“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, June 20, 2013
Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, and thank you for coming. I know you’re going to be glad you did. Tonight I am presenting you with the Wine Opportunity of a Lifetime, one that each of you would be crazy to pass up. Saying “No” would be like Dom Perignon going to the boss, probably bumping into a few walls on the way, telling him he had discovered a way to make wines bubbly and sparkly in the bottle, and his boss, Teddy Moët, says, “No, thanks, Dommy Baby, we’re going with orange wines.” How much would weddings suck now? Even gay people wouldn’t want to get married, not even, in that newfangled way, to other gay people. But Teddy Moët didn’t say, “No.” And he and his partner, Wink Chandon, went on to make a fortune in Champagne, though eventually, in a nasty moment of betrayal, Wink stabbed Teddy to death on the Ides of March--thus creating the famous Champagne named for Teddy’s last words, “Moët too, Brut?”
What I am offering you tonight is the chance to get in on the ground floor of the latest offering from the newly remodeled Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Your very own Robert Parker Wine Advocate franchise! Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Scorebucks®!
Robert Parker is the biggest name in wine. We bought it! We own it! We intend to milk it like a six-foot rattlesnake and spread the venom everywhere. One day, in the very near future, there will be a Scorebucks® in every major city in the country. People will start their day with the latest wine review from their local Scorebucks®. Reviews that you will generate! From wines sent to you FOR FREE! How does that sound? Too good to be true? Don’t be stupid. It’s the wine business, it’s wine reviewing, it doesn’t have to be true. It just has to be precise. 96 points—that’s precise! This is how the Robert Parker World Famous 100 Point Scale works. Exactly like our sophisticated military drones—screw accuracy, it’s precision that counts.
When you decide to become a Robert Parker Scorebucks® franchisee, we will provide everything you need to run your successful business. You will be officially licensed to review wines and assign them numbers. With that license comes incredible power, and incredible fortune. The scores you assign as an Official Robert Parker Scorebucks® franchise can make or break a winery. No other franchise has that power. Robert Parker is the most trusted name in wine. What Colonel Sanders is to chicken, Robert Parker is to wines. Destroying them for your enjoyment.
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, But I don’t know anything about wine, how can I rate them? You know numbers, don’t you? You know what you like, don’t you? That’s all you need. Knowledge and experience are totally unnecessary when it comes to wine. People win Wine Blog Awards without either! Taste the wine, give it a number. Yes, it’s that easy. Lots of reviewers give numbers to dozens and dozens of wines every single day! How hard can it be? I’ll tell you. It’s a three step process. 1. Put the wine in your mouth. 2. Spit the wine out. 3. Give it a number. Simple! And between you and me, most of those “bigshot” reviewers skip Step 2 half the time, and the other half they leave out Step 1 as well. Trust me, once you have authority (a word that derives from the same root as “authentic,” a word that every moron in the wine world finds convincing), you don’t need knowledge. What would you do with it if you had it? That’s the beauty of Scorebucks®--it’s 89 because you say so, and you have the power of Robert Parker behind you!
Once your Scorebucks® is up and running, get ready for your daily visit from the UPS guy, bringing you wines from all over the world. Open ‘em up, drink ‘em, give ‘em a rating, and let the fun begin. And, believe me, you will get lots and lots of wine. Wineries love scores like a Kardashian loves saturated fat. They want to swear off them, but, damn, it increases their enormous bottom lines.
OK, you’re thinking, I get the “Score” part, where do the “bucks” come in? Memberships, my friends, memberships. And, not long after your Scorebucks® is open for business, you’ll have thousands of memberships. And as the franchisee, you are entitled to 50% of those membership fees. It’s a license to print money, and then send it to us.
There are a lot of wine reviewers trying to sell numbers. Pathetic little pretenders who prey on the insecure and the underinformed, but they have little chance of success. They’re simply founders of fringe religions, like those of people who worship snakes or join covens or buy Bordeaux futures. They have a few sad converts, a few True Believers, a congregation of dunces, but you’ll be working for the damned Catholic Church of wine. And once you open a neighborhood place of worship, a Robert Parker Wine Advocate Scorebucks®, your wine collection plate will overrunneth.
We’re looking for visionaries, visionaries with money. The best kind of visionary. Investing in a Robert Parker Wine Advocate Scorebucks® franchise is the wisest decision you will make in your lifetime. It isn’t every day that a name like his comes up for sale. Sure, everyday wine critics, they’re always for sale. But not their names. And who would want them? But Parker doesn’t need his any more, and it’s the biggest one out there, so we bought it, and for way too much money. There wasn’t anything else of value to buy. The publication, The Wine Advocate, what’s that worth? Look at it this way. You take the Ripley’s out of Believe it or Not, and what’s that worth? Believe it or not, NOTHING!
So our investment can be your investment. We fronted the money for the name, and now we’re going to sell it, one little bit at a time. But only for a limited time. You need to act now. Before the bastard reads the fine print.
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.