“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
Monday, December 3, 2012
What We're Reading
Compiled by the Editors of HoseMaster of Wine™
TERROIRIST: Finally, a wine club! And not just an ordinary wine club, but a wine club that selects wines and ships them to you. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before now? You can join the Terroirist.com Wine Club, writes David White, “and know that every wine you receive is guaranteed full of terroir! And plenty of pure, sweet alcohol, too.” Oh, you could pay more for these wines elsewhere, if they were actually good enough for Weygandt to get them placed on wine lists, but why would you when you’re paying plenty here? And each shipment comes with a brief tasting note that will tell you what you’re tasting, because you’re clearly incapable of it yourself, as well as recommended food pairings, many available at any 7-11 microwave. Savvy wine lovers are canceling their Rudy KurniaWine of the Month Club and signing up for Terrorist’s. Their motto, “If they weren’t delicious, would UPS deliver them?” ‘Nuff said.
WINE SPECTATOR: The current issue dedicated to the Pinot Noirs of the Williamette Valley, “OreGONZO!,” is packed with delectable reading. More than 275 Oregon wines are rated over 85 points, which is certainly helpful the same way it’s helpful to have 300 cable channels on your TV. Matt Kramer wonders if Oregon will ever merit the same passion as Burgundy. “I know there’s a BurgHound already, I’m just wondering if there will ever be a CoosHound.” Yeah, Matt, I know a couple. Harvey Steiman checks in on the vibrant Oregon restaurant scene. “What’s the hottest trend in Portland’s fine dining establishments? Lap dances! And plenty of them. What wine to order with your lap dances? Hell, something bone dry!” Harvey’s been drinking. Talia Baiocchi takes on “What to Wear to a Tasting Room,” and advises, “Dress like a Kardashian, but Drink like a Lohan.” Tim Fish on being lost in the Portland airport.
DECANTER: Andrew Jeffords revisits his European Wine Bloggers Speech where he declared “the wine writer, as we know it, is dead.” “I think it was misinterpreted,” Jeffords writes, “I was looking at Michael Broadbent at the time.” Michael Broadbent reviews the wine list in Hell, “It looked pretty much like the second issue of Alice Feiring’s newsletter.” Tom Stevenson has an interesting take on vintage Prosecco in a piece entitled, “I’d Rather Drink Serena Sutcliffe’s Depilatory.” And Hugh Johnson on why he loves rose gardens more than wine writing, “Not nearly as many pricks.”
STEVE! HEIMOFF: A rainy day has Steve wondering if his dog is corked. Like he’d know.
SAVEUR: The 2013 Saveur 100 List has a few odd items this year. Gael Greene writes about collecting toothpicks made from the remains of famous food luminaries. “After a fine roast chicken on the weekend, I love to remove what remains between my teeth with a Julia Child pick—it’s my own version of Saturday Night Femur.” Another entry on the list is “Natural Wines Imported That Burn Ungodly Amounts of Fossil Fuel.” Finally, I have no idea how this got on the list, “Sesame Street’s New ‘Tickle Me, Prostate’ Doll."
WALL STREET JOURNAL: Jay McInerney visits with the new wave of young California winemakers, not one of whom knows who the fuck he is. In another article, Jay is invited to a Henri Jayer vertical at Lady GaGa’s house. “How does one describe the ’85 Cros Parantoux,” writes McInerney, in his usual passionate and self-entitled voice, “except to say it tasted like marrying money? If you ever get the chance, try it.” As for GaGa, “I think she was dressed as a dirty Burgundian wine cave.” Lettie Teague weighs in on natural wines, “They smell bad, like hippies.”
PALATE PRESS: For those of you who can’t get enough of vapid wine articles, yet want to help Save the Planet by not buying glossy, oversized lifestyle magazines (how many trees have died to glorify Marvin Shanken?—remember, with magazines, the bigger the page, the smaller the intellect), there’s always Palate Press! Blinky Gray writes about his recent junket to Turkey, alongside the likes of Alder Yarrow. Turkey, notorious for imprisoning journalists, could not have been safer for them. And Meg Houston Maker explains what wines go best with the stuff you eat in the dark and hope nobody smells on your breath.
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.