“…any food product that feels compelled to tell you it’s natural in all likelihood is not.”—-Michael Pollan
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Best New Wineries of 2010
My mailbox is overflowing with press releases from new and interesting wine projects. This is what happens when you become one of the top wine bloggers in America. It becomes your duty to spread the information as widely as possible, as if you're the prison wife of wine marketing departments everywhere. So, as an obedient wine blogger, I'm going to share some of the latest news about up-and-coming wineries to watch for in the next few months.
SELF-LOATHING WINERY AND VINEYARDS
The goal of Self-Loathing Winery and Vineyards is to inject a little bit of self-hatred in every bottle we produce. We start with our estate grapes, which are handled as well as we can handle them, but, really, we're not that good at it. During the growing season, and as close to harvest as possible, our winemaker and his team carefully walk each vineyard row. He stops every now and then to criticize the grapes. "You look awful. You call those clusters? Gladys Knight has better pips." Soon the grapes arrive in the winery for their transformation into mediocre wine at vastly inflated prices, but what can we do? We're underwater at Self-Loathing Winery and Vineyards, and we don't just mean the way we make Pinot Noir. Frankly, we're not sure why anyone wants our wine, but if you do, please go to our website-- if we had a website, but what would be the point? Who would buy this handmade, artisan crap? Self Loathing Spokesmodel Lindsay Lohan
We recently sat down and blind tasted our 2007 "Denigration Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon alongside Harlan Estate, Sloan, Screaming Eagle, Scarecrow and Far Niente. It pretty much sucked. Really. It was kind of embarrassing. The Harlan was in another league, the Scarecrow was way better, Screaming Eagle rocked, and Far Niente--come on, we're better than Far Niente, for God's sake. We didn't do so well in our blind tasting, but, in our defense. we're about the same price as the others.
When you open a bottle of Self-Loathing, we hope that you feel the way we feel when we make the wines. Angry at yourself for being so stupid.
A trip to wine country is never complete until you've paid a visit to Domaine Asperger. When you and your guests arrive you'll be greeted with a limp handshake and a reminder to remember Domaine Asperger's motto, "Please No Eye Contact." You'll be given a brief tour of the vineyards if your guide can focus for a minute and stop staring at the hummingbird feeder. Don't try to distract him, he loves his hummingbirds and generally eats two or three before lunch. After your tour, during which you'll see our winemaking facility and realize that asking relevant questions is pretty much a waste of everyone's time, as it is at most wineries, you'll be escorted to the tasting room. Well, your guide may just point to it and grunt, but you'll feel welcome! In the tasting room you'll be able to experience our award-winning wines and experience the hospitality Domaine Asperger is famous for. Please refrain from making jokes or exchanging pleasantries with our tasting room staff. They simply won't understand and may wander off and then we have to send someone to try and find them. Simply taste our fine wines and place an order. Idle chitchat won't get you anywhere and, frankly, every tasting room is sick of you and your self-obsessed babble. We hope you enjoy your visit to Domaine Asperger and if you plan on returning, please reconsider. And stop making faces. Who are you anyway?
AWKWARD SILENCE WINES
Isn't it about time someone produced wines for life's awkward silences? Well, that's exactly what we've done at Awkward Silence wines. Now after you've told your husband you're two months pregnant before remembering he's been out of town for the past ten weeks, you can open a bottle of Awkward Silence 2009 "Busted!," our award-winning blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and a pinch of Summer's Eve. It's crisp and oh-so cleansing. Let's say your wife discovers that pair of Victoria's Secret panties in your lunch pail. Before you try to explain what they're doing there, open a bottle of Awkward Silence 2007 "Sick Bastard," a soothing red blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, with a dash of Y Chromosome. It's rich and satisfying, and will eventually give your bride a mustache. There's a perfect bottle of Awkward Silence wine for every intimate occasion. Just had lousy sex? Six pumps and a squirt? Reach for a bottle of Awkward Silence 2007 "Never Happened Before" Pinot Noir. You and your unfortunate partner will be able to fill that awkward silence with the silky richness of Pinot Noir that's fortified with just the right amount of Rohipnol, so she'll forget what happened each and every time you fail to satisfy her. That's what we do here at Awkward Silence wines. We're your proud accomplice in life's little failures.
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
"...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.