Monday, May 17, 2010

A Tea Party of Wineabees




"The Wine Blog Awards judging is almost done. Yes, we had originally planned to have the judging complete by now with the public voting to be opened this Monday, May 17. However, the task blossomed a bit this year: more categories, more nominations, and more judges. Each judge has to sift through many, many blogs and we are waiting for data back from only a couple judges."--Wine Blog Awards Website




I'm sorry. It's my fault. I probably never should have agreed to do it. But I thought it would be fun. I thought it would be interesting. I'd spend long, contemplative Spring afternoons lost in a world of wine and language, savor the wisdom and knowledge of thoughtful and insightful people. I thought it would be hard because there would be this wealth of talent that I would have to whittle down to a mere five nominations per category, but that it would be a good kind of hard, like the New York Times crossword puzzle or a 57-year-old's morning erection. But now the nightmares won't stop. I'm afraid to fall asleep. My waking life has become unbearable. And the voices...My God, the voices won't stop. So many voices, so little to say. Make them stop! Please, for the love of Asimov, make them stop!


Sometimes I think it's the couples wine blogs that haunt me the most. "He loves wine, she loves fashion.." AAAAAARRGGHHH!! Somebody stop them! We don't care! You can't make us care. Your lives aren't interesting. I don't have any idea who told you they are, maybe your high school guidance counselor when you were twenty-five, but, believe me, they're not. And the pictures, the endless pictures, the endless fashion pictures, if you're idea of fashion is early Knott's Berry Farm, it's just more than I can bear. It's not a wine blog, it's Vanity Fair for female serial killers mixed with wine opinions for the addlepated. But they're not the only ones. Is this some sort of new advice couples therapists are dispensing to troubled marriages? Start a wine blog together! "She's a wine expert, he just loves the smell of jockstraps, won't it be fun to follow along as she teaches him to love wine!" NOOO! It won't. It's a nightmare. Teach him in private. Really. We don't want to read about it. Write a blog about him teaching you about something, humility maybe, and leave us alone. Oh God, my head...


I see these Wineabees everywhere. There was a time, back in the golden days of civilization, before the Internet, when people learned about wine quietly, by reading books, by traveling, by attending tastings. They didn't proclaim their ignorance for everyone to read. They didn't form big bands of wine ignorants and endlessly praise each other. "Great post, Thea! Hope to see you at the Wines of Trannies event in the City. Can't wait for those Post-Op Pinots. You rock!" "Great post, Sonadora! I love everything you write. You taste the cheapest wines! You rock!" I've had to read through these blogs and I can't get the voices out of my head. I didn't sign up for this. I hear hundreds of these voices, but they all sound the same. I walk down the street and I hear a sad little voice say, "...comes with a natural cork closure..." and I want to jump off the curb in front of a truck. Did Hugh Johnson ever utter the words, "comes with a natural cork closure?" Has Jancis Robinson ever declared, "This Sancerre would go perfectly with the latest Lady GaGa release?" Did Gerald Asher ever devote 1000 words to what wine goes with Hostess Ho-Ho's? I read through dozens of wine blogs and now there's this constant drone in my head, the kind of drone that goes with brain cells not dying, but committing ritual suicide.


So I thought I'd try a site that sounded like it might be porn. You know, NectarDrinker.com, or something like that. That sounded promisingly sick. But, no, it's not, it's just more of the same dreck. Only this guy, this guy is like the kid who was hit in the hammer by his weird uncle when he was seven and now he goes up to everyone he meets and says, "You're really pretty," and a wet stain develops in his pants, which is only a sign of freshness in baked goods. He just goes to every wine blog and comments, "You're really pretty. I love your blog." And he wants to be Gary V., models himself after the one guy who's living proof that Darwin was right except he should have said "descended" not "ascended." This NectarDrinker wants to package himself. I'm all for that, so long as it's in an airtight package.


It's just that these voices won't stop. The constant whine of the untalented, the voices of the democratization of wine. I hear them nonstop, I can't get them out of my head after sifting through all that tedious prose, those mind-numbing wine descriptions, the incessant noise of their rallying around each other proclaiming their God-given rights to express themselves and their uninformed and dull opinions, a Tea Party of Wineabees drowning us in their witless prose and borrowed opinions. Those voices haunt me. What happens to wine when everyone's an expert, when everyone's voice is heard? I don't know. I can't hear anything amid all the clamor. I can only hear the corporate marketing people laughing.


Oh, the Tea Party of Wineabees declares, if you don't like it, don't read it! We can do what we like. Just don't read our wine blogs. We like what we do, and we like what our friends do, we don't need you, we don't need your scorn or criticism. And, like any respectable Tea Party, on the face of it they have a point. For what's American about criticism? The Internet, wine blogs, they're not about criticism. Criticism is Socialist. The hierarchy is clear and only a fool tries to buck the system--opinion first, facts a distant second, talent just now turning for home. The Tea Party of Wineabees is untouchable and right and we value only the first and foremost of the Internet hierarchy. And we are legion. You have seen the future and it is mediocrity, and you'd better learn to accept it. The old status quo has to go. The hell with them. It's our turn now. Some people like to stand on the shoulders of giants, we prefer to be the midgets who use the giants' genitalia as a speedbag.


Sorry. The voices are getting to me. I've tried to read through all the nominated wine blogs; God knows I've tried. I even read the ones who nominated themselves, the hammerheads who look in the mirror and say, "You're so pretty" to themselves. But the voices only get louder and louder and I fear I'm losing my mind. But I hang on, I hang on knowing that wine blogs, like so many dwarves, won't live long. The voices will finally fade. And all that will be left is just the abandoned sites, like so many strip mines that have polluted the landscape and poisoned the people nearby.


Good Luck with the Wine Blog Awards, Everybody!!



35 comments:

Charlie Olken said...

I have nominated HoseMaster of Wine in the category, Best Blog For The Huddled Masses Yearning to Breath Free.

Good luck.

Oh, and Ken Payton has nominated HoseMaster of Wine in the category, WTF.

Steve Heimoff has nominated himself in the category, "It's A Good Thing I Have A Sense of Humor".

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Puff Daddy,

I'm hoping for any nomination and a win just so I can give a long acceptance speech endorsing Sarah Palin and demanding to see 1WineDude's birth certificate. I have it on good authority he was born in Myanmar.

And congrats on your nomination in the category "Best Blog that Doesn't Exist," though I'm guessing Robert Parker's "Thoughts From Hell" is a sure winner.

Josh aka NectarDrinker said...

Ron, thanks for the skewering...you're real purty and I like your blog...

Cheers, nectardrinker... drinknectar

P.S. If you were looking for porn, I have some recommendations for you... ;)

Thomas said...

Does this mean that I lose again?

Guess I'll go eat worms--with Viognier, of course.

abc said...

Ron
So does this post have triple the readership of the last one?
-A

Dave said...

And the award for the most obscure resurrection of an antique adjective goes to the Master of Hoses for....

Addlepated (... as in "the opinions of the)

John M. Kelly said...

Do they really give awards for wine blogs? Really? I mean, really? Is it, like, bronze silver gold double-gold best-of-show? Or is it, like, on a 100-point scale? I really need a blog to tell me which wine goes best with which blog, and what music I should be listening to when I read it. Please - which blog goes bast with a 2005 Salice Salentino and Psapp?

Ron Washam said...

Hey Josh,

Wow, how did you find the time to comment here? Not much going on over at BrixChicks or WineabeeWino? Anyhow, thanks for dropping by. Yes, I know, I am purty. I have the face for blogging.

Thomas,

I'm not sure not receiving a Wine Blog Award is exactly the definition of losing. It's a lot like not winning a Darwin Award. Desirable. What you never want to be is one of the judges for the WBA, which is what this lame post was about, aside from 500 words too long.

Amy Love,

Yeah, triple. So, six readers.

Dave,

Such a lovely word, addlepated, I hate to see it so ignored. If only "terroir" would suffer the neglect in its stead.

John,

Let's see, with Salice Salentino I'd go with Alfonso's "On the Wine Road in Italy," and, luckily, he's also a Psapp. Perfect match.

Sure, pretend you aren't longing for a WBA, which I thought was a league for really tall women but turns out to be an award for stunted emotional maturity. I believe the blogs are judged on the musical scale--the sharp ones are disqualified and the flat ones rule.

Derrick said...

I took a turn judging the WBA a few years back, and I actually found it pretty easy to disqualify tons of entrants in any one category. Sometimes too easy: I had to scrounge a bit to find 5 nominees for some of the categories.

I will say, however, that I found at least one blog that was new to me and that I enjoyed.

Kathy said...

I do have to admit, as I have said before, were it not for having judged once, I'd have been late to the HoseMaster party. I never got invited back.

Do bloggers who win get invited somewhere? Do you have to declare it to the FTC? Or just the IRS?

This reminds me of a professional contest-entering couple (may have been sole occupation) who won a wine trip to Bordeaux. Didn't drink. Had to file videos. It was painful.

I wonder if they entered...

Samantha Dugan said...

This huddled mass would also like to nominate HoseMaster for saving us from the witless mind-numbingly boring back label writing that plagues far too many wine blogs out there.

Ron My Love,
I made the same mistake in trying to read through all the nominated (self nominated included and I count the ones that went on facebook and emailed their friends begging them to nominate them in this category) wine blogs....it was a little like grading kindergarten play dough sculptures. Kind of depressing really and that one with the fashion and wine crap seriously had me thinking, "Well if I bludgeon myself it will go away" dreadful and so freaking pointless. I must admit I am dying to see who the finalists are if for no other reason than to get my panties twisted and watch you go after them, (the bloggers not my panties). That or I'm an emotional cutter....either way I'm staying tuned in.

1WineDude said...

As a person of short stature, I am deeply offended by this article.

Regards,
-shorty

Pappy Daddy said...

Joe, my dear adopted son--

Not to worry. You are way ahead in the Short Blog category.

Pappy

Ron Washam, HMW said...

1WineDude,

When you win your WBA stand on Heimoff's shoulders to give your acceptance speech. Nice symbolism, and you might also get a gig with Cirque du Soleil.

Thomas said...

Heimoff has shoulders? I thought they were superfluous to a wine critic whose head is usually taken off and lain to rest at the end of a hard day of spitting and spewing. Don't even need a neck.

Charlie Olken said...

Tom--

Headless wine critics? Shoulderless wine critics? I think you forgot spineless wine critics, blind wine critics, emperors who have no noses wine critics and a whole host of wine critics with other infirmities.

How about talking about wine? Got any ideas how I can get my hands on a bunch of Finger Lakes Rieslings to review along the wines I have been collecting from WA, OR, CA and MI?

Ron Washam said...

Thomas,

Sure he's got shoulders. They hold up his royal cape.

Hey Charlie,

Talk about wine here? Oh, if you must.

I recently tasted the 2008 Chateau Grand Traverse Dry Riesling from Michigan, which was about $12, and thought it was sensational for that price. Not going to scare anybody in the Mosel, but it was beautifully made and pitch perfect for the variety. An easy 564,324 on the HoseMaster Million Point Scale.

And while you're at it, get your fingers on some wines from the Hands Lakes.

Jimmie Schnipke said...

Michigan Master,

I knew there was something about this place I liked. Been following those wineries in the Traverse area as long as Daddy has been puffin. And they have more than fingers, they have the whole mitten. (Still love ya, Thomas.)

Ron Washam said...

Heya Jimmie,

That Michigan stuff impressed me, but I am far out of touch with Finger Lakes Rieslings. Though you'd think a guy like me would be given an awful lot of Fingers.

Meanwhile, I'm still having nightmares from some of those blogs I read. The horror, the horror!

Thomas said...

Anyone interested in Finger Lakes Riesling ought to contact the Finger Lakes wineries. I am not an employee and do not receive compensation for doing any sort of PR work, or otherwise for the region.

You can go over to the New York boosterism blog (http://lennthompson.typepad.com/lenndevours/)
and maybe get some help there.

Be warned, however, reviewing wines that can't be found at retail in your location can be annoying to consumers.

Jimmie Schnipke said...

Dear HorrorMaster,

Try some of Larry Mawby's sparkling wines..Cremant, Talisman, very good vino. His Fizz & Wet are good, but I had Sex with him several years ago, and it was great! I could have blogged about it all day, but after a cigarette, I fell asleep.

John M. Kelly said...

Charlie - thanks for the Red Zeppelin reminder. I'd almost forgotten...

Ron - thanks for the Poxyclipse Now reference, Now I'm thinking "I love the smell of [insert RP favorite here] in the morning."

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Heya Jimmie,

Well, Mawby I will. Do you usually smoke after sex? Only if you do it right!

John,

I was actually going for the "Heart of Darkness" reference, but, from your Apocalypse to God's ear.

Thomas said...

So, where'd my last comment go?

It was there; I saw it. But now it's gone.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thomas,

It's so weird! At the bottom of the post it says 24 comments, but here it says 22, and your two comments have vanished. I got them in my personal Inbox, but then they're not on the blog. I certainly didn't delete them or do anything to make them vanish. Some sort of Blogger thing. Really odd.

So I'll cut and paste them here:

Thomas said:

Anyone interested in Finger Lakes Riesling ought to contact the Finger Lakes wineries. I am not an employee and do not receive compensation for doing any sort of PR work, or otherwise for the region.

You can go over to the New York boosterism blog (http://lennthompson.typepad.com/lenndevours/)
and maybe get some help there.

Be warned, however, reviewing wines that can't be found at retail in your location can be annoying to consumers.



Posted by Thomas to HoseMaster of Wine at May 19, 2010 4:02 PM

Thomas said:

So, where'd my last comment go?

It was there; I saw it. But now it's gone.



Posted by Thomas to HoseMaster of Wine at May 19, 2010 6:14 PM


I have no idea what's going on with your posts.

Thomas said...

This is a test--do not be alarmed; do not close the shades; do not hide under your desk; this is only a test!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thomas,

Blogger has regained its senses and allowed you back, even returned your old comments in their original form. Turns out it was a simple hostage situation and I had to pay Meg Whitman ten thousand dollars for their return. At least I think it was Meg Whitman--she looked amazingly like Benjamin Franklin.

Anyhow, it seems disorder has been restored.

Thomas said...

"Anyhow, it seems disorder has been restored."

Not really, not until Whitman sends me my share of the ten grand.

Odd, but when i tried to post on Fermentation earlier, after a long time away, I found that I had to re-enter all my info.

Someone at Google is after me--or avoiding me.

Puff Daddy said...

Tom writes, "Someone at Google is after me--or avoiding me."

They are not the only one, boyo.


Today's secret word is "qualatio", which seems to mean "good latio".

I suppose there is bad "latio" but I have yet to experience it.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Puff Daddy,

I'm pretty sure "qualatio" refers to oral sex at QualComm stadium. It's on old tradition at ballparks. You kiss your girlfriend on the strikes and she kiss you on the balls.

Dave said...

The Master of Hoses responded:

"At least I think it was Meg Whitman--she looked amazingly like Benjamin Franklin."

Aha! The commercials are starting to make sense... Poizner then is obviously Ben Stein and he too wants to win our money!

Dave said...

Basta!

The command given by my wife's alpha dog family tour guides in Italy while we were trying to sleep off the purple haze from the previous night... get up! we're starting over.

Here it applies to the Whitman/Poizner sick love/hate affair to see who can waste the most dinero claiming the other cretin is more liberal or has more STDs.

To put it in more concise and scientifically correct terms the appropriate descriptor is:

sadoequinonecrophilia

We will now return to our regular scheduled programming.

Samantha Dugan said...

It is the absolute WORST, I would be embarrassed for them if they didn't piss me off....

Samantha Dugan said...

Whoops...commented on the wrong post, I don't know S.H.I.t

Jack said...

Dear Hosey, I was wondering if it is permissible when responding in this space, to reach across the table and slap someone else other than you?
Oh and btw, when onewhinedud says stature, does that mean, IQ?