“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
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Pinotage, Poodles and Poetry
I usually like to post pieces about one subject. I have this regulator in my brain that tells me how long a post should be, how far to take the tastelessness, when to quit. It doesn't work, but I have one. But I thought this time I'd just improvise a bit, give you poor suckers a glimpse into my twisted mind, let you see what runs through my head when I'm driving, or sitting on my redwood deck flipping off bluejays. Herewith, some very random thoughts...
Every four years the World Cup comes around and I am forced to talk football with strangers. I hate soccer. It has to be the stupidest game in the world, unless you count wild turkeys. After all, what sets us apart from our animal brethren is our ability to think and the use of our remarkable and dexterous hands--so I know, let's play a sport that doesn't allow the use of either! Let's use our head not for our highly evolved brain, but for whacking a ball into a net. What other sport doesn't allow you to use your hands? Sado-Masochism? The guys lining up to defend a penalty kick need a "safe" word. "CHOCK FULL O' NUTS!" might work. And what is with the penalty cards? How stupid is that? The officials pull out a flash card, yellow or red, after one guy kicks another guy in the shins. Two yellow cards or one red card and you're expelled. Sounds like those home pregnancy tests. And do we have to drink South African Pinotage while we watch? Pinotage is a hybrid grape created by crossing Pinot Noir with Garbage. Wake me when it's over.
Why haven't more famous poets written about wine?
Men always Seem asses When they bring Riedel glasses.
"Oak" is the thing with feathers That perches in the wine-- And squirts its waste and woody doo-- Upon this head of mine.
I've heard it in the chillest Chard-- And on the strangest Zin-- Yet, never, will it ever end-- You just can't fuckin' win.
I sing the blog electric, The armies of me I love engirth me, and I engirth them They will not let me off until till I speak in third person, accept free samples, Embrace corrupt, and charge them full what my blog is worth.
I'm sure you're all interested in my predictions for the 3rd Annual Poodles. These are tight, hotly contested categories. Like the Wiener Nationals.
Best Wine Blog Graphics, Other Crap, and More Look At Me I Know How to Work Photo Shop
Swirl Smell Slurp--A blog by a married couple you really don't want to know
Best Industry/Business or Business/Industry or MYOBid'ness Blog
New York Cork Report--We're a third rate region with a second rate blog!
Best Wine Reviews on a Wine Blog That Still Don't Sell Wine
Bigger Than Your Head--Where Adjectives Go to Die
Best Single Subject/Broken Record Wine Blog
Catavino--If only Iberia Had an "S" in front of it
Best Winery Blog Considering How Much They Have to Lie
Tablas Creek--If We Were In Napa We'd Be Really Important
Best Writing on a Wine Blog Unless You Don't Skim
Steve Heimoff--You Like Me! You Really Like Me!
Best New Wine Blog That Won't Ever Make It
Drink Nectar--It Just Seems Like I've Been Around Forever
Best Overall Wine Blog That Makes the OWC Look Good, Which Ain't Easy
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.