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!


Monday, December 18, 2017

The HoseMaster of Wine's™ Cover Letter to Wine Advocate

Dear Ms. Perrotti-Brown,

I thought I’d save you the trouble of contacting me first. I know with all of the recent defections from “Wine Advocate” you must be desperate for help. First, it was Jeb Dunnock thinking he could go it alone. Great decision, Jeb, it sure worked for Art Garfunkel! Next thing you know, Neal Martin goes and takes a new job with Antonio Galloni, which is pretty disarming—in the sense that he’s the new Vinous di Milo. Up on a pedestal, but essentially can’t go anywhere.

Much to my chagrin, the Wine Advocate decided to publish my cover letter to its editor, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, on its Wine Journal site. I haven't heard back yet when I'm going to start working for her, but it shouldn't be long. If you want to read the rest of the note, you'll have to head to their site. They, wisely, don't have a comments section. Unfortunately, I do. Use it.


Friday, December 8, 2017

The HoseMaster of Wine's™ Letter to Santa 2017

Dear Santa,

This Christmas, I don’t want anything for myself. I have everything I need, Santa. A cellar filled with the great wines of the world, and Oregon wines, too. A Roederer International Wine Writers Award that I bought online from an “A. Jefford.” I’ve even grown and implanted my own replacement Biodynamic liver using the latest stem cell technology, mixed with the manure of a lactating cow. I feel born again, and, as a bonus, my new set of horns is great for opening beer bottles! I’m very content. Soon I’ll have my own cheese! I really enjoy the milking. No, not like Harvey Weinstein.

I still believe in Santa, like I still believe in aerators, Riedel Oregon Pinot Noir glasses, and en primeur Bordeaux. We live in an age where belief Trumps truth every day of the week. So I sat down and composed my annual letter to Santa on behalf of the wine business I love. Who else is going to do it if not I? To read the rest of this missal, toe the line and hop over to Tim Atkin's site. And feel free to leave your own wish list for Santa. I'll be sure that he reads each and every suggestion. 

Merry Christmas, Common Taters!