Monday, April 9, 2012

The HoseMaster's Most Important Wine Bloggers

Over at ImTanked, a blog written by a Social Media Expert (the word “expert” is appended to Social Media in exactly the same way “star” is appended to Porn), a recent post listed the “Nine Most Important Wine Bloggers in the US.” Must be nice to be the President of Wine and get to appoint the whole Supreme Court. The post resembles nothing so much as a fourth-grader choosing up sides for a game of kickball. “So I’ll take Alder because he’s my best friend, and 1WineDoody cuz he’s so cool and recommends wines to boys who like tits, and Tommy Wark—he uses such big words… But no girls! We don’t want girls on our team. Girl bloggers have cooties.” I’m also pretty sure the list was chosen by height, or lack of it. The nine bloggers standing on each others’ shoulders might not be able to unscrew a light bulb. Or a porn star.

The post is an exercise in the obvious, which, after all, is what wine blogging is about. I give its author, Paul Mabray, RFD, credit for that. Naturally, I was stunned and hurt that I wasn’t on the list. HoseMaster of Wine is clearly one of the Most Important Wine Blogs in the US, as well as many foreign countries, like Oregon. And I'm pretty short, too. But he has a right to his dull and predictable opinion. And, let’s face it, being one of the “Most Important Wine Bloggers” is a lot like being one of the “Most Interesting People in a Coma.” For members of either list, you can only pray for brain activity.

Naturally, I have my own list of Important Wine Bloggers. Behold!

Wright R. Block ( –Block was the first wine blogger to stumble upon the idea of publishing a blog for the sole purpose of soliciting free tastings and samples from wineries. A title and a business card, that’s all you need. He ran out of ideas for his blog after ten posts, hasn’t run a new piece in four years, yet he continues to find ways to freeload in the wine business. An inspiration to all wine bloggers.

Heywood Jalookatme (www.simplewinesforsimpleminds) –Heywood stepped into the void left when Gary Vaynerchuk was moved to the Old Circus Chimps Home in Florida (where he roomed with the primate star of the old “Tarzan” movies—who says Cheetahs never prosper?). Heywood writes for the Everyman, speaking to ordinary wine lovers in language they can understand--monosyllabic. He may not have been the first to talk to wine lovers like they’re stupid, but he’s still the best. His style is widely imitated, as is his standard reply to critical comments, “Go Wark yourself.”

Luce Morals ( –Luce is certainly one of the most important wine bloggers. The first to ask readers to “join me on my journey to learn about wine!,” she inspired hundreds of new and equally worthless wine blogs. Now, five years later, Luce still knows very little about wine. But her relentless Tweeting and constant FaceBook posts rank her among the most influential wine bloggers as well. It’s Social Media, friends, it’s the quantity of the writing, not the quality.

W. Blinky Gray
W. Blinky Gray ( –With his trademark eyeglasses the only thing giving away his cartoon roots, Blinky created the role of faux journalist among wine bloggers. Mixing a dull voice with his signature lack of insight, Blinky paved the way for an entire generation of frustrated high school newspaper reporters to discover wine blogging (which, in turn, led to PalatePress). That self-important tone so prevalent among wine bloggers? Thank Blinky. That air of superiority that masks a dearth of talent? A Blinky trademark! Ask him, he’s clearly one of the Most Important Wine Bloggers.

Flo Quacious ( –Flo Quacious invented the long form wine review, now a staple of wine bloggers. She can tell you less about a wine in 500 words than a professional wine critic can in 25. Every day she reviews a new wine and makes you think, “Why would I put that crap in my mouth?” But producers and importers of barely drinkable plonk love her style! After three paragraphs of a glowing review of yet another New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that tastes mainly of Loudmouth Lime and Windex, who’s still awake to read that the wine was sent as a “Review Sample?" Flo made being bought for free samples a desirable path that hundreds of wine bloggers have since followed.

Haim Stevoff ( –Haim led the way for professional wine critics to cast aside dignity and join in the blogosphere conversation. A way to claim the ground that others broke, a way that an enormous number of successful wine writers have since followed. And why not? This road to the top is so much simpler! You already have the job that all the bloggers want, why not just butt right in and take away all their readers too?! Become one of the “Most Important Wine Bloggers.” It’s perfect. It’s like Meryl Streep stepping into the cast of “Happy Endings.” You’re surrounded by delusional people who think they have talent. Must be good for the ego.

Jose Maestro ( –You must be important if you can spend all your time making fun of everyone else, and that’s what Jose does on his eponymous blog. The poster boy for bloggers who think they have twice the talent they actually possess, Jose has a genuine gift for finding amusement where none exists. His claim that he doesn’t like any of his own work lands him squarely on the pulse of public opinion. It is a measure of his importance that, like all wine bloggers, he speaks to the 99%. The 99% of the country that hasn’t heard of any of them.

Here was the original manuscript for the post "The HoseMaster's Most Important Wine Bloggers"



Samantha Dugan said...

Half expected those links to take me to a bunch of pictures of monkeys throwing their poop or something. As to those stupid lists, I blame Yelp for making everyone think they are a critic, or because they have a computer and can type, that they are writers...wait, maybe I should be blaming blogger.

Thomas said...

Once again, I don't make the list.

If this keeps up, my wife will stop believing that I am the important wine guy that I've claimed to be.

Wait: I looked at Jose's list again. I am there, number 3--I just know it.

Marcia Macomber said...

Guffawed all the way through! (Good thing I was well done with my coffee for the day or it would have been sprayed all over the keyboard.)

Cannot decide which one was my favorite. But perhaps it was saving the best for last, that Jose guy. The best wine blogger ever!

Anonymous said...

Could you check the link for Blinky's Beige Report? I think it is broken.

Umm, while you're at it, could you post the link for Happy Endings, too? (I mean "Happy Endings, also"...I already have Happy Endings 2.)

Thanks! You're the best.


Samantha Dugan said...

I'm pretty sure Ron thinks we are all #2.

Wine Harlots said...

"We're number two!"

Anonymous said...

I always said the most exclusive wine writer club would be the "Six Foot and Over Society"

Barking Dog Daddy said...

Gee, not a dog in sight. Where have all the poodles gone?

Dean Tudor said...

Ron, we love you, thanks for taking the hit and doing this.

You KNOW why you are not on the list: you yourself have said you are only good for 4 1/2...

We don't blog, we slog.

Nunquam spuemus....

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

The listmaking gene makes my job easy. Who cares what Paul Mabray thinks? But he's a marketing guy, so his deal is, I don't care what they say about me, as long as they talk about me. I fell into that trap, but I hope everyone sees the inherent stupidity in a list proclaiming the 9 Most Important Wine Blogs. He'll say it's just his opinion, but that's not what the post says. And the 9 listed go out of their way to say thanks. There's the comedy. On my end, I simply say, "Thank You" for the easy blog post.

And, Yes, Blogger has made the Internet an uniformed and miserable place, in so small part because they gave me a platform.


A guy who posts every three months is beneath even my contempt.

Marcia Love,

"Important Wine Blogger" kills me to begin with. We ALL do it for vanity and masturbatory purposes. Wine bloggers have little importance in the wine world. So "Most Important?" Hilariously self-serving and wonderfully desperate.

Thanks, as ever, for your wonderful presence here.


Can you believe it? I actually checked all those idiotic links to make sure there weren't any blogs there.

Blinky's linky is always broken.

Barking Dog/Puff Daddy,

We are all Poodles. Including me. I'm just the Poodle trying to get the others to stop barking.


Oh, it ain't much of a hit. Bloggers, wine guys, no one, will make it until they can laugh at themselves.

Just stop making idiotic lists when you can't think of anything else to write about. Aside from it being creatively stillborn, it's a batting practice pitch for the weak-hitting HoseMaster.

Thomas said...


Like all bloggers, I post in time with my masturbatory habits...

Paul Mabray said...

Ron, Thanks for hosing me and VinTank. It has been an honor over here at Imatank. Big fan of your work and writing (regardless if you care what we think or not).

Two quick points of clarification:

I am not a marketer but more of an analyst in this example and armed with 330 MILLION conversations across 10.5 MILLION social wine consumers, we have a pretty hefty sample group (actually the biggest in the world) to leverage for objective analysis.

Our list was on the heels of another blog post built to help the wine industry undertand the transformation and value of a wine blogger:

Again, thanks for hosing us. Look forward to laughing over a glass of wine sometime.

WineWonkette said...

You know even I, as a woman, can appreciate a good circle jerk! Thanks for highlighting yet another one from the Boys' Club for Men ;)

Kathy said...

Analysts should leverage their socially armed millions (Terry Gilliam where are you?) for a copy editor.

Glad it is baseball season, Hose.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Mr. President of Wine,

Thanks, Paul, for showing up and commenting. And for taking my nonsense in the spirit with which it was given. And, sure, we should definitely get together and hoist a glass of wine together one day. A nice Gruner, maybe. Have your Chief of Staff call my Chief of Staff.

And it's not that I don't care what you think. I care what everyone thinks, that's were all the comedy is.

Wine Wonkette,

Honestly, I wonder why a woman would want to be included in that list. The list was about being "important," the word "talented" was never the issue. Tom Cruise is important, Charlize Theron is talented. Get me a step stool, and I'll take talented.


Hey, Terry Gilliam is a fellow Occidental College alumnus! We both wrote for the same college humor mag, though he's a decade older than I. Wonder whatever happened to him...

And, yes, it is that glorious time of year--baseball season. Can't wait to see what this vintage brings. Thanks for remembering, Kathy.

Kathy said...

God screwed online hiccup. To recap: (using lists...)
1. Hate Dodgers
2. Ambivalent about American League (except A's)
3. Love Reds
4. Love Pete
5. Of course, Occidental is a perfect humor language. Good for you.

Kathy said...

I didn't mean God. Meant Got. Bad copy editing. Good reality.

Anonymous said...

here we go again - begging poodle alert