"Comedy just pokes at problems, rarely confronts them squarely. Drama is like a plate of meat and potatoes, comedy is rather the dessert, a bit like meringue."--Woody Allen
Monday, January 21, 2013
The 2013 Lodi Professional Wine Writers' Symposium
Welcome to the 2013 Lodi Professional Wine Writers’ Symposium. We hope you’ll enjoy your stay at the Lodi Bed or Breakfast Suites—you choose! Sorry, no free WiFi, but there is an Etch-a-Sketch in every room.
Our Symposium is dedicated to providing three days of nonstop immersion in the worlds of wine and wine writing. You bring us your dreams, your ideas, your talents, and we do you the favor of crushing them like hundred-dollar-a-ton Zinfandel—quickly and carelessly. We’ve invited some of the most famous names in professional wine writing, all of whom were busy. Instead, we have a lineup of second and third tier writers who you may have heard of if you carefully read the magazines left in your Bed or Breakfast suite. Many have been published in some of our most prestigious wine magazines, but more likely Wine and Spirits, Mutineer and Juggs. They may not be the cream of the current wine writing crop, but they’re certainly the Reddi-Whip.
There are many exciting seminars, workshops, tastings and road trips for you to participate in. Look over the lists carefully and make your decisions. We guarantee that by the end of the 2013 Lodi Professional Wine Writers’ Symposium you’ll have a much clearer vision of your lack of talent.
Tuesday The Great Wineries of Lodi
To be honest, we came up with the name of the road trip before we really thought about it. We had to visit all 80 Lodi wineries. So Tuesday is a free day!
Wednesday You Know, There are Some Damn Nice Wines in Lodi
Join Tim Fish, Mister of Wine (it’s Master of Wine Lite) as he takes you to his favorite Lodi wineries. Learn how to tell the difference between Lodi Zinfandel and Hershey’s syrup, not that easy since both come in squeeze bottles. (Hint: the syrup flows faster.) And, as a bonus, Tim will demonstrate how to taste with a helmet on.
Thursday Lodi Cult Wine Producers
Again, we just brainstormed ideas and this came up. We probably should have done some research first. We meant to, but we were busy. We had all these applications to read from wannabe wine writers. Jesus, they’re just awful. So Thursday is a free day!
WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS
Tuesday “Writing Effective Wine Reviews”
Ever wonder how today’s finest wine critics write such fascinating descriptions? We do too! So we’ll have a few other critics taking some pretty good guesses. A few of them actually know those famous wine critics! Join moderator Jay Miller, disgraced former critic for The Wine Advocate, Natalie MacLean, Canada’s Distinguished Wine Scholar and James Beard Award Winner for Cut and Paste, and Gary Vaynerchuk, in a rare appearance, but we promised he could wear a Nat Fright Wig, as they discuss how to make your wine reviews memorable. Special emphasis will be placed on meaningless words that can be placed in reviews when you have no idea what you’re smelling and tasting—Asian spices, brambly, unctuous and terroir among them.
Wednesday “Make Shit Up”
Want to get published in today’s best wine journals, like Saveur, Food and Wine, and Juggs? You need to have an unusual angle, you need to tell the editor something he doesn’t know, you need to do what every successful wine writer and blogger does these days—Make Shit Up. Yes, plagiarism is easier, though you didn’t hear that here first. But making shit up is the future of wine writing. It’s called blogging.
Thursday “No One Cares if You Have Talent”
A fascinating seminar on how you don’t need talent to be a wine writer, you just need to be pious. Not about wine, but about wine writing. Irreverence and wit are the enemy of wine writing, and our esteemed panelists will prove they have little of either. Join Mother Superior Alice Feiring, Jamie Goode, Greatest Living Wine Blogger Other Than Alder Yarrow, and Alder Yarrow, Greatest Living Wine Blogger Other Than Alder Yarrow, in a spirited, if lifeless, discussion of the power of piety and self-absorption. Remember, it’s not journalism, it’s wine writing. Only say nice things. You catch more flies with honey than with Authentic Wine. TASTINGS
Tuesday “Blind Tasting the Way the Pros Do It”
There are many ways of tasting blind, and we’ll explore them all at this tasting. Taste wines “double blind,” “single blind,” and then the way professional wine critics usually taste, “kinda blind.” It’s what they call “Ray and Roy.” People think you’re tasting blind like Ray Charles, but you’re actually pretending to be blind like Roy Orbison.
Wednesday “Kinda Blind Tasting of Varieties”
Practice identifying many different varieties of grapes using your new kinda blind technique. Once you know it’s Cabernet Franc, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can identify it kinda blind! Once you’re an expert, you can do like all the pros do and refuse to try and replicate your results. And why not refuse?! They’re bogus in the first place.
Thursday “Stuff That Was Donated Tasting”
Local wineries want to get their wines in front of the future wine writers of America, but they’ve settled for you.
Thank you for participating in the 2013 Lodi Professional Wine Writers’ Symposium. Somebody’s making money in the wine writing profession thanks to hopeless folks like you!
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."
"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."