“…any food product that feels compelled to tell you it’s natural in all likelihood is not.”—-Michael Pollan
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Calendar of Events
German Wines: The “Does Anyone Care?” Tour
Join more than 50 producers of German wine as they tour the US one last time to try and generate interest in their wines. Really, this is it. Last chance. Wines are grouped by region, but you won’t want to miss the final group, “Nahe, Nahe—Nahe, Nahe—Hey, Hey, Goodbye.” You may also want to attend the pre-tasting lecture by a leading German wine authority you haven’t heard of, because, well, he’s a leading German wine authority. It is widely acknowledged that German Rieslings are among the greatest wines in the world, unless you count red as wine. French white wines used to be better, but they surrendered. The German Wine Federation invites you to come discover why QbA is not a gay basketball league.
Sherry: A Sweeping Taste of Flor
Sherry is the most misunderstood wine in the world, which may be a good thing. Even most sommeliers, when asked about Sherry, think only of Dry Sack, which a little talcum powder would help in most cases. At “A Sweeping Taste of Flor,” you’ll be able to taste and learn about the various styles of Sherry. What’s the difference between Oloroso and Amontillado? What about Manzanilla? How do I know if it’s really Armadillo, and what scales do I use to judge it? And how about Ponderoso? You want one of those in your cart, right? Never forget that the history of Sherry is, truly, the history of England. Which explains its decline. Come taste why Sherry is often referred to by borderline wine experts as “vastly underappreciated.” Like laxatives, and chimpanzees that smoke cigarettes. Hosted by Bill “My Name, Pedro Ximenez” Dana.
Often referred to as the “female Helen Turley,” Phillipe Melka is responsible for every wine in Napa Valley. Phillipe himself will be present at Melkapalooza to talk about his wines, sign autographs, prepare a gourmet lunch, sing a selection of show tunes, and blend seven new premium Napa Cabernets. All 450 wineries where Phillipe is consulting winemaker will be present to pour their current releases, all of which received 93 points from somebody. In a wine world recklessly producing thousands of wines that are confusing and taste different, it’s Phillipe Melka who carries the torch for uniformity.
Virginia! If the Smokes Won’t Kill Ya, the Alcohol Will!
the Addiction State, presents a tasting of its finest wines. And here’s
the rare wine tasting where it’s OK to smoke! Go ahead, light up. You
don’t really need your palate. Cigarette smoke is the perfect
accompaniment to Virginia wines, and actually enhances the aroma of our
Viognier. Yes, we’ve made Viognier our signature grape here in Virginia.
Why? Because Vignoles was taken. Virginia has a long and distinguished
history in wine, and is widely credited with spreading phylloxera to
those uppity French sissies in the Eighteenth Century. So you owe us!
Praised by Bloggers: The Best We Could Do Tasting
Tired of those crowded, prestigious tastings of wines that earned Tre Biccheri, or made some crappy wine rag’s Top 100? Then join us as more than 350 producers celebrate the praise, ratings and scores they received on wine blogs at “The 2012 Best We Could Do Tasting.” Having submitted their wines for scores to many publications and having failed to do better than “84—Really, you should be ashamed,” wineries turn to bloggers for favorable reviews and scores. And it doesn’t take much! Looking for an exclusive Cabernet with a prestigious “California” appellation? Trust your blogger! Wondering what a great wine from Alsace tastes like? Welcome to the blogger club! We don’t know either! Want to understand wine better? Yeah, we get that! Join us on our journey at “The Best We Could Do Tasting.” It’s like the Special Olympics, but for wine. Amid all the talk of inflated wine scores, it’s our trustworthy bloggers who have truly managed to lower the bar.
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.