“…any food product that feels compelled to tell you it’s natural in all likelihood is not.”—-Michael Pollan
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Lo Hai Qu Starts Her Wine Club!
Lo Hai Qu, my somewhat crazy intern, asked me if she could once again publish her thoughts on HoseMaster of Wine™. I never know what the hell Lo is going to say, but I'm sure it will be her usual brand of outrageous. So let me apologize in advance for this latest post by Lo Hai Qu.
So me and my friend Loqueesha are in this wine club, though I don’t know why we’re in this stupid wine club, I can boost plenty of wine from the HoseMaster’s free samples, and a lot of it is the same shit we get from the UPS guy, who Loqueesha has a crush on and keeps asking if he'll deliver his package to her overnight. So, like four times a year we get a case, exactly like Loqueesha’s bladder infections. It’s usually half white and half red, like Oprah’s Book Club—get it? Half white and half read! Shizzangela made that joke up, but she loves Oprah cuz Oprah makes her weight fluctuations seem normal, which isn’t easy considering one day you see Shizzy and she looks like there might be trapeze artists under her dress, and the next month it looks like she must have flown around the inside of Staples Center like a leaky balloon. She crazy. Anyway, I don’t know how Loqueesha talked me into being in this lame wine club with her. I don’t even know where she signed up for it. Anybody else heard of the Preparation H Wine Club? What’s weird is all the wines come in shrink wrap. I think she got a deal because she buys Preparation H in bulk, mostly to put on her little Mexican Hairless, which is not her dog.
I’m not really an expert on wine, but I know what I like, which is what kids who torture pets say, but it seems like most of the wines we get are really cheap crap. Like I try to Google the appellations and I can’t find any of them. “Cotes de Tongue?” Where the fuck is that? If I want Cotes de Tongue I’ll go down on a hippie. That’s the kind of shit we pay like $100/case for. I mean, I’ve heard of a “California” appellation, which means all the grapes have to come from California, but not from places that make good grapes. It’s sort of like “Locally Grown” at Safeway—yeah, it’s grown near some Safeway somewhere, just not yours. We get a lot of wine from “California.” "California" wine is wine that’s Wine Country adjacent, like it’s wine tofurkey. And last time we got some Spanish white wine--first of all, who wants Spanish white wine, man, that’s like Mississippi vodka or something, you just know when you put it in your mouth you’re gonna start playing some albino banjo, and bad enough it’s Spanish white, it’s from some weird grape called Hondarribi, which my Dad used to drive a beat-up 1989 one, and one time almost backed over Loqueesha’s Mexican Hairless, even after he saw it in the rearview mirror, which about caused him to have a heart attack. She needs to not let that thing out.
Why do people join these stupid wine clubs? Like everybody has a wine club! The NRA has a wine club, cuz, you know, the only thing missing when you own a gun is alcohol. Every magazine and newspaper has a goddam wine club, like it’s some kind of public service, or their responsibility. There’s an article in the New York Times about alcohol-related deaths happening somewhere in the world like every three seconds. Shit, there goes another one. Fell asleep at the wheel. Hell, there’s another one. Every three seconds is like fifteen every minute or so, and five more innocent bystanders! But on the opposite page of the paper is a full-page ad for the New York Times Wine Club! What the fuck? So then you have an article about how heart attacks are the number one killer of women and on the next page you print a giant-ass BOO!? Yeah, the New York Times, the Newspaper of Drunk Driving Record.
Anyways, I told Loqueesha I’m done payin’ for the Prep H Wine Club (nice motto, though, “You’ve already picked your seat, let us pick your wine!”). But then I started thinkin’ I should start a wine club. It’s like super easy money! You get these fake wines, well, they’re real wine, but they’re like totally fake labels, like you can’t find them in any stores, so the “retail prices” you just make up. “Oh, this sells for $25 a bottle, if you could get it, which you can’t because we just now slapped the labels on it, but your wine club price is only $15, so that’s 40% off!” What's better than 40% off an imaginary price?! All the prices are made up, but that’s perfectly legal cuz the whole wine business is built on made-up prices, I guess, judging by how none of them make any sense. I might as well cash in, too.
But the HoseMaster says I can’t start a wine club without a license, like I’m a goddam cockapoo, from some gay porn or something. I’m not sure I believe him. I mean, we wouldn’t sell to anybody under 21. They’d have to click on that little box on the website that says they swear to the Internet God that they’re 21. If you lie to Internet God you go straight to Internet hell, which is basically having aol.com for your email. So I’d be OK legally, I think. And then that fucking wet blanket HoseMaster, and, believe me, wet blanket is right up his alley, he has more nocturnal emissions than Mauna Kea, tells me that I won’t be able to ship to every state. Like I’m so stupid I’d believe that. Yeah, sure, I know Utah is out cuz the whole state is Church of the L.D.S., which stands for Let’s Drink Secretly. But who cares, I can sell to everybody else.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. How am I going to choose the wines for the “Lo Down Wine Club™?” It won’t be that hard. Let’s say I send out four different cases a year. That’s only six whites and six reds every twelve months! I mean, I can use the same white wine in every quarterly shipment, I just have to make up some new label. Shit, the people in those wine clubs, they can’t tell! You send ‘em a nice little made-up information sheet every shipment, tell ‘em one time the wine is made from “Trebbiano,” and then the next time it’s made from “Ugni Blanc,” and they don’t know. They’re in a cheap and stupid wine club, what the hell do they know about wine? It’s like free dating sites—nobody’s on there because they have a fucking clue about people, they’re on there because they wanna get fucked once in a while. See, this is perfect. There’s my “Lo Down Wine Club™” motto!
Join the new Lo Down Wine Club™! It’s for when you want to get fucked once in a while!
And HoseMaster of Wine™ readers get a special discount! Join now!
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..."
"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.