Thursday, July 16, 2009

Murphy-Goode's Social Media Director's First Post!

Wow, it's me! I'm the new Social Media Director for Murphy-Goode Winery! I'm still in shock. Imagine, Jess (he wanted me to call him "Huckleberry," but I think he meant Jess--something going on there I don't understand...) laid off 20% of his work force, mostly just laborers and stuff though, no one important, in order to pay me sixty grand to Twitter-twatter and Faceybook and blog! That's a lot of pressure on me, but I know I'm going to be worth it. I'm going to be the best danged Social Media Director ever!

That's me with my insect boss!

Welcome to my first blog post. First, let me tell you a little something about myself. I love wine. I really love Murphy-Goode wine. I like how they can take lots of really quality fruit and magically transform it into a totally inoffensive wine. That's just awesome. A lot of winemakers don't know how to blend in order to offend the fewest number of people. But it's kind of a religion here at K-J. Heck, everybody's trying to make the next great wine, reaching for the enological stars, someone has to strive for average! Oh, I was talking about myself. Besides loving wine, my friends tell me I'm a really talented writer like Dan Brown or Dear Abby. I have 782 friends on my Facebook page, and one day I hope to have my entire birthday calendar filled out with friends. Anyone born on February 29th or April 31st want to be friends? I've never lived in wine country before, unless you count Modesto where I spent a summer as a volunteer for a heat stroke study. They say I won't need that part of my brain.

I think I'm really going to like living in Healdsburg! What a wonderful little town. It's so quaint, like a picture post card of "Our Town" by Billy Wilder, only without the dead people. But it's a very small town. Healdsburg is so small the only prostitute works part-time. Oh well, now I'm here. Healdsburg is so small the high school doesn't even have enough kids for a whole football team so they only play defense. They beat Geyserville High last week. Their kid was sick.

But as small as Healdsburg is it is filled with tourists all summer long. And why do they come here? Murphy-Goode, for one thing. It turns out people will come from all over the country to taste wines they could have been overcharged for in their own supermarkets!! I know, it's amazing. They want to see vineyards and they want to see wineries and they want to taste the wines where they are grown. OK, we don't tell them that a lot of our Murphy-Goode wines are grown far away from here--it would be a long way for them to come and feel disappointed. You know what Social Media Directors' always say, "A little bit of prevarication goes a long way." I had to look up "prevarication."

So it's going to be a lot of fun living here. I have a beautiful home to live in filled with lots of souvenirs and mementos from the early days of K-J. There's an old photo of Jed Steele passing the secret formula for K-J chardonnay to some old drunk lookin' guy at Rombauer. There's some history for you! And next to the bed in a drawer, where a Gideon Bible might be, there's a copy of the lawsuit Huckleberry (OK, boss?) slapped on Jed after Jed made him rich in the wine biz. I was so excited my first night here that was the only thing that helped me sleep. And there are photos of Huckleberry and his buddy up at Chalk Hill smoking cigars and sitting in big piles of money like Scrooge McDuck. It's quite a place.

Tomorrow I have a busy day playing Liar's Dice with Dave Ready the winemaker. I guess from the name that I'm supposed to bring the dice. Dave Ready is a really cool guy, and seems happy not to have all the pressure of having to make great wines any more. Shoot, no vineyards, no big winery, no tasting room, he's got plenty of time to escort my butt around and play lots of poker and dice games and drink wine. What's really cool up here in wine country (this is like the first of my insider info that will make you feel like you live here yourself, my writing is so lucid!) is that you can go to other wineries and swap wines! Yeah, you can. It's like wife-swapping but with Cabernet (I made that analogy up just now--I think I'll Twitter it in a minute). So we never have to drink Murphy-Goode. We do. We do because we like it, we just don't have to drink it. We can drink Geyser Peak or Simi or Clos du Bois! I must have died and gone to Heaven, I just drank Clos du Bois Chardonnay for free! I don't know about you, but I find the smell of urine cakes comforting.

I hope you'll follow me on all the different Social Media thingamajiggies. Five months and 29 days to go before the paychecks dry up. I'd better get busy. Just like in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" I have a podcast to make!


Charlie Olken said...


Just as good satire should be.

And remember what Tip O'Neill once commented, "I don't care what you say about me as long as you spell my name right".

Good thing you did not mess up Huckleberry.

Ashley Lauren said...

I hope your not skeptical that this position is mere self promotion for their wines.

Anonymous said...

It's curious when I see posts like this... bitter? Too much time on your hands? Applied but not selected in the final 10? Upset that a winery was willing to pay for something you do for free? Why not let the person who gets selected see what they can do with this amazing opportunity. Isn't there such thing as joy for others' success?

Anonymous said...

Man, do I feel like a total insider now...thanks for the lowdown on the wine biz.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why they're allowed to name a brand of wine and attach a rating to it. I've tasted some of their wines and thought when they started, they were more like Murphy-So-so. What's next? Alexander The Great Valley Vineyards? At least that Beckstoffer fellow got it right when he labeled his Cabernet "75."


Samantha Dugan said...

I adore the way you Twitter-Twatter

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hi Everybody, and I Love You Gorgeous Sam,

I think it's apparent that every blogger has too much time on his/her hands. And I'm not upset about anything at all. Nor would I ever apply for this sort of stupid job--and, basically, since I don't Twitter or put my ugly mug on Facebook or know how to podcast, I am utterly unqualified.

I do, however, have interesting opinions. And I know how to write satire. I hope whomever Huckleberry hires has those same qualifications.

Thanks, Charlie, high praise coming from you.

Ashley, no, I'm sure Jess is doing this as a charitable way of supporting special needs bloggers, of which there are thousands.

Gorgeous Sam, whenever I please you I simply swoon with pleasure. Consider me intensely swoonified. How may I return the pleasure?

Samantha Dugan said...

Oh I "tweeted" love....could you not tell?! See this is where I wish there were 141 characters, would have been able to add an !

Arthur said...

After I heard of this position, I began to notice M-G wines on supermarket shelves.
I was in Connecticut this weekend on business. Yesterday the company took us out to dinner so I decided to try the M-G sauvignon blanc which was available by the glass.
It wasn't bad. It was fairly save but clean and leaned toward the New Zealand style.
That notwithstanding, I recognize the fact that whoever ends up with the gig will have to face pressures to be favorable.
I am opposed to allowing oneself to become a mouthpiece. At the same time, I understand that business is business.
This will be a very ineresting experiment.

Charlie Olken said...

I hate to say anything polite on this site. Irreverance is so much more appropriate here. But, this K-J/M-G gambit is just a marketing idea, and it will inevitably be understood as that. You can bet that the folks at K-J already think they have earned their moneys' worth with all the free publicity it has driven their way.

Remember the words of Tip O'Neill. They apply here. No need to stop making fun of K-J regardless. I just happen to think that they get the joke and are laughing all the way to the bank.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Charlie,

I couldn't agree with you more. Witness Arthur's decision to try the M-G sauvignon blanc rather than his usual glass of white zinfandel. Huckleberry is definitely laughing all the way to the bank, and many of his former employees are laughing all the way to the unemployment line. So it goes. When a marketing idea works, it's genius. K-J stole this idea, but at least they stole the right idea.

My nonsense is more aimed at the fools facilitating the farce who want to be the job holder. One human will actually get the job, the other few thousand who applied are just unwitting members of the marketing department at K-J. Bloggers and other "wine lovers" jumping at the $60,000 bait with no chance of getting it yet providing endless fodder and great success for the K-J marketing cynics.

Let's face it, no one who really loves great wines gives a crap about Murphy-Goode. I don't care what they do, and, knowing your tasting skills, I doubt that you do either, Charlie. You can't love literature and then profess passion for Dan Brown. This is indeed a marketing idea, and a good one, that I suspect will die an instant death the minute they actually hire their Social Media Stooge.

Charlie Olken said...

Hey, I like Dan Brown's books. I usually get at least half way through them before tossing them aside.

And for the record, even if it taints my reputation with you forever, I like some M-G wines aw well. My problem is that I taste blind, and some wines do well that way when you least expect them to.

KJ Riesling Vint Res just finished near the top of a flight of similarly styled versions of that grape and will get recommended as a Good Value.

I find most M-G wines far less cynical than some $75 negotioant bottles of Napa Valley Cab whose main claim to fame is that they are ripe and dressed up in new oak inner stave or chips.

I do, however, offer my most abject apologies for talking about wine in The Shrine Of Vinous Irreverance. I won't do it again if you let me come back.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Charlie,

No apology necessary. There was a time I very much liked some of M-G's wines, though their cars are a piece of crap, but since the new regime took over the wines have not impressed me at all. Of course, I don't taste blind. Naked, but not blind. Drives the tasting room people nuts.

There are endless cynical wines on the market. And somewhere right now there's a blogger saying nice things about them.

As for Dan Brown, he writes like Mickey Spillane only with a smaller vocabulary.

Arthur said...

Hey Ron

I only tried it because you wrote about it and I wanted to compare my impressions to yours (and you thought nobody listens to you...).
Besides I was not paying....

Anonymous said...

First off, Ron,

you blog is even more delightful than your tweets, and I am a hooked fan of your tweets.

Here are my two cents (sorry, I am not the great writer) on your take (btw, I have *never* drunk MG wine, nor any other wine, for that matter):

Consider me a fool facilitating the farce. OR as I see it, the farce is facilitating me. Yeah, the "free" publicity for MG has been amazing, but the flip side is also true: opportunities have opened up for us bozos jumping in on the game!

(Your comment above makes me wonder if Annie will get the job? -- many of us have thought it is already decided LONG ago who will win...)

Never-the-less, those who applied and had their videos slapped up and viewed over 1000 times may have remained UNNOTICED had this opportunity not come up. Although I never planned to send in a video and apply, the benefits I have reaped are enormous and I will gladly toot a MG horn if it is profitable for me to do so.

Thanks for sharing your piece here... I think I have to put you on my feed! I love your humour and style and yeah, I have never been able to get into Dan Brown either...