“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, November 21, 2013
Foreword by Hugh Johnson
In the past five years, by my count, only two new wine books did not feature a foreword by Hugh Johnson. One of the two books was written by him, and the other was by Natalie MacLean. The two books are a little hard to tell apart, though MacLean’s book has a foreword by Jayson Blair.
Actually, Johnson’s ubiquitous forewords read eerily the same, no matter what the wine book and who the author. I began to get suspicious. And then I remembered. I’d seen his forewords before, in an old copy of Mad Libs, originally published in the mid-1980’s. It took some digging, but I finally found the Mad Lib I was looking for. If you’re ever asked to write the foreword to a wine book, and what are the (tasteless adjective)chances you will, (slang for someone very stupid), here is your template. It works for Hugh!
Just when (second person pronoun) think there is nothing new to say about wine, along comes (author’s name). You’re holding in
your (anatomical part) a wine book that manages to (bodily noise)
about wine to novices in a way that is both provocative and (oh,
just pick a goddam adjective). I found myself (verb) aloud how
(author’s name) has managed such a remarkable piece of
When I first began (gerund) about wine, I never dreamed that I’d
be so (adjective). Or that wine would become so much a part of
every day (activity). Now it seems that everyone (verb) a glass of
wine with every (noun). Never in the history of man has wine been
more (adjective). And, for that, we have a new generation of
writers to thank, most notably (author’s name). I tip my
(appendage) to him/her, and hope he/she grabs it and (verb) it all
Human history and wine go together like love and (sexual position).
If you try to separate the two, someone’s (noun) gets hurt.
(Author’s name) understands this, and is able to explain (plural
noun) and wine in a manner that even a (animal) would be able to
understand. He/she’s a (title) of wine, and there are only (number)
of those in the world. It would be wise of you to (verb) him/her, and
the (beast of burden) he/she rode in on.
In this (adjective) book, one that I wish that I’d (verb—past tense),
you’ll find the answers to many questions you may have about wine
and (noun). What is the proper way to (verb) wine? (Author’s
name) does a (adjective) job of explaining why putting wine in your
(orifice) is just the beginning, remembering that your (orifice) is
more than likely quite different than his/her (orifice). Vive le
(French word)! This is just one of the many (plural noun) that
(author’s name) provides in this (adjective) book.
My favorite wines have always been from (obscure French
appellation). I want to savor a glass on my death (furniture). And
when I do, you can be sure that this will be the book folded calmly
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.