Fair warning: This post is Authentic, Natural and Real. It may stink in an unfamiliar way, but try to keep an open mind. If you want posts that naturally stink, head over to The Feiring Line or Jamie Goode. I’ve decided to be the first wine blog to be completely Authentic. Yes, it’s more labor intensive, and it won’t appeal to everyone, like giving birth to a hairball, but I think you’ll agree that once you’ve finished reading it, once you’ve opened your mind to its possibilities, resisted the urge to point out how much it stinks, you’ll come to appreciate it for what it is. Entirely Natural. Unmanipulated. A pure expression of its environment, unfettered with added ingredients like syntax, actual thought, and wit. It’s the way wine blogs are meant to be. There’s nothing manmade here, nothing about this post has been chemically altered. Too often, we are exposed unwittingly to chemically-altered wine bloggers at the risk of our own mental health. I urge to you avoid those blogs. There are many scientific studies (and when I need to, I believe scientific studies, though only when it suits my thesis and not when it contradicts spiritual stuff I just know, damn it, I don’t need proof, morons) that have shown that chemically-altered bloggers are dangerous. Especially if they have guns. Or large organs.
I had an epiphany. It was kind of like really bad gas, you know, the kind that makes you double over and then slowly play “Call Me Maybe” out your sphincter (which is how the original song was done, by the way). I’d been hooked on a lot of commercial wine blogs. All the usual ones—Sermontation, 1WineDoody, STEVE!, The Blinky Gray Report, Vornography... And I realized, here comes the epiphany, get ready to sing, that after reading them, I was completely unsatisfied. And I knew why. Not one of them is Authentic, Natural or Real. They are not Authentic wine blogs. Come on, friends, think about it for a minute. Don’t you get tired of reading 1WineDoody and having all that residual sugar left over in your mouth? Let’s face it, he’s a perfectly nice blogger, but he is lousy with food. Most of it’s on his shirt. And Sermontation? They don’t use that much sulfur in Hell. Wark must be Satan. I’m guessing he uses his horns for stacking his client invoices. There’s not a single thing Natural about Vornography; I think that’s pretty obvious. It’s dumbed-down, like that Apothic wine—all chocolatey and gooey to appeal to slow-witted young people on tiny budgets. STEVE! is definitely far removed from anything Real. It’s kind of hard to figure out why, but looking at him, growing up he must have been a lot like the grapes for Eiswein—always picked last. And reading The Blinky Gray Report causes migraines, which can only be regulated by lying in the dark and promising God you’ll never again click on a link to Palate Press.
Once I’d experienced my epiphany, I knew what I had to do. I had to write Authentic, Natural, and Real blog posts. It took some time to get to this point. A lot of people told me I was crazy, that Natural blog posts are not worth the effort, are barely understood by the vast majority of blog consumers, that they’re risky and, if not handled properly, the results can be volatile and inconsistent, sort of like John McCain. But a faulty wine blog is what’s Real. The original concept behind wine blogs, which we seem to have forgotten, at the very risk of our immortal souls, was to be faulty, to be inconsistent, to stink to high heaven. Look at all the Wine Blog Award winners—there’s your proof!
One must come to an Authentic wine blog post from a spiritual place. Not everything about Authentic can be explained to a rational American mind. One has to believe in something beyond your self. To be an Authentic wine blogger, one has to imagine that other people care what you say, which defies all rational belief. Other people don’t care, that’s obvious, but you can’t get to an Authentic place unless you convince yourself that it’s true, that people do read your words and care, that you can just feel it. You are Authentic because you say you are Authentic. This is how it works! Aha! Once you know Authentic, all it takes is that you declare things Authentic, and, Bingo, they ARE Authentic. You’re not just God, you’re Alice Feiring! Your portrait will be painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, your finger extended to all of those who don’t make wines you consider Authentic! You’re not just Alice, you’re Jamie Goode--you know Authentic when you say it is. You roam wine country as a humble wayfarer, blessing winemakers who fall on their knees before you speaking in tongues in a language eerily like Aramaic, “terroir, indigenous, non-invasive, Masanobu Fukuoka, Kyrie, Eleison...” Now you are ready to create Authentic wine posts. And, not long after that, you will be able to cure lepers, like Jay Miller, Natalie MacLean and Ann Coulter. But don’t.
Remember, Authentic blog posts are rare, but they are worth seeking out. They are the only true blog posts. The rest may intoxicate you, even give you pleasure, but in supporting them you are ruining our planet. Just think about that the next time you decide to read Zester. Reading Zester is putting one more nail in the coffin of everything that makes us human. Why not just frack your neighbor’s backyard, which is not a metaphor for anal sex, though that might be more interesting? Blogs that are not Authentic, Natural or Real are for fools, not for people who actually love blogs. Are you a fool? Great! Dr. Vino is for you! But don’t kid yourself that what you're consuming is how God intended wine blogs to be. Jackass. This is the first Authentic wine blog post, and, tell me, honestly, don’t you feel better knowing that everything possible has been done to make this wine blog self-sustainable? That nothing has been added? That you can visit the place where it was created and feel the love, feel the energy, even feel the guy who wrote it. Please, I’m lonely, for God’s sake, like everyone who lives by the law of Authentic, Natural and Real. I thought this would be cool, but it’s just weird.
We crave what is Real, yet declare things Real that are based solely on Faith, on the Willing Suspension of Disbelief. We want Natural, now that it’s nearly gone beneath 10,000 years of human waste. And we search high and low for Authentic, seizing every chance to hope that we’ve found it, led there by a True Believer who stands in front of his Medicine Show wagon and tells us what is Authentic. “Look, here it is! Just swallow it, it’s good for you! It will cure what ails you.”
This blog post is Authentic. I declare it to be. I have seen the Light. Swallow it, it’s good for 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."
"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."