"Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful."--Molly Ivins
Monday, August 26, 2013
10 Things Every Wine Lover Should Know About...Splooge Estate
If their vineyards could talk, they’d bore the crap out of you.
No. 1. The Rarest of Varieties
Splooge Estate is planted to many of the rarest grape varieties in the world. These varieties are so rare that so-called “critics” are simply unqualified to judge them, resulting in meaningless “scores.” Assholes. Among those grapes is Swiss Colombard, a more neutral version of its French cousin. And being more neutral than French Colombard is like being more insipid than Pinot Noir Rosé. Swiss Colombard is notoriously immune to the effects of biodynamic farming, which is why the Splooge Estate Swiss Colombard is named “What’s the Matter, Horn?” The estate is also home to Petite Verge, known for being the saddest grape variety. Though the women on our mailing list can’t seem to get enough Petite Verge. They often ask, “Is it in yet?” Splooge Estate also has the only known plantings of Tempradillo, which we crush by running it over with our cars.
No. 2. The Moon is Our Mistress
At Splooge Estate, careful attention is paid to the lunar calendar. Especially the one with nude biodynamic chicks. (Not women, actual chicks. The nude chicks prepare special biodynamic formulas for the roosters—the famous cock teas.) Splooge Estate pays careful attention to phases of the moon in all of its farming decisions. Science is so last millennia. What makes a wine special is a wine grown according to the dictates of the moon. This makes perfect sense when you consider that the moon has gravity on its side whereas the sun only has light, warmth, and the fact that we’d be dead without it. Plus, the moon is more romantic, and romance sells wine.
No. 3. Wines with Feeling
Many people now make wines that are Authentic. Lots of wineries proclaim that their wines are Honest. Not like those other Lying Bastard wines. But only Splooge Estate’s wines are Certified Sensitive®. Their wines have been proven to have genuine feelings, feelings that can easily be damaged by casually cruel remarks like, “Jesus, this wine smells like stink finger.” It’s important to remember that any Splooge Estate wine you try that isn’t to your satisfaction may be your fault. You may have insulted its integrity, which can throw a Certified Sensitive® wine off, make it smell like it peed its own pants. Splooge Estate wines are not just Natural, Real, Honest and Authentic, indefinable words that you have to trust simply because the winery uses them, Splooge Estate wines also have feelings, and will thank you to keep your stupid wine opinions to yourself.
No. 4. Pricing is Whimsical
The owners of Splooge Estate, Richard and Carlotta Splooge, initially tasted their first vintages against the best $40 wines they could find. “Our wines were clearly equal to the best $40 wines, and mostly superior,” says Lotta, “and we were going to price our wines at $40.” “But then,” Dick chimes in, “we thought, why not taste them alongside wines costing $100! Turns out, they were as good as those wines too. So we were able to justify charging $100. Whew! That was a close one. We nearly undercharged for our wines. Now we’re in the classic Forty Dollar Wine for A Hundred category that all the best California wines are in.”
No. 5. It’s the Farming, Stupid
No expense is spared in farming the Natural, Honest, Authentic, Real, Genuine, Precious, Energetic, Vegan, Licensed Massage Therapist, Empathetic wines of Splooge Estate. Many of the techniques are unique to Splooge. For example, each vine is given a name. Vineyard workers are required to take roll call every morning, ask each vine how it’s feeling. If a vine is not feeling well, it’s given the day off. The naming and personal care of the vines instills self-esteem in the vineyard. It’s widely accepted that vines with low self-esteem produce wines that are often abused, and alcohol abuse is a big problem in this country. If vineyards had more self-esteem, there would be fewer alcohol-related deaths on our highways. Splooge Estate is leading the way in producing wines that find the true balance between low self-esteem and being Certified Sensitive®. In this way, the wines reflect the personalities of Natural Wine's most vocal proponents.
No. 6. Climate Change is Another Name for Opportunity
Lotta Splooge points out, “We could try to sell our wines on quality, but nowadays people just want to know how wine is made, its impact on the environment. So we don’t worry about quality or taste, we worry about the process. At Splooge Estate, Quality is Job Two. Our customers, the folks who insist on Natural Wine, they’ll overlook faults in the wine. What they won’t overlook is insincerity. We spend unspeakable amounts of money on appearing sincere.”
No. 7. Other Wines Suck
Splooge Estate has been the Natural Wine leader in pointing out that Other Wines suck. “It’s not that they mean to suck,” Dick Splooge ejaculates, “it’s just that they don’t know any better. And if we in the Natural Wine community don’t point out that other wines suck plough horse dong, we’re doing them a disservice.”
No. 8. Sulfites? Never Heard of ‘Em!
Splooge Estate has taken the position that adding sulfites at bottling takes all the fun out of wine. “We like bottle variation,” says Lotta Splooge. “Why buy a case of twelve bottles that are the same when you can buy a case of Splooge Estate ‘What’s the Matter, Horn?’ and get twelve completely different experiences? And, as a bonus, when you drink a bottle of Splooge Estate wine you’re helping to repopulate the microbial soup in your intestines! Yes, take it from Hollywood celebrities, Splooge in your intestines is good for you!”
No. 9. Did We Mention, Other Wines All Suck?
There are two kinds of wine. Natural wines that express terroir whether your lousy palate can discern it or not, and which represent all the greatest wines on the planet, and other wines which totally suck. And the best part is, you don’t even have to taste them side by side in a blind tasting to know which is which. Just buy the wines that say they’re Natural. Just like professional baseball players, wine producers don’t lie.
No. 10. What You Drink Says A Lot About Who You Are
In a world that you’ve played your part in ruining for future generations, a world ruined by your greed and consumption of precious resources, do you really want to be seen drinking wines that aren’t like Splooge Estate? Natural and Honest, Real and Sincere, Authentic and Certified Sensitive®? What kind of a monster are you? The nice people at Splooge Estate hope you rot in Hell.
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
"...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..."
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--Tyler Colman "Dr. Vino"
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--Jo Diaz "Juicy Tales by Jo Diaz"
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--Reign of Terroir
Robert (Joseph) was/is funny unlike HoseMaster who wasn't/isn't.