“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
Thursday, February 14, 2013
The HoseMaster's Application to be the New Pope
Dear Cardinal Perroti-Brown,
I am interested in applying for the recently vacated position of Pope at The Wine Advocate. I’m certain that the abdication of Pope Antonio came as quite a shock to you and God, but you’ve accepted the Pope’s decision in a graceful and classy manner. Hell, He’s God, no one should be surprised. OK, I probably shouldn’t have said Hell.
It is the Pope’s job to speak for God. Pope Antonio, if I may be so bold, was never convincing in that role. I’m pretty sure he broke many of God’s commandments. For example, “Thou shall have no other gods before me, unless it’s Michel Rolland.” And no one really took Pope Antonio seriously, his Papal declarations fell on deaf ears. Winemakers ceremoniously kissed his ring, but then made fun of him after he left. “Sure, he’s the Pope, but he doesn’t know the Oakville Bench from the Rutherford bus stop.” So, in my humble opinion, the Church of Bob is better off without Pope Antonio. Yes, the younger parishioners may have been attracted to him, he spoke their language, but young worshipers show little interest in the Church of Bob. They’re flocking to other, newer, hipper places of worship—Our Lady of Wine Dude, and that crazy Canadian Nat Out of Hell First Congregational (though I think they plagiarized the Church of Bob mass). The more established members of the Church of Bob, his Choirbuttboys, never felt the kind of respect for Pope Antonio the church needed. It was his age, for the most part, and, frankly, news of his retirement has invigorated the faithful. They eagerly await a new Pope, a Pope who clearly and genuinely speaks for God. I’m that man.
I understand that there will be a Papal Conclave convening soon to select the new Pope for the Church of Bob. Cardinal Neal will probably push for some creepy sort of M.W. to be the next Pope. Please, Cardinal Perroti-Brown (oh, I miss the days when Dr. Miller was part of the church and I could address you as P-B & Jay—who doesn’t love a good P-B & Jay?), do not overlook the fact that M.W.’s are the spawn of Satan, and worship at his altar. Allowing one to become Pope would spell the end of the Church of Bob, and evil will have triumphed. They say M.W. stands for Master of Wine, but that’s only what they say to the public. They are actually indoctrinated as Mammon of Wine—that’s what the M.W. really stands for, Ms. P-B, so be sure and remind Cardinal Neal of that.
Between you and me, Lisa (may I call you that?, I feel like we’re somehow soulmates), Cardinal David is probably on his way out too. All the damned German Popes are on the way out. No one cares about the German part of The Wine Advocate, no one ever has, not even God Himself. Cardinal David must know this. There’s even been speculation, I know you must be aware, that there was a reason Cardinal David was banished to the wasteland of Riesling and Grüner Veltliner. Ugly rumors about Choirbuttboy abuse, his obvious disdain and abuse of them in the Holy Chat Room of Squires. But though I think he’s been a wonderful Cardinal, and that those Choirbuttboys had it coming with all their constant whining, don’t be surprised if he uses the Papal Conclave to announce, like that traitorous Pope Antonio, that he’s starting his own church. Just what the damn world needs, more places of worship—Holy Galloni Chapel and Schildknecht Kirche.
Cardinal Squires will nominate himself. He always does. We’re all sick of him and wonder what God sees in him. My guess is that, hey, shysters stick together. But don’t let him be Pope, that would be disastrous. He’s a backwater Cardinal at best, so Portugal is the perfect spot for him. Who buys that stuff? Make him Pope and give him Bordeaux and California? We know that God works in mysterious ways, but surely He doesn’t consider suicide. That’s a sin, right?
Finally, a word of advice, don’t let those Three Wise Men from Singapore into the Papal Conclave. They just handle the collection plate, they don’t know crap about wine and who should be the next Pope. Tell ‘em there’s a manger in Bethlehem needs a remodel.
I’m hoping that you’ll present my name to the Papal Conclave. I believe that I would be a wonderful Pope, a Pope the worshipers would not only heed but come to love, as they love God Himself. If anything, I am overqualified to be the next Pope. I’ve tasted three vintages of Chateau Petrus yet for the past twenty vintages I’ve awarded them 98+ and higher. I knew Chateau Latour when it was just a little brick shithouse. I almost married Michel Rolland, but she called it off when she found out that “micro” was also my nickname… When you talk about California, my name always comes up. I live in California and am widely respected in wine country. I’ve met Monsignor Harlan and walked the holy land of Harlan Estate, felt the very presence of God, and witnessed the miracles of the pilgrims who flock there to find a cure for their extra cash. I know the Angel Krankl and the miracles of Ventura, how the Angel Krankl took the loaves of La Brea Bakery and turned them into holy wines scoring hundreds and hundreds of points, and his devotion to all things God. When Pope Antonio walked among the winemakers of California they admired him, his fine suit, his cool pointy hat, his magic scepter, his hot wife. But when I walk among them, they are joyous. Well, they laugh anyway.
When the white smoke finally rises from the Church of Bob, I pray that I am the newly elected Pope. Mine will be a lifetime appointment. I shall not use the Holy Parish to make a name for myself only to abdicate and begin my own church. May those Popes who do so rot in Lodi. I shall worship at the foot of God and faithfully convey his wishes and demands to his flock. I shall devote my life to the quest for perfection, just as God Himself would have all of us do. And I will find perfection wherever I go, I shall not be reluctant to award perfection as so many other churches are. Hundred point scores shall flow from me as wisdom flows from God. For that’s where the money is.
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.