Friday, January 8, 2010
The Morgue the Merrier
The wine business lost a lot of very important people in 2009. OK, they weren't lost, they died. Why do we always say "lost" when they aren't lost at all? We know exactly where they are. Rotting in Hell with all the other inebriates. OK, let's start over. A lot of very important people in the wine business died in 2009. Many were overlooked by the vast majority of the wine-drinking public, but not here at HoseMaster of Wine. You know, my favorite part of the Academy Awards is the Death Montage--the morgue the merrier! So here's a brief rundown of those in the wine business who were bulked out in 2009.
D.B. Cooper (1932-2009)
When you talk to the best winemakers in California and ask them who made the finest barrels, the name that jumps to their lips is usually D.B. Cooper. After a long battle with termites, Cooper could no longer stave off death. Cooper was eulogized by Michael Jordan as "a fellow king of hoops who knew how to perform under fire." Not that Michael Jordan. Cooper turned out perfect barrel after perfect barrel in a world filled with cheap junk foudre. He was our barrique Obama.
Michel Rolland (1947-2009)
The wine world lost its most famous consultant in 2009, Michel Rolland. Michel consulted for over 30,000 wineries worldwide, most notably Chateau C'estmoulle-Plonque in Bordeaux and Blankcheckiet Estate in Napa Valley. In his prime, Rolland commanded as much as $25,000 for fifteen minutes of his time, a salary that placed him right up there with Bill Clinton, Heidi Fleiss and Sarah Palin's speech therapist. He was widely condemned for his contributions to the globalization of wine, though astute tasters could tell the differences between his wines by reading the labels. Rolland was responsible for countless 100 point wines, none of which any of you will ever taste, so stop your whining and go back to your crappy 92 point wines and feel miserable--100 point wines are too good for you and you know it. Rolland was killed in a freak hyperbaric chamber accident where he was micro-oxygenated.
Ann O'Smia (1953-2009)
Ann O'Smia was one of the country's leading wine critics in her role as chief wine reviewer for the prestigious publication "Wine Extortionist." Ann is credited with creating the subtle form of magazine blackmail that asks wineries to pay to have their labels displayed next to their reviews. When that was a success, Ann cleverly asked that wineries pay "Wine Extortionist" not to publish lousy reviews of their wines. If a winery made horrible wine after horrible wine they were required to place a full-page ad. This practice continues today in every major wine publication--the full-page ad a sure sign that the winery produces crap. Ann's innovations made "Wine Extortionist" the most successful magazine of its era, and Ann its most powerful critic. It was said a bad review in "Wine Spectator" could cost you hundreds of cases of sales, but a bad review in "Wine Extortionist" only 75 bucks; and a great review in "Wine Spectator" cost you the respect of your peers, but a great review in "Wine Extortionist" only 75 bucks. Ann was killed in a rear-end collision with Marvin Shanken--no cars were involved. Ann in her usual tasting mode, wine contortionist.
And, happily, several bloggers died this past year, among them:
Hardy Stew, 45, whose blog about how wine affected his personal life, CirrhosisoftheLover, was the first to combine wine reviews with stories of his struggles with impotence. Though his blog was very popular, he struggled every day with getting it up.
Gary Vainasfuck, 48, of WineLiberryTV, whose illiterate and thoughtless ramblings about wine on his creepy video blog captured the imaginations of pathetic losers everywhere. Gary inspired an entire generation of wine drinkers to believe they too could be wine experts without knowing a single solitary thing about the subject. His death leaves no void.
HoseMaster of Wine, 57, from complications.