“Satire dramatizes better than any other use of it, the inherent contradiction of free speech that it functions best when what is being said is at its most outrageous”--Tony Hendra
Thursday, April 18, 2013
What We're Reading
Compiled by the editors of HoseMaster of Wine™
WINE SPECTATOR: In their First Annual Swimsuit Issue, Wine Spectator has some sexy and revealing photo shoots. Thomas Mathews looks particularly wanton in his Speedo with the number “99” in bold on the front. A shot of the same suit from the back reveals “With a Torpedo” written across his rear. Not sure what that means. And here’s Jim Laube surrounded by several topless bikini models, their breasts shyly hidden, in a shoot entitled, “Tit-ratable Acidity--I Rate Those 49 Points Each” A little T & A with your TA seems perfect. Harvey Steiman visits a nude beach in Australia in a clever parody of “King Leer” entitled “You Aren’t the Barossa Me.” Matt Kramer pens “Making Sense of Thongs.” Tim Fish gets a Brazilian but doesn’t know where to keep her. And who’s on the cover? None other than Marvin himself, looking (vo)luminous in the latest style from Ringling Brothers.
SOMMELIER JOURNAL: Nah, we’re not actually reading this. It’s been proven to be the major cause of Premature Pretension in rodents. And, yes, it is an actual magazine, though it’s about as likely a Sommelier has a Journal as the Atlantic has a Monthly.
DECANTER: Andrew Jefford tells the story of Sir Freddie Ossis of Liverpool, who was the first Master of Wine. Sir Ossis MW was a legendary wine taster, who, when asked if he had ever confused Burgundy with Bordeaux, graciously responded, “Oh, do fuck off.” Sir Ossis of Liverpool may be best remembered, Jefford writes, “for starting the great tradition of exposing himself to every winemaker he could find.” No, that’s what he meant. Jamie Goode makes the case that terroir is just like ectoplasm, but not as gooey, and with a nice minerally finish. Tim Atkin MW on what Bordeaux can learn from the Girl Scouts of Amercia. “The future of Bordeaux futures is having young girls sell them in front of supermarkets. When you think about it, Classified Growths are just overpriced cookies too.”
1WINEDOODY: Joe Roberts announces his three new wine gigs. “I don’t know how I ended up lucky enough to land the prestigious WineBeaver position at Hustler.com. Go there now and read my first post, ‘I love Chablis when it’s Flynty.’ Hey, it might interfere with my Playboy.com gig, but I don’t think so. Hustler wants my posts to be more penetrating. I’m also being paid to be an expert witness in the upcoming Dr. Conti trial to prove how easy it is to fool wine lovers. And as if that weren’t enough, I’m also the new wine consultant for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, or as I call him, The Second Most Powerful K-J.”
WALL STREET JOURNAL: Jay McInerney writes about his first experience at VinItaly. “You’d think, first of all, that I’d get to meet Vin. I loved him in ‘Fast and Furious.’” McInerney is impressed by the wines of Valpolicella, “Did you know that the grapes for Amarone are dried out on mats? Sounds like a party I went to many years ago on Jackie Onassis’ yacht.” “Italian wines are the greatest wines on Earth, but there are so many of them, and from so many varieties of grapes, that, frankly, it’s just not worth my time to try and understand them. I like Cabernet.” Lettie Teague has insights about frost protection, “Wear earmuffs.”
At Vinography, Alder Yarrow wonders what climate change will to do his tongue. “If Napa gets any hotter, I’ll be panting twice as hard. Though I love a nice pair of pants.”
Dr. Vino says recent climate change projections leave out a major factor, “If they’d just stop the Napa Valley auction, imagine how that would reduce the amount of methane released into the atmosphere.”
Tom Wark talks about climate change from a different perspective, “Why don’t we just call it what it is, a way for the country’s distributors to drive small wineries out of the business? They can’t stop direct shipping, so they’re raising the temperature in wine country. What can you do? Buy a cooked wine today!”
“It’s not getting hotter, it’s not, it’s not,” writes STEVE! Heimoff, “and I’m going to hold my breath until you stop saying that.”
W. Blinky Gray responds to the climate change controversy, “Why is everyone in the business in denial? I wrote about this five years ago. I was right then, and I’m right now, when I say everyone else is wrong.”
Lily-Elaine Hawk Wakawaka Boom Shakalakalaka Boom Shakalaka has a more philosophical bent, “Change is inevitable. Our planet is a living organism, and like every human, like all of us, must live with change and metamorphosis and death. Surrender, Earthlings.”
Alice Feiring writes, “I just hate the way it makes my hair frizzy.”
David White at Terrorist wonders, “How much longer can I keep quoting idiots?”
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."