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?
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."
"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
"...that guy Hosemaster has real talent...if you ask me sign him up for Comedy Central...he's the funniest guy since Adam Carolla's hilarious book...IN 50 YEARS WE WILL ALL BE CHICKS..."
"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."