Thursday, January 9, 2014

What Not to Publish on Your Stupid Wine Blog in 2014


Oh, for God’s sake, don’t interview your pets. They cough up furballs. They eat their own shit. They lick themselves endlessly. May as well interview Jay McInerney.


Stop calling them “somms.” You use that because you’re stupid and can’t pronounce “sommelier” properly. You also say cute and nauseating words like “peeps.” “Hey, those somms are my peeps.” Now even Sommelier Journal has been reduced to The Somm Journal. Yeah, that’s respectful. Maybe we’ll soon have “The New England Journal of Quacks.” Sure, bartenders, stinking BARTENDERS, are now “Mixologists,” like they have a degree from Harvard in Mixology—the study of Mix—but sommeliers are now the diminutive “somm.” Mixologists are just BARTENDERS that put weird fruit in your cocktail and charge you quadruple the price. They’re not mixologists, they’re fructivores. Let’s call them dumb “frucs.”


Lists are over. Lists are just lazy ways to kill a post. You haven’t posted for a while, you have “writer’s block,” which is astonishing considering you’re about as much a writer as Raj Parr is a winemaker, so you make up a list of your favorite wines, or your favorite wineries, or your favorite lists. No one cares. Believe me, not one single yutz who reads your blog cares about your asinine list. Here’s MY list of my favorite wines of 2013:

5. Oh, shit, what was the name of it? I had it in that Italian restaurant, it was made from Aglianico, I think, or Refosco, maybe. Started with an “A.” I’ll think of it.

4. That wine from the Cabernet tasting we did. You know, with the animal on the label, what was that? It was a natural wine, I remember that. Smelled like that time you had stinkfinger from your cousin Annie.

3. The label was mostly gray, and it was Pinot Noir, either from the Williamette Valley, or could have been New Zealand. For sure, it was 2010.

2. It was some awesome Rhone from Kermit Lynch. Had like a thingie on the bottle. Really good.

1. I could have killed three bottles of this stuff! I mean, Wow. I can see the label, but I can’t quite remember. I’ll know it when I see it again, I mean, fuck, it was awesome.

See? Stupid. Just stop. Don’t be so goddam lazy. Think of something interesting to say.


Let’s just be frank. There are no great wines under $15. Stop pretending there are. There are perfectly fine wines under $15, there are wines you can enjoy and be happy you tasted under $15, but there just aren’t GREAT wines under $15. Blow me. Stop selling wine short. You criticize Parker for exaggerating, you badmouth Wine Spectator for inflating scores, and then you write about GREAT wines under $15. Shut the hell up.


We know Steve Matthiasson is a great winemaker. You’re the 150th person this year to tell us that. Wow! How insightful. Can’t wait to read that.


There’s nothing left to say about social media. Nothing. There wasn’t shit to begin with, now there’s nothing. It doesn’t sell wine, it sells social media. What isn’t social media? Telephones sell more fucking wine than social media. Oh, but phones are social media, right?! If it sells wine, chumps, it’s social media; if it’s social media, it sells wine. It’s the classic huckster logic. Stop talking about it. No one cares. Wineries really don’t care. Wineries that can’t sell wine have one problem—they make crappy wine. When social media makes better wine, let me know. Otherwise, bite me.


They’re just dogs. That they live at a winery, what kind of idiot cares about that? Post pictures of service dogs. They help blind people, and veterans with PTSD (not “vets,” OK, they deserve respect, like SOMMELIERS!). Winery dogs? Glorified door mats.


Terroir. Stop trying to figure it out. You can’t. Terroir in wine is like a soul in humans. You look for it every time, but, most of the time, it ain’t there. And, honestly, no one believes you when you say a wine has terroir anyway. First of all, you pronounce it as stupidly as you do sommelier. And second of all, you say things like, “Oh, that’s the terroir talking,” like that means something. There must be 20 billion microclimates in the wine world. One assumes they all have terroir. So who gives a crap? Oh, but this guy knows how to express the terroir! Maybe to you, blowhard. The guy next door to him thinks his wine sucks. I just don’t care. I want the wine to taste good, I don’t need it to slip me its address.


Stop posting pictures from your glamorous wine junkets. You suck at photography, and I didn’t come here to look at your adolescent scrap book. Plus, who are those dumpy people you’re with? For the most part, your colleagues have the doughy complexion of the overdrinking endomorphs they are. Leave that crap on FaceBook where no one will see it.


Just stop spouting your usual mindless blather in 2014. You know you’re doing it when you do it. Promise yourself you’ll stop. You’d be doing us all a favor. Truly. We're all just laughing at you.


46 comments:

Bob Henry (Los Angeles wine industry professional) said...

Ron,

Stop pulling your punches.

Gawd damnit man, tell us what you r-e-a-l-l-y think!

~~ Bob

wine man boy said...

Ron, we knead moor peepole lick you. On 2nd thot, know, one is enuff.

Jim said...

God Bless you my son.

renzo said...

I love humanity... It's the people I can't stand!

Please carry on as you are offering an invaluable public service. It may not alter the behavior of the offending scribes. But it sure has as a palliative effect. Amaro isn't just a digestivo anymore.

John Cesano said...

I love a good rant. Thanks for the passion and wit. Thanks also for the declarative "no great wines at $15" bit; I used way too many words twice this week in defense of some pricier wines, when this was all that needed to be said.

David Pierson said...

stink finger with your cousin Annie, nasty snicker there.. no more talking about terroir and doughy pictures... what would Hawkawakawakawaka talk about... oh, Mutineer says she's an up and cumer don't ya know.. she's told us three times.. Jeesssus, if that's good wine writing we're really in trouble.. another one of her eyeglazers about terroir and some doughy pics...

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Damn, you're sexy when you're mad. Well I have gone over your list here and I don't think I've done any of these so, thanks for the ideas baby!

As with most of your posts there is absolute comedy and rooted in absolute truth. Thanks for being the one to say it.

I love you!

Sarah Eustis said...

Best line "but there just aren’t GREAT wines under $15. Blow me."

Laughing out loud in some random place I shouldn't be laughing out loud.

Thanks

Rick Breslin said...

The perfect blend of rant and satire, with a slight bend towards the former.

David Glancy said...

You are one seriously funny fruc! I had more to say but just hit writer's block.
- Just another diminutive M somm

The Sommeliere said...

For once I am speechless (ask my husband how often THAT happens). But you have clinched it all in one succinct entry.

Thank you, dearest Ron!

Thomas said...

Ron,

I am so glad to be with you on your wine "journey."

Terrific rant.

Wineguy999 said...

Hear, hear!

Carry on.

Holly said...

I don't have time to read this shit, I don't have time to read this shit, I gotta read this shit, oh shit I read this shit, it made me sooooooooooooooooooooo (I hate people who write "sooooooooo") made me sooooooooooo (hate)

Happy.

Da man. Ron. You. Da. Man.

Steve Lay said...

Mr. Ron, you got over aerated I think. On taerroirs, I did find a distinct terroir once in Sonoma and it had a half moon on the enterance to the terroir. It had its own climate, defined area, seemed to me to have its own defined boundaries.
Ron, you got some big grapes to take on the likes of...well you know them. When I grow up I want to be just like you--fearless.

Joe Roberts said...

Awesome. Would've been funnier if you'd linked to examples within the prose... :-)

Samantha Dugan said...

Joe,
Good Gawd man, do have any idea what you're asking for? This post would look like a Bob Henry comment on STEVE! (Wink in Mr. Henry's direction)

Thomas said...

Does Bob Henry comment on STEVE!?

Now I feel like I am missing something in my life.

champagne diligent said...

and what about maitre d'h instead of maitre d'hotel...ok i m french...

Charlie Olken said...

I just thought of ten things I liked about this rant, and now I am afraid to list them.

Probably some stuff about dogs and somms and Raj, or was it cheap wines?

Hey, my neighbors think that there are great wines for $15. Of course, that is because they never drink anything more expensive than that except when I bring it over.

I did somehow convert one of them, and now he thinks Gary Farrell walks on water. He apparently has not discovered Tom Dehlinger or Bob Cabral yet. That is because those latter guys don't make anything for $15 and damn little for $50.

I wish I had something to say about social media.

As for terroir, can you help me find it? My Mexican lime tree does not like the side yard.

Oh, and nicely done. This was worth waiting weeks for you to come back to us.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Gang,
First of all, to everyone new here in the common tater department--welcome! Don't be shy. I usually answer most comments directly, but I've been gone all day today and came home to this deluge.

I try to avoid writing about bloggers because it always sounds like one is trolling for comments. I don't ever do that, yet pieces about bloggers always generate this kind of response. Where thoughtful pieces get few. And so it goes...

I took a hiatus from HoseMaster of Wine over the holidays because I began to get really angry with the embarrassingly low quality of the work on wine blogs. Not sad, not resigned--pissed off. I needed a break. It seems people want to be taken seriously as "wine critics," wine people, on the basis of truly shitty work. Dull, lifeless, repetitive, mindless, insipid, derivative, stupid crap--it fills the blogosphere. More voices don't make for a better wine world, just a noisier one.

Now, lest anyone think otherwise, I often include myself in that category. Too often my work is stupid. But, as therapy, I wanted to let it fly, in the way of an angry satirist, and get all of this off my metaphorical, HoseMaster chest. I'm pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about when I write about these bloggers. 1WineDoody, if you want links, man, just read every link for a week on Terroirist. It will make you weep.

Thanks for all the support and comments. I'm not da Man. Just a guy who loves writing, and wine, and is offended by any example of either that is a waste of my time.

Thomas said...

Ron:

Mort Sahl without the profanity...and of course, just a little less cerebral, and...oh crap. Maybe more like Mort Bruce.

Paul Moe said...

Ron,
Was Dan LeBatard trolling for comments when he gave is Hall of Fame ballot to Deadspin?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thomas,
More like Morte Bruce.

Paul,
I had to look up who he is. How does he get a Hall of Fame ballot and I don't?

So, yeah, he's trolling for fame and publicity. By my count, his 15 minutes are up.

enobytes said...

Bravo Hosey, BRAVO!

Now about that telephone comment....

We'll have to teach the young'ns how to use that phone thingy! #itiscoolertotextandfacebook

Beau said...

Thank you, Hosemaster.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hi Pam,
Thanks. I'm always confused about what qualifies as "social media." Sounds redundant to me. But those who sell their expertise in social media rely on the dinosaur, tech-stupid Baby Boomers to pay their salaries. And lying to dinosaurs is fine, as long as it's not Barney.

Beau,
OK, you're welcome.

larry said...

you forgot to mention the damn Unicorn wine. Unicorns are not real except to 3 year old girls and there is no damn wine made for, by or from Unicorns!

Fabio said...

Happy New Year you all!

dammit, i'm going to have to re-write my latest post that I was just about to upload to my blog, as it contains a really tiny, minute, short list (just 4 items) of the really fascinating and interesting tasks that I have to do at my bodega this year :)

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Larry,
Good call. As I wrote earlier, this piece could easily have been twice as long, but a rant that long would be very tiresome.

"Unicorn wines" is probably an appropriate name given that most of those jackasses that brag about tasting them were probably drinking fakes and didn't know it. I know hundreds of people who've had '47 Cheval Blanc, but don't believe in unicorns. Like there's a difference.

Fabio,
Oh, don't let me stop you from posting such a fascinating list! I'm guessing #1 is, "Sprinkle native yeast in the vineyards to make natural wine."

Jeff Cope said...

I thought lists were over but this is a pretty good list.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Jeff,
Wait till I interview my gerbil.

Samantha Dugan said...

Interviewing your gerbil? Now that sounds hawt...

Jeff (Good Grape) said...

Can I hit the "like" button? Where is it? Comments are so 2008. Good stuff, Ron.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Jeff,
What, still reading wine blogs? Man, get help.

Thanks, Jeff, for chiming in. Good stuff or not, I needed to say it. It's only gotten worse since you retired, Goofy Grape, and that's sayin' somethin'.

Cynthia Cosco said...

Great rant...thanks - loved it!!

G-Man 1868 said...

I happened upon this and thought it appropriate to your most recent blog entry. https://i.chzbgr.com/maxW500/7997291264/h3F883AEF/

renzo said...

So the consensus has it that you've been pigeonholed as a "ranter" in this post. I guess that beats curmudgeonly truth-teller! It probably makes it easier for commenters than facing their own shortcomings. If we didn't read theses damn wine blogs we wouldn't be so revved-up by your righteous and spot on assessments. Much like we often hope to find more than "just wine" in every sip we take... we keep going back to these damn blog posts (not yours, of course) hoping that there will be something more and different... And yet...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Renzo,
Our current culture loves shorthand. It's the era of Twitter and FaceBook. So anything funny that is satirical is a "rant," and anyone older than Jimmy Fallon is a curmudgeon. Just as I don't participate on Twitter, and don't have a FaceBook page, or Instagram, or Snapchat, I tune out those worthless analyses.

I often wonder what sort of loneliness drives people to read the most dreadful wine blogs. Do we read them to feel superior? Or, as you say, do we read them with the unjustifiable optimism that they might have something original or interesting to say?

I hate that a post of mine about blogging is so popular. Today's, a fairy tale, will not be. All the folks who comment here, will dismiss it. Maybe smile, maybe not, but dismiss it they will. If I write a satirical piece again about wine bloggers they'll all leap back in. FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Wine Blogs--we all love a good circle jerk.

Hamish Wakes-Miller said...

Love the comments about pronouncing 'sommelier'. Some clients recently got 'sommelier' and 'Somalia' confused. I could not resist, so I carried on explaining that most intelligent wine people were African pirates. Sometimes this business can be fun.

Robert Joseph said...

I don't know what I like more: the piece itself or the ire it has aroused in people who hate to see anyone poke fun at the Holy Church Of Wine Bloggery. Please don't stop, Ron. But do go and get yourself cloned as soon as possible. The wine world needs a lot more pomposity-puncturers like you.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Robert,
Hello, my friend, and thanks for your thoughts.

There are a lot of self-serving folks in the wine blog world who imagine what they say and write carries actual weight. It doesn't. And not only that, their work is subpar, thoughtless, derivative and about as interesting as reading the diary of an orangutan.

I don't often have the urge to have the HoseMaster be as angry as he is in this piece. But if it makes even a few bloggers rethink the stupidity of their ways, it's worth it. And, of course, it's supposed to be funny.

WineOhTV said...

You are hilarious!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

WineOh,
Ain't I just?...

Sally - My Custard Pie said...

Glad to have found your blog due to all the fuss about this post (via The Wine Kat post). Wine writing needs more satire.
Chuckled all the way through but finally laughed out loud at the comment about Sommeliers and Somalians - thanks Hamish.
Probably fall into the category that you're having a go at :)

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hello Sally,
Nice that you've finally stumbled into my little dark place on the Intergnats. This piece did generate something of a kerfuffle on Twitter, and elsewhere, which was a surprise to me. Folks want satire, but not about themselves. A lot of "wine writers" felt the piece was too angry, or not funny, or invalid. I don't write for those dullards. I write about those dullards. I'm, frankly, honored they didn't like the piece.

I'm pretty sure you might be the first person from Dubai to comment here. Cool.