like Wine Spectator. Can't they just print that useless rag on normal size, recyclable paper? Christ, the Large Print Edition is the size of a toilet stall door, and, coincidentally, conceals the same activity. But when you dial up your favorite wine blog, be it the HoseMaster or Dr. Vino or, God forbid, Vornography (where wine journalism goes to fester and die), it doesn't cost you one thin dime. No, unlike print publications like Wine Enthusiast, with wine blogs you get exactly what you paid for, and without the tiresome ads (and, at Wine Enthusiast, those are the wine reviews). This is the great American way, friends, you put nothing in, you get nothing out. Why, it's exactly how God created Man to procreate. It's why wine blogs are God's work and mimic our very existence--you put nothing in, you get nothing out. We are here during Pledge Week to ask you as contributors to put something into every wine blogger you can think of. God knows they'll enjoy it.
Just try and imagine your day without Wine Blogs. OK, stop smiling. Seriously, where else can you find this kind of quality for free? Other than a dumpster? Look at the quality of programming you can find each and every day on Wine Blogs. Where else can you find reviews of wines written from a completely unschooled perspective? Yes, you can turn to professional critics with decades of experience and trained palates, but they don't enjoy wines the same way you do at home. They're know-it-alls, a bunch of old white guys, and women who basically resemble old white guys (I'm talking to you, Jancis baby), who talk down to you, try to educate you, when all you really want is to get drunk as cheaply as possible. So you come here. To Wine Blogs. Where people just like you, unskilled people with too much time on their hands and the ability to type, talk about wine endlessly and inarticulately, mistaking profanity for wit and opinion for meaning. This is where you find the wines you want to rush out and buy. Here you can find the scoring system and information you really seek. We're all tired of the 100 point scale, it's meaningless and intellectually dishonest. It's barely a 20 point scale! No one rates below 80. How is that a 100 point scale?! When's the last time you went to a track meet and the runners only ran the last 20 meters of the 100 meter race? How would that be legitimate? You know what it's like? It's like these old white guys, and the women who look like old white guys (I'm talking to you, Andrea), telling you, "I swear, I'm just going to stick it in a little bit, baby, I'm not going to put it all the way in." Well, friends, you know and I know that for absolutely nothing Wine Bloggers are going to stick it in you ALL THE WAY! As God intended.
Don't worry, we'll get back to HoseMaster of Wine momentarily. But I want you to think about what your life would be like without Wine Blogs, and I want you to think about what your contributions mean. Imagine your next dinner party, you've chosen the wine you want to serve with your meticulously prepared meal, but you don't know what music to play with the wine! Oh my God (OMG, for you cretins in the room)! What are you going to do? Now imagine you don't have a Wine Blog to turn to for that information. Think about the embarrassment you'll feel when you serve the wine and you have the wrong music playing! Yes, I know, the shame might kill you. But this won't happen because you can turn to Wine Blogs. You can do a search of Wine Blogs and you'll be able to find another idiot, an idiot just like you, who knows what song to play with the wine. You can't find this information in Hugh Johnson, the guy's a gardener, for cryin' out loud, he wouldn't know a blogger from a pansy (easy now), and he sure as hell doesn't know what music to play with your ten dollar Chardonnay. You won't find any help with music selections from the "Oxford Companion to Wine;" I know, I looked under "Music" and all it said was "WTF?," which I thought was the author's initials but turned out to actually mean WTF. So, no, you have to turn here, to Wine Blogs, to the expert opinions of folks just like you, who not only have impeccable taste in wine samples, but also impeccable taste in their own favorite music. Where else could you possibly find people like that? And without your contributions during Pledge Week those folks just might not be here the next time you log on. Wouldn't that be a shame?
And, aside from information and wine knowledge gathered from total amateurs, what about the sheer entertainment value? What about the laughs? Here's an absolute classic from a recent post at Vornography. The post begins, "Fellow wine writer Eric Asimov..." Priceless! Alder ingeniously takes a harmless four word phrase, adds the word "fellow" to the front of it, and provides us with the biggest belly laugh since Wine Bloggers nominated themselves for Wine Blog Awards! "Fellow wine writer Eric Asimov!" Hilarious! You can't make this stuff up! It's like starring in your third grade play and saying, "Fellow actor Peter O'Toole once said..." How does he think of this stuff? It doesn't matter. Where else can you be as highly amused for free? And not get in trouble when your wife walks in the room and you're doing it?
So we're asking for your contributions. Corporate sponsorship, like Rodney Strong's, or Huckleberry Jackson's ownership of Steve Heimoff, doesn't support Wine Blogs 100%. Wine Blogs depend on the contributions of Viewers Like You. Without your contributions, Wine Blogs would cease to exist. Imagine that world. A world without Wine Blogs. Then decide what you want to do about it.
An operator is standing by. We now return to HoseMaster of Wine.
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.
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
"...With sometimes crude analogies and occasional droppings of f-bombs, Washam cleverly uses satire to expose the underbelly of the wine business. It's often hilarious stuff as long as you're not the one being lampooned. Washam takes no prisoners in skewering all that is silly, stupid, frustrating and pretentious about wine, and his favorite targets are other bloggers and writers. No one is immune."
--Linda Murphy in "Vineyard and Winery Management"
"No one is immune from California sommelier and wine judge Ron Washam's skewering. He polishes that skewer with boundless enthusiasm and acuity." --JancisRobinson.com
"As serious as the world of wine is, it does allow time for humor. Each Monday and Thursday, Ron Washam customarily posts a commentary on his needling wine blog HoseMaster of Wine. Washam, a former sommelier and comedy writer – he might say they are closely related – is the most opinionated, humorous and ribald observer in the wine world. His body of work is irreverent and remorseless. It’s almost always satire and parody, though he occasionally drifts into straight commentary, sometimes even with tasting notes. This past year, one of his posts was named the best of the year in the Wine Blog Awards. His success has spawned several imitations, which in their awkwardness show just how difficult satire is."
--Mike Dunne, Sacramento Bee
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/21/6089630/dunne-on-wine-wine-blogs-and-bloggers.html#storylink=cpy
"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
"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."
--Reign of Terroir
Robert (Joseph) was/is funny unlike HoseMaster who wasn't/isn't.