Thursday, February 28, 2013

What We're Reading


Compiled by the editors of HoseMaster of Wine 

WINE SPECTATOR: You’ll want to read Jenna Talia Baiocchi’s final column for Wine Spectator Online, “Holy Crap, Why Didn’t Someone Tell Me How Old These Creeps Are?” James Laube writes candidly about his experience at the Napa Valley Premiere Barrel Tasting of 2011 Cabernets, and how embarrassed he was to attend dressed as Grace Kelly because someone mentioned that at a barrel tasting you’d better Catch a Thief. Surprisingly, several attendees mistook him for Natalie MacLean. Tim Fish writes an exhaustive survey of the Asian market. “I went to at least ten Asian markets, and the wine selections sucked. I’d recommend BevMo.” Tim Fish also talks about his recent promotion to Senior Editor, “God knows, there’s nothing but fucking seniors around here. See my blind tasting report on Ensure.”

NAT DECANTS: Natalie MacLean talks about her about to be released book, Wine Grapes. “Jancis said it was OK to quote her as long as I gave proper attribution—she didn’t say how long the quote could be. It’s only 900 pages.” Nat also issues an apology for her poor review of a recent Dageneau Pouilly-Fumé, “I regret the low score, which was the unfortunate result of being just a tad drunk and mistakenly tasting my Clairol instead. The good news is, the Dageneau left my hair with a lovely sheen.”

WALL STREET JOURNAL: A rare look behind the scenes as Jay McInerney sits for the Master Sommelier exam. “I was doing quite well,” he writes, “until they asked me about Pinotage and I said it was the same as manscaping.” The service part of the exam proves particularly vexing for McInerney, “I asked the examiner what he was having for lunch, ‘Croque Monsieur,’ he said. So I replied, ‘Drop dead, Amigo.’ I think he took that the wrong way.” As it turns out, McInerney didn’t quite qualify for his M.S. “If he knew any less about wine,” the Master Sommeliers wrote, “he’d work for Bronco.” Lettie Teague defends the rising price of corks, “The stuff doesn’t grow on trees.”

ANTONIO GALLONI: The recent Wine Advocate defector writes about his new wine website’s pay model. “I envision one monthly fee for wine reviews and scores, a slightly higher fee for more personal access and wine advice from me, and the highest monthly fee for live Webcam shows where I mud wrestle nude with babes I meet after drinking all day.” First up, the 2010 Leroy Burgundies reviewed, and best two-out-of-three with Lalou Bize-Leroy. Don’t bet on the Italian.

1WINEDOODY: Joe Roberts makes his case to be Antonio Galloni’s replacement at the Wine Advocate. Comparing himself to Galloni, he notes, “I also speak four languages—English, Spanish, Ebonics and HTML. I’m also taking a Berlitz course in Tamil, which I thought was a feminine hygiene product.” About his qualifications to be the new Bordeaux wine critic, Joe points out, “I can name every classified growth in Bordeaux, I used to date the buyer for Costco, and, though I don’t have experience using a 100 Point Scale, I just bought a used one on Craigslist.” Sounds like Joe is a shoo-in.

WORLD OF FINE WINE: Jamie Goode reveals that the nature of how we spit wine is as revelatory as at whom we are expectorating it. Jancis Robinson MW writes about the latest research on grape DNA and the many unexpected discoveries. “As it turns out, if you get DNA from Mondeuse on your hands, you grow hair on your palms.” Hugh Johnson contemplates civilization without wine in “I’d Have Had to Sell My Eyebrows for Toupees.” Tim Atkin MW on why Central Otago should be in more crossword puzzles. Andrew Jeffords posits that Parker turning over the Wine Advocate to Lisa Perroti-Brown is equivalent to Caligula handing orgy duty to Margaret Thatcher. David Peppercorn MW revisits the 2000 vintage in Bordeaux and declares it the best vintage with three zeroes--and he's one of them. Allen Meadows on Domaine Ponsot wines from the 1920’s, “What struck me was how youthful they all tasted despite being under Stelvin.”

PALATE PRESS: You can count on Palate Press to prove time and time again that “Thought Piece” is, for them, an oxymoron. Meg Mark Maker’s has a long article about wine writing that is about wine writing and how it takes a writer to be one, but don’t let that stop you. Evan Dawson writes in his latest reflection, “It’s a wonder that any human being utters the words, ‘I’m bored.’” Have you read Palate Press, Evan?


24 comments:

Thomas said...

...and the last (line) shall be (is) the best!

I know that Evan has a sense of humor--does David Honig have one?

Andy Perdue said...

Good to see Natalie making the cut here. She is like a gift from the wine gods to the HoseMaster.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thomas,
What's funny is that the quote from Evan Dawson is real and appears as the tagline on the Palate Press article roll at the top of their Home Page. I laughed outloud when I read it. Jokes often write themselves.

Andy,
The hardest part of writing What We're Reading is finding wine publications or blogs familiar enough to people to make fun of, and have it make any sort of satiric sense. Nat easily makes the cut now.

Dean Tudor said...

Man, you burn up a lot of good ideas in just one post...any one of these, Ron, can be a post on its own...

I worry about your health, slow down, don't have a mental relapse...spread them out.

Or, DON'T READ SO MUCH !!!

Thanks for the update on Nat Decants, love it, love her hair...

Dean Tudor said...

OTOH, you'll certainly stifle the competition, whatever is left of it...after you've leveled it...

Rogue Wino said...

Poor Bronco reps, of all the sales jobs to get stuck with...

Thomas said...

I don't know, Rogue. I hear you can make some money riding a Bronco--about $2.99 per.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Dean,
I burn up a lot of ideas, true, but not all of them that good.

Unlike many who imagine they have "writer's block," I am never at a loss for ideas. I'm at a loss for the motivation to put them to paper, or, more accurately, screen. Ideas are everywhere and are infinite. But they have a very short half-life. If you don't grasp them immediately, they vanish like dreams do if you don't think about them when you wake. Ideas have crowded my brain ever since I learned how to grab them before they mysteriously vaporize. Write them down, or say them out loud--then you've captured them.

And I don't read any of the publications I lampoon, not regularly. But when I do this bit, I do check in just to generate some jokes--hence, the Evan Dawson quote.

Nat does have the best hair in the wine biz. Aside from Suckling's.

Rogue Wino,
Yup, Love, you got that right. Of all the books, it's the one you read for laughs.

Thomas said...

Yes, Nat has the best hair--and I want it back.

george kaplan said...

The Jancis ref wins again, though the Asimov/Pinotage is, uh, way up there. Could you pull off a post exclusively composed off off-couleur material?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

George,
No, though I was once on a boat off Coullioure.

Marcia Macomber said...

Dean is right; you blast out a lot of zingers in a very short amount of space. Glad you have such an endless supply, as the rest of us get to enjoy them.

You know, the thing with Nat's hair...Betty White does it much better. ('Fraid it wouldn't look quite right on you, Thomas.) But Al Roker...some possibilities there with Nat hair.

Mondeuse? Funny, your assessment about the palms is likely dead-on. And I loved Joe buying the 100-point scale on Craigslist the best. Bravo!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marcia Love,
Thanks. Only the diehards comment on these What We're Reading posts. As I've said before, they are just a comedy writing exercise for me, one that I try to do as quickly as I can. Takes me back to my professional comedy writing days. I used to write 50 jokes every morning just to warm up. Usually, about three were worth saving. And so it is here.

One day I'll have to relate my "Betty White stole my opossum" story. Honest. Well, not stolen, really...but that's for another day.

gabe said...

dude, let's hear the betty white story!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Gabe,
Too long a story for the comments section. Maybe one day a wine will trigger that reminiscence. White wine, one might say. Or shouldn't.

Joe Roberts, CSW said...

I made it to the second round poof interviews! Now I just need to buy a wheelbarrow for round 3. You know, for carrying around my liver...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

1WineDoody,
Congratulations! I knew you could do it. But leave the wheelbarrow at home and do what I do. Rent a liver from a poor person.

Cris Whetstone said...

The "What We're Reading" is becoming my favorite regular read if that isn't too oxymoronic. Your comments about Lettie make it by themselves.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Cris,
To her credit, I've received several very kind and funny personal emails from Lettie Teague about HoseMaster of Wine. Though I have to confess that when I see names like Lettie Teague or Talia Baiocchi or other folks I've made fun of in my inbox, I get a little nervous. Usually, only angry people write. But there are others, like Ms. Teague, who are able to laugh at themselves, and even take the time to write something kind and generous.

And I know they're not crazy enough to think that will make me stop.

Thanks, Cris.

Dean Tudor said...

But, Ron, have you heard from Nat yet? That should prove interesting...Make sure she sends you a lock of her fab hair...via email.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Dean,
No, I haven't heard from Nat, unless you count Spam. Nothing from her personally. But that's probably for the best. We'd just fall in love, and then what? Oh, it would be scandalous. The HoseMaster and the HairMaster...sigh.

As a complete non sequitur, this is the 5000th comment in the long and jaded history of HoseMaster of Wine. Yikes. So a simple thanks to all of you who regularly contribute--truly, it would have been impossible to do this for so long without all of your contributions and support and friendships.

Dean Tudor said...

5000th comment ... What a segue !! What a guy !!!! Thanks for the happy memories, Ron...

BTW, 4946 of those comments were by Nat, using various pen names...Too bad she cannot turn her hair into violin bows...The horsemeat industry has that all tied up...

Beau said...

As usual, some gems that had me laughing out loud. Thanks, Hosemaster!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Beau,
Thank you. Where you been? Slumming over at Palate Press? Much funnier stuff over there! Never mind, just thanks for chiming in.