Monday, March 5, 2018

The A.I. of Wine Spectator

The two words that come to mind when one thinks of the “Wine Spectator’s” lineup of wine critics—James Laube, Matt Kramer, Tim Fish, James Molesworth, Harvey Steiman, et al.—is Artificial Intelligence. And, in fact, the entire publication is written by software developed by the entrepreneur Elon Muscadet. I suspect that the news that “Wine Spectator” is written by a machine will not come as a shock to anyone who reads it, but, nonetheless, it’s an astonishing achievement.

Artificial Intelligence is slowly taking over our world. By the way, why are they always portrayed as women? Siri and Alexa and Ivanka... Anyhow, I recently uncovered the uncomfortable truth that "Wine Spectator" is entirely computer generated. Seen in that light, the magazine starts to make sense. You can read the full report only at You might be surprised to learn that my jokes are also entirely written by a computer app. Not that surprised, I'm sure. Feel free to leave your randomly generated thoughts there, or wander on back over here where Artificial Intelligence was invented.


Monday, February 5, 2018

So You Wanna Be a Wine Judge.Com!

Hello! And welcome to So You Wanna Be a Wine Judge.Com!, your online wine judge certification program. Once you complete this simple online course, you’ll be completely qualified to judge in any wine competition in the world! You may even be overqualified. It’s a little-known fact that proven wine knowledge is not required to be a wine judge at many major wine competitions. Believe it or not, it’s actually frowned upon! Expert opinions are overrated, tiresome, and unwelcome where real people judge wine. What is required? You’re about to find out! Let’s begin.

There are hundreds of wine competitions held every year. Many, if not most, are for profit. There's no money in being a judge--most competitions pay travel expenses and a few hundred dollars for a couple of days work. Others, notably the "prestigious" SF Chronicle Wine Competition, pay nothing. Zero. Nada. So I thought it was time for an online course that would qualify anyone to judge, anyone to make absolutely nothing judging wines for wine competition promoters and wine country newspapers. Just hop on over to Tim Atkin's blog and you can become a wine judge TODAY! You're welcome!


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Future of Wine (1988)

When I first began blogging about wine back in 1988, there wasn’t even an internet. The whole world was like North Korea, except with dogs. That didn’t stop me from writing a weekly blog about wine. (I’m actually the person who came up with the word “blog,” which was based on the noise my stomach made when I sat down to write. I also coined “tweet,” which had to do with flatulence, and, given the 45th President, has never been more appropriate.) Without the internet, my blog (I was then the “HoseApprentice of Wine™”) wasn’t widely read. So nothing has changed.

I must say, my predictions for 30 years in the future are astonishingly accurate. Maybe I should take a whack at 2048. What do I care about 2048? I'll be either dead, or 96, or both. To read my prescient 20th Century remarks, you'll have to head to Tim Atkin's site. It's a New Year, friends! Let's celebrate with lots of clever remarks and witty banter over on Tim's. Or, if you're shy about appearing in front of a live audience, leave your thoughts here. I promise not to read them!