“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
Monday, March 31, 2014
Introducing Carbon Footprint Wines!
In one of the comments left on this Best of HoseMaster™ piece, a common tater expressed his happiness that the blog world was finally moving on from all the talk about Natural Wines. This was in August of 2010. So much for that. I don't remember the inspiration, if you can call it that, for this piece, but it certainly must have been a reaction to all the relentless hooey the wine marketing world spews about its contribution to the health of the planet. Much of which we believe without questioning because it makes us feel better about our drinking habits. I thought it might be refreshing to hear from a winery that, like so many drunks, just doesn't give a crap. From August of 2010, here's "Introducing Carbon Footprint Wines!"
It certainly seems
like every winery on the planet is jumping on the Green band wagon in an
effort to sell wine. Organic, BioDynamic, Vegan, Techron, OxyContin,
Martinized, Fleet--these are the words now commonly found on bottles of
wine and in winery marketing brochures. All in an effort to convince
wine buyers that not only will the wine get you trashed, but you can get
stinko with a clean conscience. And, really, it takes so little effort
on the consumer's part, requires virtually nothing except you believe
what it says on the bottle, and you can spend all evening congratulating
yourself that you've done your part to save the environment. Not like
the BioDynamic winemaker who's flying off to South America, as he does
several times a year, after Harvest to consult, and help make their
vineyards "green." Luckily, United Airlines uses BioDynamic jet fuel.
And it's not like you have to drive a fuel-efficient car, for God's
sake, that's insane. Every 105 lb. woman needs to drive a four-ton SUV.
For safety, dammit! But I shop at the farmer's market, and my wine is
made by BioDynamic monks who never kill European grapevine moths,
they just capture them, thank them in French for their love of
vineyards, and release them in their neighbor's non-organic vineyard
where they'll be Dow-chemicaled to death. It's a win-win. However, I have recently come across one winery that is bucking the Green trend, a winery following its own unenlightened path.
CARBON FOOTPRINT WINES
motto at Carbon Footprint Wines is "A bigger footprint gets us closer
to our destination." We believe that climate change is real and
unstoppable. And while others see this as a negative, we see it as an
opportunity. An opportunity to speed up climate change, get this whole
thing over with, end the suspense and get right down to extinction.
We're not killing the whole planet; Nature will survive, it always does,
we're just killing off ourselves, the human race, an entirely worthy
goal. When you open a bottle of our Carbon Footprint wines you can rest
assured that we've done everything possible to not only make the wine
delicious and satisfying, but we've also done everything we can to have
degraded our natural resources and contribute to greenhouse gases. You
have our word.
In order to
produce the finest wines possible, grapes need to have the least
competition possible. Every insect or weed, every living thing in the
vineyard, detracts from the vines. This is simple scientific fact. At
Carbon Footprint, we spray every single available herbicide, pesticide
and fungicide over and over again until the only living thing in the
vineyard is the grapevine. We've even contracted with the state of
Arizona to have them ship us their suspected illegal immigrants to work
in our vineyards where they spray without the benefit of masks and
hazardous gear and soon cease to be a problem. The result? Award-winning
Cabernet! Yes, Senator John McCain has given us an Arizona Medal of
Freedom for our 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon "Wetback Reserve."
that's not all we do here at Carbon Footprint Wines. We make sure and
plant on our steepest hillsides for the best soil erosion results,
leeching lots of chemicals into our local streams and ridding them of
annoying piscine pests. Hillside vines make for fabulous Carbon
Footprint Zinfandel, which sucks with fish anyway. And we recently
dynamited our caves and built a gigantic air-conditioned warehouse so
that you can be certain that every bottle of Carbon Footprint Chardonnay
will be in perfect condition after its stay in our electricity-guzzling
storage facility. And, luckily, the cave was where so many of our
Arizona friends were living!
every bottle of Carbon Footprint wine weighs several pounds. Many
people will believe that we use a freakishly heavy bottle for marketing
purposes, to try and make our wines seem more serious, more valuable.
But that's not the case. We use heavy bottles to drive up the
consumption of fuel in the various vehicles used to deliver it, and, of
course, to prove we have a bigger penis than anyone in the wine
business. Just try to pick up a bottle of Carbon Footprint "Adios Coho"
Zinfandel with one hand! Don't hurt yourself! It's a Hernia in a Glass.
In God We Truss! A case of these babies weighs more than your ego-, oh,
sorry, eco-friendly Prius. It has a bottom you can fit a cake in. A
Bundt punt. But, please, we're begging you, don't recycle it. Why not
just toss it through your neighbor's solar panels? We
do hope you choose Carbon Footprint wines to serve to your friends and
family. We're destroying the earth so you don't have to.
Here are some recent reviews from notable wine bloggers:
Carbon Footprint 2007 "Polar Burial" Sauvignon Blanc is really, really
good and shows the grape's typical aromas of gunpowder, nasal spray and
RAID! It's brilliant! The music to go with it is Baby Got Back by Sir Mixalot." This sample was provided by the winery in the knowledge that I would praise it. --Wine Hurl Lots
complete surprise to me was the quality of the 2007 Carbon Footprint
"What Glaciers?" Merlot. I know Merlot isn't the most popular drink
right now, but this is far and away the nicest Merlot I've drunk through
a straw (I couldn't lift the bottle) in months!" --Chaim Steveoff
the 2008 Carbon Footprint "Tribute to Roundup" Pinot Noir is farewell
in a bottle. Farewell to my ancestors, upon whose shoulders I stood,
before dandruff shampoo. Farewell to the beauty of the Adriatic, the
bounty of the sea denuded and destroyed and delicious. Farewell to the
stories of the old masters whose wisdom has been ignored in the making
of this wine, a fine Pinot Noir that may almost be worth the degradation
of this perilous planet we call home for now, but not for long.
Farewell to the meals shared with grateful wineries who call me Jupiter.
Farewell." --On the Wine Trail in Flipflops
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..."
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--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.