Monday, September 29, 2014

The HoseMaster's Guide to Drinking Wine at Home


An authentic wine lover drinks at home. A lot. Alone, or otherwise. He doesn’t just drink wine socially, or with a meal. He drinks all the time, and not from fancy glassware. Or if it is fancy glassware, it’s not necessarily clean. Wine is a way of life, best done in the home, frequently, where it delivers the most pleasure—like transvestism. Actually, an authentic wine lover has much in common with a transvestite. They both think they look better doing what they do than they actually do. And they both think other people can’t spot fakes.

Many people who profess to love wine only drink it on special occasions, or in church. But the authentic wine lover sees wine as an ordinary part of every meal, like bread or salt or long, uncomfortable silences. The confident wine lover knows that regular consumption of wine makes you an expert much as regular bathing makes you a mermaid.

You may not call yourself an authentic wine lover unless you make drinking your first priority. Drinking wine on a daily basis is a way to learn your own tastes in wine, develop a better critical sense about wine, as well as have the courage to live. Moreover, it will help you answer a critical question. Do you like wine enough to want to learn more, or are you just another jackass? Chances are you’re a jackass, and you just think you want to learn more, like when you thought it would be cool to take Jazzercise. You don’t really have an original thought in your head, which your wine blog proves incontrovertibly. Still, you aspire to be an authentic wine lover.

Many wine experts will tell you that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to learn about wine, that there are many thrilling bottles between $10 and $20. But you know better. That said, you can get just as drunk on a $12 bottle as you can on a $100 bottle, and still have $88 to spend on frivolities like rent and dog food for Grandma. But the commitment to wine loving is, in part, a financial commitment, and if you’re not willing to fork over a $50 now and then for some real wine, you’ll just never understand. Expecting to learn about wine drinking wines less than twenty bucks is like expecting to be Best Dressed when you shop at the Salvation Army.  You’ll only look like a wino.

People who drink wine on a regular basis are the best people. Everyone knows that. Like baseball fans are the best people, and people who can yodel. It just is. Science has shown this to be true, and you can look it up on the Internet. It’s not really much of a commitment to drink wine regularly and become one of the best people. You also don’t have to drink your wine out of expensive glassware. Remember HoseMaster’s Law, “The pricier the glass, the bigger the ass.” This is always true. Though the appreciation of wine is heightened by nice stemware, it’s not necessary. Just like surreptitiously eating food dropped on the floor can be more enjoyable than eating food served on a naked Japanese woman, and healthier. You can pay an obscene amount of money for a specialty Riedel glass, but it won’t add to your enjoyment of the wine. It will, however, prove you’re an idiot. You can’t even tell what the wine is when you taste it blind, how the hell do you know the shape of the glass enhances the wine? Jackass. It’s like being colorblind and thinking sunglasses help bring out the reds and greens. 

You also don’t need a fancy corkscrew. Or any of that other wine equipment. You paid a lousy ten bucks for that thrilling wine, don’t open it with a fifty dollar corkscrew. A well-stocked wine lover’s cellar only needs a cheap waiter’s corkscrew, a K-Mart decanter, and logo wine glasses from that cheesy Temecula winery where you’re a club member.

And for God’s sake, don’t buy a stupid aerator to pour the wine through. You might as well wear a bowtie that lights up, you’ll look more sophisticated. Aerators don’t work any better than Magic 8-Balls—they’re based on the same science. You can’t make a wine breathe faster, not by pouring it through a Magic 8-rater, not even by tonguing its punt. The aerator you already bought? For big laughs, attach it to Grandpa’s leg bag and watch the cat play with it. It helps the wine just as much there as it does in the neck of the bottle.

Don’t buy a stupid pump for your leftover wine either. Any wine worth drinking is better the second day anyway, you don’t need that gray plastic stopper in it. Though I do enjoy when it queefs. Who doesn’t want a wine that queefs? But as a preservative, it’s wishful thinking. Like Ted Williams’ head.

The committed authentic wine lover doesn’t need a Coravin either. A Coravin is simply a way to taste your older wines to find out they’re lousy without opening the bottle. Something of a time saver, but, ultimately, depressing. Much like masturbating. Really, a Coravin is self-abuse. You use it when your partner doesn’t really want any, and you want to prove to yourself just what they’re missing. Promise me you’ll wash your hands after every use.

Also, remember that you don’t need a lot of wine at hand to be a committed regular wine drinker. Maybe just a mixed case—red, white, and a couple of sparkling wines, because we all like to pretend we drink sparkling wine with meals even though no one does. Sparkling wine is the dental floss of beverages—everyone claims to use it more than they do. This explains why so many wine merchants have lousy teeth and bad breath. But not the speech impediments, I don’t know what explains that.

Inevitably, as an authentic wine lover, you’ll need to spend a lot of money. Don’t spend it on stupid stuff, like aerators and corkscrews and glassware. No, spend it on labels, spend it on wines that got a lot of points, spend it on the latest cult wine. That’s where the satisfaction is. Make wine a part of your everyday life—use it to show people you’re better than they are.


18 comments:

Jim Harrison said...

"Expecting to learn about wine drinking wines less than twenty bucks is like expecting to be Best Dressed when you shop at the Salvation Army. You’ll only look like a wino." Shit. Busted. However, I take comfort in the incontrovertible fact that "People who drink wine on a regular basis are the best people."
To be serious for a nano-second, can I briefly break the rule of three and suggest an additional reason for spending lots and lots of money? Yes spend it on labels, spend it on wines that got a lot of points, (if you must) spend it on the latest cult wine, but please spend some of it on wines that just make you happy. And if any of them happen to cost less that $20, just keep that shit-eatin' grin to yourself.

Charlie Olken said...

OK, let me be serious for a moment here.

Nah, fuck it. Never mind. Serious and here don't mix unless one comes here to get a good recommendation for proctologist after using an aerator or buying natural wine.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Gang,
The premise for this bit of crapola came from a piece Eric Asimov wrote for the NY Times called, "A Guide to Drinking at Home." It's a particular kind of piece, aimed at reassuring the thunderstruck and the bashful that wine isn't intimidating. I don't know, I just couldn't get its rather Young Adult Fiction tone out of my head. So I sat and cranked out this antidote to it.

Jim,
So in my fevered dreams you're the great writer Jim Harrison responding to the old HoseMaster of Wine™. That would be cool.

But, yeah, people who drink wine are the best people, and we should all drink wines that make us happy and smarter and kinder to animals and orphans.

Charlie,
"Serious and here don't mix" is about right. As for the proctologist recommendation, I can send you to the blogs of several very distinguished buttholes.

The Sommeliere said...

Ron, you outed me with "Sparkling wine is the dental floss of beverages—everyone claims to use it more than they do."

Charlie Olken said...

Ron--

A proctologist is what you need after using an aerator, because the good doctor can help you retrieve your head.

Thomas said...

Thanks, Charlie. I thought an aerator is what you call the thing a proctologist inserts and then removes, allowing for the air...well...you get it.

Thomas said...

I forgot to mention--there's another fight at fermentation, naturally, and people are pulling things out of their aerators.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marlene Darling,
I think Samantha is the only person I know who actually drinks Champagne regularly with meals, and otherwise. Most of us just claim to. In my entire 19 years of sommeliering, I remember someone ordering Champagne WITH dinner about twice.

Thomas,
Oh, I blind reviewed "Natural Wine" several months ago. It just pisses me off that Tom Wark actually read it, and then made stuff up about it anyway. I wish I'd thought of that.

But, as ever, he's months behind the HoseMaster.

David Pierson said...

No less an authority that Walder said sparklers don't handle a candle to real champagne.. but I dunno.. bought some decent sparklers in La Jolla at a third of the price of champagne.. the ex liked it for before and after dinner.. and as far as dinner goes, one of my fav movies the remake of the Thomas Crown Affair, he says the lady would like champagne...and at the end of their dinner date he says, can I ask you a personal question.. of course.. would you like another hit of espresso?? that's the personal question.. funny stuff...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

David,
Oh, I always cite Alderpated as my wine authority. If he says it, it must be almost true.

I like the Thomas Crown Royal Affair because it came with that nifty souvenir bag.

OK, not funny stuff...

Vin de Terre said...

Give me a sec to wipe the moschofilero off my screen here...

"You can’t make a wine breathe faster, not by pouring it through a Magic 8-rater, not even by tonguing its punt." No, and you can't remove the sediment that way either. Not from a bottle of wine, anyway.

Marcia Macomber said...

Oh, c'mon you guys: You really like the Thomas Crown Affair for Rene Russo and that dress (or lack thereof in certain scenes) 'Fess up!

"...dog food for Grandma" - priceless! "Tonguing the punt" - that's a new one. I'll never be able to look at one or hold a bottle with one the same way ever again...

This is 100% true, however: HoseMaster’s Law, “The pricier the glass, the bigger the ass.” Nice! Way to go, Hosé!

MG said...

I am so glad I've subscribed. I knew immediately your were parodying that silly piece in the NY Times. Thank you for the hilarity.

Samantha Dugan said...

My closest friend and I spent hours flossing ourselves yesterday with Demiere-Ansiot, LeBrun-Servensy, Jose Dhondt, Godme, Bruno Gobillard and nothing gets to those nooks and crannies like Camille Saves with platters of fritto misto. Missing out by skipping the Champagne people, profoundly missing out.

David Rossi said...

Yo de lay he hoooo!!!

Joel Miller said...

Love the term "queef" for the winesaver sound - obviously, you're using the device for your erection pump as well...

So agree with much of the trash here...and it brings a smile to boot.

Dale Dimas said...

"You can’t even tell what the wine is when you taste it blind, how the hell do you know the shape of the glass enhances the wine? Jackass. It’s like being colorblind and thinking sunglasses help bring out the reds and greens."

Great turn of phrase! :)

Eric V. Orange said...

Favorite line,
"as well as have the courage to live."
Too funny Hose.

EVO