I was under the apparently false illusion that I had discovered Carbon Footprint Wines. I got suckered into publishing some of their marketing material because I believed I had scooped the wine blogging community. Foolish me. As if I could outwit the parade of brilliant bloggers the Internet has to offer, those titans of wine journalism. Oh, the hubris, the hubris, my aching hubris. I was surfing the blogs, if one can surf in what amounts to a Poodle puddle, and, lo and behold, everyone is talking about Carbon Footprint! Some sort of mass mailing of samples had occurred that gave the top bloggers something to write about, and UPS guys hernias. I've taken the liberty of quoting a few of them here.
SwirlSmellSlurp (Best New Wine Blog, Same as Best Old Wine Blog)
Pinot Noir, "Screw the Ozone," Carbon Footprint, 2008 (sample, retails for $65)
She said: Delightful and Decadent, the heavy bottle reminds me of one of Mannfred's Sine Qua Non bottles, which I can say because I know Mannfred and he admires my palate and I helped him start his winery. Initially, the wine comes across as floral, but the flowers give way to huckleberry, Bartlett pear (Josiah, not the Familiar Quotations guy--damn, my nose is discerning!), and pluots. The wine has a lot of heat, not just a little heat, damned Al Gore kind of heat, but it's the heat that carries it. If the bottle were a bit heavier and the wine a little higher alcohol, it could be Sine Qua Non, a winery I'm very familiar with, did I mention?
He said: I was pretty sure this was Merlot when I first smelled it, but then I thought, why would they put Merlot in a ten-pound Burgundy bottle? It was definitely red in the glass though, so that got me confused. On the palate it was red too, with white undertones. It tasted a lot like red wine and I liked it. Definitely a wine I'd drink for free again because I'm all for climate change because it's really hot here today. Do I seem drunk to you? You'll never guess what I'm rating it because I have my own opinions, really I do, that's what makes us so important.
BiggerThanYourHead (Best Wine Reviews and Little Else)
You'd never know the Carbon Footprint 2007 "Amazing Hurricane Season" Cabernet Franc was made from grapes farmed irresponsibly. I wouldn't have known if they hadn't bragged about being part of the fledgling Brown Movement, a Movement I believe I had this morning. Dedicated to the pursuit of the end of civilization as we know it through the frivolous use of chemicals and fossil fuels, clearly someone at Carbon Footprint knows how to make wine. Now I'm going to tell you exactly what it smells and tastes like, and you can take my description to the bank. I'll be certain to explain my precise terminology so that you can follow along. I make it an iron-clad rule to talk down to my readers, though what choice do I have? Intial aromas of macerated cherries and oolong tea lead to tertiary aromas (aromas from the tertia) of powdered cufflinks and Certs, but without the Retsin. In the mouth, the wine is layered and warm, like my Brown movement this morning, and displays a fascinating sense of doom, which comes from the barriques (or "barrels") which are made from heirloom plantings of oaks from now completely logged and barren forests. Drink now through the Rapture.
Jay McInerny On Wine(Who Says Ignorant Bloggers Can't Get Paid to Write)
We had friends over for a simple meal over the weekend. Bill Gates was looking trim and fit, fashionably skinny like he was a citizen of one of the Third World countries he and the lovely Melissa are always trying to save from themselves. And how handy that they'd brought immunizations for dysentery for everyone. Mick was feeling full of himself and insisted I turn him on to the wines I'd be praising in next week's WSJ column so that he wouldn't be shut out when he tried to buy them. I told Sir Mick that I'd be waxing rhapsodic about the great wines of Carbon Footprint, and that we'd be having some with dinner. The old queen Sir Ian laughed in that funny way of his I adore, as though Zelda Fitzgerald were there with us in spirit having recognized me as rightful heir to her husband's literary legacy.
I'd been turned on to Carbon Footprint by Larry Ellison. It was on his private jet that I first tried the Carbon Footprint "Revenge of the Dinosaurs" Chardonnay and it was a revelation. Why can't all California Chardonnays be this amazing? I was reminded of the great Chardonnays of J.J. Prum, but, perhaps this was not as oaky. I decided to accept samples from Carbon Footprint, though I confess I felt bad refusing their requests for autographed books in return because that violates WSJ's policy of never giving anyone anything.
I was very impressed by one of the wines that I served at our casual meal, the Carbon Footprint "Creeping Deforestation" Grenache, a grape I was unfamiliar with. It reminded me of a good Burgundy, maybe from Joguet, though it wasn't nearly ready to drink. I remarked that I felt like I'd committed infanticide, which inexplicably offended Melissa Gates. As I once said in my best-selling novel, "Bright Lights, Big City," "Fuck her."
WSJ readers will be pleased to learn that Carbon Footprint Wines eschews organics and other cultish Green viticultural practices in favor of massive resource consumption. My boss, Rupert, will be pleased to know that, after Sir Ian is through buggering him.
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."