Monday, May 24, 2010

Congratulations 2010 Poodle Nominees!

I like to think I'm funny. But wine blogs are rampant with delusional people. In fact, without the delusion that people care what other people think there wouldn't even be any wine blogs. Wouldn't that be nice! But I had quite the epiphany today. I thought I was funny, I thought I knew how to write great satire. I was pretty proud of some of my work here at HoseMaster of Wine. But I have been humbled. Truly and completely humbled. I feel like Donald Trump just fired me. I feel like James Laube just gave me 75 points. I feel like Rand Paul called me a genius. I'm humiliated. I'm not nearly as funny, I don't have a whisper of the satirical gift, as the folks at the Wine Blog Awards. Their nominees for their Annual Poodles are brilliantly satirical. I tip my Hose to them. I merely aspire to that kind of comedic brilliance, I have never achieved it. I simply can't stop laughing. Bravo!

Every great satire begins with a brilliant premise. The nominations for the Poodles is no exception. Here's the premise: a completely irrelevant and useless consortium recruits eleven unqualified judges, pretends they have the credentials, no, the authority to hand out wine awards, convinces the by-definition criminally vain wine bloggers that their awards have merit, and thereby creates a buzz about their meaningless and powerless group! It's sheer genius. Now, first off, you have to make the Poodles Judges anonymous. Anonymity conveys power and authority. This is why terrorists wear masks when they behead journalists. Unveil them and they're recognizable as powerless cowards. Anonymity makes them seem scary and omniscient, a sort of God come to life, like either a vengeful Zeus, or Tom Wark. So when the Poodles are awarded, remember it's just the terrorists winning; and when the masks are removed the Magnificent Eleven will be revealed, IF they are revealed, as the misfits and outcasts and trolls you expect. Meanwhile, it's satire worthy of Paddy Chayevsky. You Poodle nominees will have to Google him.

But the premise of the satire isn't the payoff. The payoff is in the details, and, well, I am still giggling at the details, the nominees themselves. It is an astonishing achievement, and one I shamefully confess I envy, to be able to insult not just wine bloggers in general, but professional wine writers as well! It isn't easy to take them both down a peg, I know, I try all the time. But the WBA folks accomplished it with their Poodle nominees. My congratulations to them. It takes pure genius to nominate a published, professional wine writer of Steve Heimoff's stature (let it pass, let it pass) alongside ChronicNegress in the Best Writing Category. Who should be more insulted? The ChronicNegress or the Chronic? Oh God, I shouldn't cheerlead, but, please, please, please let the Negress win. I went to visit ChronicNegress and, well, then the true brilliance of the satire became apparent. This is a woman writing about herself in the third person! Wow. It's like Rickey Henderson in drag writing a wine blog competing against the California Wine Critic for Wine Enthusiast. AND, AND, AND, the Washington State Wine Critic for the Wine Enthusiast. Dammit, why didn't I think of that?! It's positively Swiftian. And I call myself funny.

The HoseMaster went to the WBA site to see the nominees for the 2010 Poodles and the HoseMaster was stumped. The HoseMaster was sure that the Terrorist judges would recognize the writing talent of Alfonso Cevola and Samantha Dugan. But the HoseMaster was disappointed. They were not there. Then it dawned on the HoseMaster. The HoseMaster isn't the only one writing satire! The Poodles are all about satire. A satire of awards, the HoseMaster realized, it's a sendup of awards! HoseMaster almost fell for it. Now HoseMaster can't stop laughing.

I guess "demonstrate a command of the English language" means you write about yourself in the third person. Or you write eloquently about your own importance to the wine business in the first person. Or you're a conglomerate of marketing people writing a blog together to promote your business and educate people about how important it is to use Social Media, which you sell, to promote the wines of, well, the wines of your clients (Catavino?! Fucking hilarious. Marketing propaganda as literature--I am so pissed I didn't, sorry--HoseMaster is so pissed HoseMaster didn't think of that.) Toss in the Aussie guy to make it an International category, though, really, after a Negress, that's sort of overdoing it, but, hey, satire is all about going over the top.

An Aussie and a Negress go into a wine bar. The Aussie says, "Hey, are you Maori?" "No," she replies, "the Negress is single. Is that a shrimp on the Barbie or are you just happy to see me?"

And just when my sides are beginning to feel normal again, I get to the Best New Wine Blog Poodle. Here the setup conveys the comedy, "Should present a credible appearance as a new entry in the realm of wine blogging, based on graphics, title, depth of posts, etc." That's just classic! The priorities are just right. First comes graphics. What's more important to the culture of wine and writing than graphics! Well, the title of course! Swirl, Smell, Slurp, the oral sex blog! Now we're talking depth of posts. Sheesh, it's like "The Karate Kid" for people who think movies are for brainiacs. It should be against the law for married couples to write blogs together--it just encourages bulimia. DrinkNectar is here too! The little kid with head trauma has a wine blog with great graphics (come on, did Mom help?) and a cool title. Hey, look NectarDrinker, that girl over at Swirl, Smell, Swallow is cute. Go ahead, don't be shy, tell her she's purty! You know more about wine than her pathetic husband--go for it! These are just two of the nominees for prettiest site and coolest title. A Long Pour, well, true, more than a paragraph with this guy is really, really long. There's in depth and then there's, look at me, I'm an Alder Yarrow impersonator. You know, the Poodle folks could have gone the easy route and actually nominated some interesting new blogs (can't think of any), but, no, they sustained the satire, no mean feat, with these graphically striking sites. I know, let's give Best New Actress to the one with the biggest tits! As long as her name is cute too.

Best Overall Wine Blogs. Oh, man, not sure HoseMaster can get through this with a straight face. Well, there's 1WineDude, who has shitty graphics and can't write, but he gets a lot of hits so let's nominate him. Frankly, he gets the most free junkets and free wine and free stuff, so we need to give him a Poodle for being the Ideal Blogger. It's why we give Kevin Costner awards--it ain't easy being successful with so little talent. Dr. Vino? He's the CNN crawl on your homepage, but with complimentary adjectives! And for the cheap comic laugh, which every satire has to go for every once in a while, what's funnier that The New York Cork Report? I'm still laughing at that. Best Overall Wine Blog! It's clearly written by a cadaver. Man, that's funny. And just when the tears clear from my eyes I'm blindsided by the hilarity of PalatePress. Yup, the site that takes all the second rate bloggers who don't even get a mention for a Poodle, molds them together into one big overbaked blob, and, voila, the Domino's Pizza of wine blogs. You know what you get when you order from PalatePress--it's bland, it's flavorless, it's nothing but filler, but at least it's cheap. And then there's the Cellarist, the SF Chronicle's Jon Bonne, the guy who thinks wine blogs are over, a guy who openly hates wine blogs. Cool. A satire needs an ending.

The Awards that guarantee the meaninglessness of Wine Blog Awards gives an award to the guy who proclaims the meaninglessness of wine blogs. It's brilliant and it's perfect.

You can't make this stuff up.


John M. Kelly said...

To comment on this post would only dignify it, give it an undeserved credibility...

Ron Washam said...

Wow, John, thanks! I feel so, I feel so, I don't know...

I feel like barking!!!

Arthur said...


You can disregard my amazing graphic design (which does not use off-the-shelf themes) but you better not denigrate PalatePress.

Miss you on the OWC.....

Steve Paulo said...

As a finalist for Best New Wine Blog, I am offended I was not lampooned.

Alfonso Cevola said...

We still have the Squirrel awards. Be of good cheer, my friend.

Who needs poodles, the squirrels love us.

Thomas said...

Hell, I have been a poodle owner since 1997, and I don't get a nomination.

It's fixed, I tell ya, FIXED!

Oh, you mean I should turn the blog over to the poodle...why didn't I think of that?

Oliver, here, Oliver...write; write; write you little bastard...

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
I had a very different reaction when I went to the awards site and did not see you or Alfonso, I didn't laugh (but thank you for changing that) no truth be told I was crushed. Of course now I get the joke but I just couldn't see how they could overlook talent in the Best Writing category...I checked out Chronic Negress and dude, dreadful. I couldn't even get through one post, she didn't even make me care enough to skim! Awarding excellence?! Now that is funny as hell.
I spent much of the afternoon feeling crappy about the whole thing but this morning, after a good nights sleep and reading this wonderfully written piece, I see very clearly that the whole thing is and always was....a joke. I know I will be giving my voting the same thought and consideration the "Judges" gave you and Alfonso, none. Not voting and not following that train wreck of mediocrity. I will just keep hanging out with the other badgeless writers, kind of a badge of honor that.

Arthur said...

Why is it that looking at the list of nominees, I feel like I'm looking at the Gold medal winners at the Lodi Wine Competition (or whatever it's called...)?

winebookgirl said...

You missed the part where the nominees email asking for votes. Or was that just my in box yesterday?

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Who reads PalatePress? It's Readers Digest without "Humor in Uniform." If you type in "yawn" in Google Search it comes up first.


First, congrats on your Poodle nomination! Bark on! Maybe if you win I'll lampoon you. Nah, too easy.


I kind of knew that there was no way I could write this piece and not come off like sour grapes. The truth is I wanted a nomination for a Poodle about as much as I want to appear on an episode of "To Catch a Predator."

I don't remember receiving a Squirrel award, though I clearly deserve one. And, luckily, those are also handed out by completely unqualified judges!


I doubt the Poodle Awards are fixed, I just hope all the nominees are.

Amy Love,

No one has had the guts to email me asking for a vote. I truly think we should ALL vote for ChronicNegress just to see her beat all the paid pros--though I like Steve and Paul Gregutt's work. It would just be great comedy.

My Darling Samantha,

One of the things I love about you, and there are many, is how seriously you take your friendships and loves. Alfonso and I (I'm speaking for Alfonso though I'm not truly authorized to do so) don't care about a Poodle nomination, and we weren't stupid enough to believe one would be forthcoming. One could argue we don't even deserve one (I don't deserve one). It's just lovely and sweet and a wee bit naive that you believed in the nomination and awards process. I love that about you.

All one has to do is read through the blogs of the nominees, make sure and have plenty of NoDoz handy, and the credibility of the WBAs and the OWC evaporates. Therein lies the comedy. It's an old saw that comedy and tragedy are but two sides of the same coin. The Poodles coin came up tails--tragedy.

I Love You!

Samantha Dugan said...

Did I just get a, "Awe she's retarded" pat on the head? No matter, I do believe in you and Alfonso; your talent and your ability to through laughter and he through his beautiful prose. So I give you both the only award I am qualified to love and absolute admiration.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Yeah, sure, I'm so stupid I'm going to insult the woman who should have gotten a nomination for Best Writing if they hadn't recruited Forrest Gumps for judges. That's how dumb I am.

No, My Love, I simply admire everything about you. I already privately awarded you the HoseMaster Award of Excellence, and believe you're the single most talented wine blogger working.

And I accept your award humbly and will treasure it forever.

I love you!

Charlie Olken said...

I see that my blog did not win this year. I cannot tell you how sad that makes me because I am sure that my blog is better written than Chronic Negress.

Besides, Ron, if the Blog Awards had gone to Sam and Alfonso, you would be out of business with nothing to lampoon. Be thankful for small mercies.

Thomas said...

I believe I got a Squirrel award once. Can't prove it, however, since nothing came of it, 'cept nuts.

Now I've got to take a look at this Negress thing. I do hope it isn't what I think it is.

Oh, sorry to interrupt Sam and Ron's affair.

Thomas said...

OK. The Italian-American guy went to look at the Chronic Negress (she got herself another hit). All he could say about the experience is that I don't like it when a writer switches from third to first person as if it were a technique that I learned in writer's school, unless it were a bad school.

I can't read the rest of a paragraph that faces me with two faces--don't know who to believe; or should I have written "whom"?

Thomas said...

Wait a minute: she won in the Best Writing category?

Samantha Dugan said...

Would you quit it, I'm trying to have an affair here! Yeah, she gets nominated for Best Writing...can you freaking believe that? Shit I'm a hack and I can put a better sentence together....what-ever

Jimmie Schnipke said...

Dear LaffMaster,

Of course Alfonso & Sam would not be nominated! They do not meet the criteria: they both write with style & wisdom; they both communicate their passion for wine; and they both work in the wine industry. Three strikes and yer out.

Well, that is all that the Schnipker man has to say, so Jimmie is going to go now...

Jimmie Schnipke said...


Look, it's lonely up there in the Finger Lakes and Thomas just wants to play with someone other that his poodle and squirrel. Charlie won't argue with him over @ Steve's, so he wants to play in Ron's backyard.

THOMAS...put those brown shoes down and play nice...

Thomas said...

Brown shoes? For shame--you have no sense of style, Jimmie.

Jimmie Schnipke said...


Sam knows what Jimmie is talking about.

And Jimmie is the height of fashion and style...

Anonymous said...

Quite a self-loving circle jerk here in the comments.

Funny stuff, and mostly accurate. Well done.

Samantha Dugan said...

Why yes, yes I do know what you mean and you are sweet as hell to remember.

Self loving?! In this crowd? Self loathing maybe but not self loving....we are far too busy doing our blogger obligation, slathering one another with praise and adoration.

Jimmie Schnipke said...


Jimmie thanks you. And he agrees, great comment, Sam. Now Jimmie is going back to the sophomore lunchroom and "talk" about the great conquest after the high school prom. Isn't that what wine bloggers do? "Talk" about it? Talking about it gets Jimmie's pinstripes unparallel...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Gang,

OK, HoseMaster never should have started this third person deal.


Surely you jest. I think even you're getting tired of commenting on all of these buffoon's blogs. The 30-some Poodle Award Nominees are easy pickin's for a satirist, Samantha and Alfonso notwithstanding (oh, I've got Alfonso in my sights too.) I love that GoofyGrape only ever gets nominated for Graphics--that has to botryisize his foreskin.

Ah, but no mention of Vornography. They had to put that Poodle down.


You should have been nominated for a Best Writing Award. You see, the point of a circle jerk is not self-love, my friend, it's stroking those in your group. Man, start a blog! You're a shoo-in for a Poodle.


Never for a minute did I think Samantha or Alfonso would be nominated. One has to have talent to recognize talent. Those Terrorists behind the masks don't meet that criterion.

Thomas said...

Next thing you know Hosemaster will try to recruit us to go to war against award terrorists. Do you think bloggers would greet us with laurels in cyber sphere as we liberate them from the tyranny of mediocrity?

Geez, I haven't heard the term circle-jerk since my teens. Makes me feel all pimply and stuff...

Samantha Dugan said...

Thomas you are Mad Pimpy and stuff...

Charle Olken said...

I don't take blogs very seriously--which is why I like this one so much. Oh, sure, I go over to those other places every so often and correct the foolish things people say, but, by and large, my standard for wine writing (I wish I had written that) is rarely met.

Still, now that the list of nominees is out for the Poodles, I had to go give it a look. I can now say unequivocally that Poodles is a kind word for the list of nominees. And it is not that there are not some worthy contenders, but I could not even vote in some of the categories because the choices were so awful.

Ron has done a masterful job of explaining why in his own inimitable style, which always has me saying "I wish I wrote that" (even when I am cringing at some of what he writes--which he takes with great pride, of course).

But, I am not worried. The group of wingnuts that assembles here is the smartest, wittiest, least humble bunch to ever gather in the wine blogosphere--and we know it.

Ron Washam said...


Making people cringe is, as you know, one of the goals of comedy. When I saw the list of Poodle nominees yesterday, Amy was kind enough to email me first thing in the morning to alert me, I burst into laughter. This is not an exaggeration. I actually laughed out loud. After a spirited email exchange with Samantha, who was desolate at first that her favorites weren't nominated, the idea for this post was born. Somewhere deep inside me, I do actually believe the whole thing is a put-on. Scanning the nominees makes that seem the best explanation.

I do not take blogs or blogging seriously either, Charlie. How in the world could anyone? But what makes it fun is the seriousness with which the Poodles take themselves. These are awards given by the unqualified to the unqualified. Like if Fox News gave out Humanitarian Awards. But say the word "awards" to Poodles and you might as well have said "walk;" they bark and jump around and go crazy. There's the comedy. But once the awards go away, they'll go back to contentedly licking their own behinds.

When I took my recent hiatus, what brought me back was the sense of camaraderie and joy our little gang here brings me. I start the ball rolling with my "inimitable" nonsense, then sit back and enjoy all of my friends joining me in the fun. I'm no wine writer, and I'm only a wine blogger by default. But I'll say this, if I had been nominated, which was about as likely as Judge Judy being nominated to the Supreme Court, I would have withdrawn quicker than a Catholic violating the rhythm method. If they had any sense, Steve Heimoff and Paul Gregutt and Randall Grahm should. Be much better publicity for them than winning.

Thomas said...


Withdraw? How could they?

Blogging and so-called social media are the new future. Straddling the fence between "tradition" and the "future" is a tried (and traditional) response to a perceived threat to one's income stream.

The Internet is and will continue to be a commercial media striving to make us believe otherwise. Commercialism and quality have only a passing acquaintance, so it stands to reason that awards go to mediocrity.

Not to worry, though. In a vacuous commercial environment that is largely based on opinions, last year's "Best" is this year's forgotten.

winebookgirl said...

You had to suggest my authors withdraw? But, wait, you missed one.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


You mean the Poodles or the Catholics?

You know as well as all of us that there is no revenue stream in wine blogging. So why can't they withdraw? Well, Heimoff is giving the keynote address, so he probably can't, and Paul Gregutt lives in Walla Walla and is attending the WBC, so he probably can't, but I am speaking hypothetically.

And, yes, indeed, poor Vornography has gone the way of Christopher Cross.


Don't tell me, you're publishing ChronicNegress' new book, "How Negress Saved the World from Parkerization."

1WineDude said...

If I'm Kostner, is this my "Waterworld"?

I've always been told I look and act more like a Robert Downey Jr. than a Kostner, but then again Kevin & I both seem to be losing hair...

Thomas said...

Ron, Ron, Ron,

Blogging is not the commercial part of the deal--it's the other stuff, the stuff that builds one's PR, consulting, ad sales business. The one where you bring the numbers to the client. Think big man or you won't get anywhere.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


You're a damned shoo-in to wine Best Overalls on a Poodle. Prepare a speech, my friend, and get ready to share a stage with your Secret Santa Steve.


And winning a Poodle Award does what for all of that, exactly?

I leave the thinking to others better equipped. I just jeer.

winebookgirl said...

Nope. But I could ask Blake.
You failed to call out Tyler by name when you suggested all of my other authors drop out:
If they had any sense, Steve Heimoff and Paul Gregutt and Randall Grahm should. Be much better publicity for them than winning.

Otoh, there is at least one finalist I would really like a book from.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Come on, leaving cryptic comments is far too coy. This ain't idiotic Twitter.

sacha said...

Thanks for calling me purty. And, yes, I do give good oral.

Charlie Olken said...


Amy was referring to me for my nomination in the Best Blog Not Ever Published category.

PaulG said...

My little head is throbbing. Not that I'm at all surprised at the opening diatribe - the real surprise was that I got a nomination. Let me tell you, I've never been nominated for anything in my life. But now to learn that the only honorable response is to withdraw - nominus interruptus - that's a head scratcher. How do you withdraw? I don't even know how I got nominated. And another thing - I love the comments about "a tried (and traditional) response to a perceived threat to one's income stream." INCOME STREAM!!?? WHAT FRIGGING INCOME STREAM??? Do you see an advertisement anywhere on my blog? Wine writing as a "profession" at best has an income trickle, an income drip, an income splat - there is no flipping stream. A further correction, just to be clear. I live in Waitsburg - a sensible 20 miles north of Walla Walla, well out of the hubbub. I hang out at jimgermanbar, the only true bar in the country. I am not registered for the Blogger Conference and am in a bit of a quandary now because in order to drop out or perhaps to do a streaker thing or pull a Woody Allen I don't know if maybe I should register first and then not show... or... what? If I don't show and wasn't registered, that's not really a no-show, is it? You see the existential problems you have tossed at me HoseMan? And what do poodles have to do with it? I'm losing sleep here. There's this logo thing - is that the poodle? Should I post it on my blog and then take it down in protest? My head is spinning...

Sip with Me! said...

Oh, Sip with Me will never be a poodle either. She's destined to forever be a wineabee. But you and Samantha, you were her only hope for truth and beauty through all the ugly politics. She thought you were poodles for sure. You are witty, and funny, more so than all the peeps at WBC, even after this bad joke. Laugh on, but next year nominate me, would ya?

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Yet another Google Alert. Or maybe, in your case, Gargle Alert. Good Luck winning a Poodle.


You are a lock for that Poodle. Most wish I were in contention.


Hey, what can I say, I'm a blogger, I only care about opinions, facts are strictly for losers.

Relax, Paul, don't get verklempt. They aren't real awards. They're cyberawards, they only exist in some strange server that Google uses to raise the ambient temperature of the Earth a few degrees so that morons like me can mouth off to the world. Seems worth it.

But I guess for you it's all about Wine Enthusiast bragging rights with Heimoff. But you both beat out Asimov--no doubt he's pouting.

By the way, nicely done. I've awarded you the HoseMaster Comment of the Post Award. You're welcome.

Unknown said...

Thanks Ron for the honorable mention! If all I got was an Alder Yarrow wannabe, it could be worse. But I am long winded true, but it gets hard to do short stories when you are actually interviewing the winemakers in person.

For what it's worth, the Blogger awards mean just about why do we get our corks all bunched up?


Ron Washam, HMW said...

Tamara Darling,

Getting a nomination is easy. You have a husband and friends, right? Then it's just about writing dull and lifeless prose, which you might be able to do if you practice reading the Best New Wine Blog Poodles. Though if you get your husband to write dull and lifeless prose with you, you might have a better chance.

God forbid we're all here next year doing this.

PaulG said...

Ron, you've awarded me the HoseMaster Comment of the Post Award!?! Is there a logo I can post on my blog? Or do I have to withdraw from that also? And why do I get rublubje for word verification? Rublubje sounds like something you'll be enjoying on your S.H.I.T. junket.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hi Wayne,

Congrats on your Poodle nomination. And thanks for joining in over at my little flying circus.

You and I agree. I'm just here to have fun with the whole wine world, especially as it pertains to blogs. I don't think anyone here takes the WBA Poodles seriously. But it sure does make other folks defensive and angry.

I'm just always grateful when an obvious post presents itself. In a perfect world a wine blog is an end in itself, not a stepping stone to free samples and awards and imaginary respect. Sounds like you have your head on straight. Keep it up and I just might vote for you.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Well, I wanted to award it to myself, but I thought that sounded too much like a Poodle award.

No logo, but your autographed photo of me is on the way! That should make you withdraw. From the human race.

I gave the Rublubje 89 points in the Wine Enthusiast.

W.K. said...

Thanks Ron and thanks for keeping the conversation fun! And if I win I will send you a bone!

Thomas said...


The bloggers aren't the ones who gain income from blogging--I know that. It's the consultant-marketers-PR people that want to keep this thing alive that make (or hope to make) the money.

Where Hosemaster sees poodles, I see pawns.

Anonymous said...

How is a girl supposed to choose a good Caftan without a poodle nominated web site to help her drink?

Joe said...

Hey, what's wrong with Christopher Cross?

-Christopher Cross

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Thomas,

OK, come on, it's not fair to make fun of bloggers' height, 1WineDude isn't that...Oh, sorry, I thought you said "prawns."


It's all in fun. The HoseMaster is but a voice I use to satirize the biz. But those who can laugh at themselves always impress others. The ones who can't, well, they lead long and miserable lives.

Sacha already gave me a bone...


What's wrong with Alder Yarrow?

--Alder Yarrow

winebookgirl said...

No contracts no names. Because, sadly, Amy does not always get what she wants.

I will make no comment on my role as a marketing/pr person who wants "to keep this thing alive that make(s) (or hope(s) to make) the money," except to mention that several of these fine nominees have new books out this fall. Or books finally released in paperback. Or recent awards.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Amy Love,

Discretion is the better part of income. But feel free to use me to promote your forthcoming titles. So long as you send me free samples. Poodles are bright canines.

Chris said...

Dear HoseMaster-

I faithfully follow Samantha, Alfonso, Steve, Tom Johnson, Jeff, Tom Wark and you.

I take the time to read your precious blog posts because each person's voice and comment community enrich and enhance my day.

Is that enough to sustain you... to know that what you are doing is making lives brighter and better?

I hope so.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Dear Chris,

What a thoughtful and lovely thing to say. And, yes, that does sustain me.

I sit alone in a quiet room and churn out nonsense and a bit of laughter, never knowing who it will touch, anger or make laugh. My audience is, for the most part, utterly invisible to me. It's a strange and solitary pursuit. But all it takes is a sweet note like yours to make it all seem worth it.

Thank you.

Thomas said...

comments in the 50s again. Looks like Hose is on his way to hosannas.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


It's the most obvious insight in the wine blogosphere. Talk about them, and they will come.

Getting close to a new HoseMaster comment record.

Book Daddy said...

Note to Ron and Amy--

I have a book coming out soon. Amy, if you send it to Ron, he will make fun of me. Ron, if Amy sends my new book to you, I will go into hiding.

I think the "Read These Blogs" section of the book will please you because I suggest folks read Joe Roberts, Ken Payton and others. I was tempted to call that chapter, "Fodder for Jose".

winebookgirl said...

You mean that book on page 30 of the new catalog? The one that shares a spread with Paul's? I'm expecting galleys soon. I'll add Ron to that list. :)

1WineDude said...

Thanks, Dad! Looking forward to being continued fodder! :-)

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Puff Daddy Warbooks,

I won't make fun of you, I'll flatter you with satire.

Thank God you didn't put HoseMaster in the recommended blog section. Way too much pressure.
And far too little talent.


Cool! Free stuff! And I'll be oh so quotable.

Thomas said...

This is what makes the Internet so valuable--now I have someone to whom I can send my wine life memoir to--if I ever finish the thing--and she will know exactly who I am so she will be glad to read it over, get me a contract with a stellar advance and then watch my blog hits go through the bloggeroof.

Thank you Hosemaster for the opportunity to use your free blog as a source for me to make some money. You do a service to humankind.

Marcia Macomber said...

I gotta run out the door (wine tasting! :-) ), but here's my two (worthless) cents:

On first pass I was a bit surprised by this post. Pure satire but on the harsh side, Mr. HMW! (Liked the Paddy Chayevsky aside though.)

Then I popped over the awards site. Ouch! Talk about harsh. The vitriol rising to the top of the tank (per se) in some of the comments was really harsh.
I'll agree with everyone here on the weirdness of the finalists chosen for many (most?) categories. The damn 3rd person/1st person melange at ChronN's blog (which I don't read) was highly irritating. (It's hard enough when my aunt writes that way every year in her bloddy Xmas letter!)

So, in the end, Ron, your post was dead on. Poodle away!

CA Wine Book Daddy said...

" Thank God you didn't put HoseMaster in the recommended blog section. Way too much pressure.
And far too little talent. "

Don't start counting those chickens just yet. I am very close to the publicist, and she and I might yet conspire to blame you for something.

Thomas said...

Oh my, Marcia. I just took a look at the award site where the comments are flying back and forth. Spectacle is too mild a word for it.

This here Internet certainly brings people together--don't it?

Samantha Dugan said...

I know right?! Who in their right mind would have ever imagined that we would be running to The HoseMaster for civility in the wine blog world.

winebookgirl said...

As far as I know, the book is not at the printer yet. Be careful what you wish for.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marcia Darling,

If anything, it's nice to surprise people. Satire is all about pushing boundaries and comfort zones, so long as the points being made are valid. I so often hear sentiments like yours expressed. But satire is not about kindness and compassion, it's about the ruthless telling of the truth from an interesting and unusual perspective. Charlie mentioned cringing earlier, and that is the feeling satire strives for. It ain't marketing.

And as to all the empty accusations at the Poodle website, well, that Houstonwino guy is clearly practicing the grand old tradition of the World Wrestling Federation. Bluster and finger-pointing and veiled threats that all add up to great theater in a country filled with morons in tea parties. "It's a grand conspiracy that's kept me from being recognized, but it's not about me! I'm just speaking for the little guy. Can't you see what's going on? We need to take the power back!" Sadly, Tom, suprisingly, fell for the bait. The awards are crap, who cares who judged them?

I'm not about civility, but I'm about wit. Houstonwino has none that I can detect, in his diatribes or his blog. In the great tradition of the WWF or Fox News, he's about volume and invented, paranoid truths. You debate with a person like that at your own peril. You can never win. Except with laughter.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Oh, and I forgot, it's a NEW HOSEMASTER COMMENT RECORD!!

Thank you.

And God Bless the United States of America.

Charlie Olken said...

Dear Jose--

I am editing the book now. It goes to the printer in a month. And I can write anything in it between now and then.

The publisher wants it to be controversial. Having you in it will certainly help.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Book Daddy,

Having me in it would certainly get you a better review from me. But being included with the likes of your son 1WineDoody, and GoofyGrape, and the Heimoff Maneuver, and Dr.ed Vino, well, that cancels that out.

But will it be as important and lasting a book as one of Heimoff's, according to Heimoff?

Charlie Olken said...

Will my new book be more important than Heimoff's?

Hey, that is a lot to ask. After all, he is Heimoff, and I am no Heimoff.

On the other hand, Heimoff does not mention my son, WineDude, or any of those other characters in his recommended blog section. And for good reason. My book will be the first to have a recommended blog section. That's because I am so avant garde and ultra hip. I know my social media. That's why I don't have a blog.

Oh, wait. I am going to have one of those as well. I may be the man who has everything in the wine biz except as many readers as my competition. Will you still come to my tastings when I am old and grey and rich and famous?

And don't get all fussy on me. I know I am already old and grey. But. so what. I will have a book and a blog some day.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Puff Daddy,

Yeah, you'll have a blog just in time to be next year's Poodle for Best New Wine Blog. That should give the awards further credibility.

I don't need a book. I have a blog. And a damned stupid one at that. One that will last and be considered important for generations. And if you're lucky, I'll mention your book in it.

Samantha Dugan said...

Just wanted to slither into the sweet #75 spot.

Thomas said...

Do I hear 76? Oh, that's me.

Do I hear 77? C'mon. Anyone wish to bid 77?

Book Daddy said...

" I don't need a book. I have a blog. And a damned stupid one at that. One that will last and be considered important for generations. And if you're lucky, I'll mention your book in it. "

Yes, that is what I am worried about. Perhaps you should wait to see if I am allowed to say anything about the Hosemaster in the blogs section. I don't want to scare anybody.

John M. Kelly said...

Un. Be. Lievable. Unbelievable. Near triple digits in the comments roasting the poodles. With all the talent here would SOMEBODY please tell John which wine goes best with roast poodle? And what music John should be listening to with it?

Samantha Dugan said...

Pinotage and Lady Gaga

Ron Washam, HMW said...


With all due respect to Samantha's pairing skills, HoseMaster prefer a refreshing bottle of Picpoudle and a rousing version of "Who Let the Dawgs Out."

I'm betting my new post gets 7 comments, no more.

Samantha Dugan said...

Oh sure if you want to go the traditional route.

PaulG said...

With roast poodle? Any mutt wine, and "Sweet Virginia" by the Rolling Stones.

1WineDude said...

I'm only commenting again to try to get you to 100.


Marcia Macomber said...

Howabout a HoseMaster's House of Satire chat room? Surely that would be an easier format for one and all to read and post one another's cattiest and cleverest comments? 'Specially if you're gonna go for triple-digit commenting on a regular basis. There's so much scrolling involved now! My mouse roller is gettin' tuckered out!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thanks, Joe. It's kind of weird to have more comments than I have readers.

Damned Poodles just won't stop barking.

Maybe if I get 100 comments I can be a judge for next year's WBAs! A mysterious, unnamed judge with the power to make wine bloggers babble incoherently and act like an Internet "Lord of the Flies." And then, for sure, the nominations would be perfect; ChronicNegress would be cured, though I didn't know being a Negress was a disease, SipSwirlSpit would be Spat, and WineHarlots would make a clean sweep of the Poodles!

Have you written your acceptance of the Best Overall Wine Blog Poodle yet, Joe? If not, I know Alder has one he won't be using. You could borrow that.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Oooh, cattiest and mouse in the same post about Poodles. Why, how clever.

No HoseMaster's House of Satire for me. I'm not moderating any kind of eHose. I can barely manage this stupidity.

Thomas said...

Roast poodle pairs best with orange wine.

Are we at 100 yet?

I Do Not Eat Squirrel Daddy said...

This business about what wine goes with poodle has the dog next door upset. It has been barking all day. I would feed it a squirrel to make it happy, but I don't have a blog--so no squirrel.

But, I am inexorably led to a more significant line of thought. What wine goes with squirrel? I am much more likely to break bread with the winners of squirrels than I am with the winners of Poodles seeing as I refused to vote in most categories. I did vote for family members--one has to do that--and for Tom Wark.

Yes, I know that Wark is not nominated, but he is going to win anyhow. He's Tom Wark for goodness sake. I also voted for Joe Roberts to win in the Best Tasting Notes Suited For Twitter category and for Samantha Dugan in the Best Blog Written By A Lakers Fan.

I was unable to find a category in which I could vote for Jose, but I am sure that he will win next year for Best Wine and Food Blog, based on the 100 comments left here about what to serve with Poodle.

winebookgirl said...

All this talk of squirrels:

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Rocky the Flying Squirrel Daddy,

You know, it's funny, I haven't voted for the Poodles yet either. I'm like Meg Whitman but with a better haircut--what, she can't afford a stylist? I want to vote, but I just can't pull the trigger on the nominees. But I did vote NO on all the propositions--and I've had a lot.

For $5 I'll vote for your son. But that kissass will win easy anyway. Now I'm sorry I parodied him--I made him famous.

1WineDude said...

I resent that - I only kiss Puff Daddy's ass!

Unknown said...

Ron, support the art of long, long, long stories. I did shorten the most recent offering, partially due to laziness on my part, a quality well known by wine bloggers, and in part to honor you.

You should also consider me because of what my business cards say: "Wine blogger, gentleman, scholar."

I am above all, better than most of the people I meet and that should be reward in the form of an image I can put on my site that agrees with that theory.

Keep it snarky my friend!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Wayne,

I wouldn't go tailoring my posts because of the ol' HoseMaster. Do what works for you. Your audience will find you. By the way, winning a Poodle will drive a lot of people to your site for about a week, and with what you do every idiot wine marketing person in the state will want you to write about them. Have some standards. Your hit counter will go crazy, and a week later it will go back to wherever it is now. Have fun with it, but the Poodles are a big fat ticket to Nowhere.

Good Luck. Thanks for being such a good sport. If you win, don't be surprised if I eviscerate you.

Acorn Daddy said...

RE Squirrel Recipes: In the final analysis, it tastes just like chicken anyhow--except for a certain species of black squirrel that dines only on acorns. They taste like Serrano Ibericos made out of chicken.

Problem is that when you cure and hand dry a squirrel, you only get 1.5 oz of meat per squirrel. Chez Panisse serves it sometimes as an appetizer for $24.

W.K. said...

Ron - stop raining on my delusional parade. You don't seem to understand the process very well. Guy writes blog, guy wins blog award, guy puts j-peg image on his site that let's everyone know he is the best, guy gets book deal, guy gets flown all over the world, guy develops coke addiction, guy ends up dead in a gutter. I will not let you rip my drug endused gutter death from me, it is my dream and no one can take that from me.

If I didn't have standards, I would be out there rating every wine I drink and scoring it 1-5, or A, B, C, or three corks, or whatever system I invented to make me feel relevant and important in the wine world. I do this because it is amazingly fun for the time being, and because my life will end up in a gutter one way or another, so I might as well enjoy the ride.

May I be so privileged to be eviscerated by Mr.HoseMaster. And I assure you I shortened my article out of pure laziness, not because of the gigantic gravitational force that is The HoseMaster of Wine.

Now I am off to run some more laps at the dog show. I actual do want to win though, because why not...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Acorn Dog Daddy,

The only time I ever ate squirrel, and it wasn't at Chez Panisse, I came home and stuck my nuts in a tree. Nasty side effect. And my nuts are still sappy. And taste like chicken.


I should hope you are in it to win it. I read a couple of your posts. I have a small piece of advice. Put more of the personality you've shown here in this comment into your blog posts and the work will come alive. Profiling wineries has been done endlessly, and I mean the kind of endlessly you get watching Sex and the City, the suicidal kind of endlessly. Have the kind of fun with it you've demonstrated you're capable of here. The profiles don't have to be about you, but you, your personality, needs to be more present.

And as for standards...Kokomo? Man, I have had a lot of those wines and they ain't setting the world on fire. And if they did, I'd use them to put the fire out.

W.K. said...

Ouch for Kokomo!

Advice taken. I used to do it a lot more when I first started, like Santa Barbara Winery and my story on Wolff Vineyards. I don't know why I got away from that. Thank you for guiding me back into the light of sarcasm and parody. Peace be with you...

Flying Missile Daddy said...

Well, there are two possibilities. Either the guy is pulling your leg or you have suddenly become a nominee in the Poodle Category: Wine Blog Most Likely to Provide Therapy to Non-Poddle Winners.

It is more fun over on Sam's blog, even though I am afraid to go back lest I get hit with flying missiles. Thanks for agreeing with me that all that tastes good in Chardonnay is not from Chablis. Of course, you are now in trouble over there as well. Look out that you do not get hit with a squirrel--or worse yet, with a flying Poodle.

Puff Daddy said...

By the way, who's counting?

Ron Washam said...


Hey, the Century Mark!

The 100 Pointless Blog!


It's always more fun over at Samantha's blog. I'm a stiff, and a lousy host. And I'm flatchested, not a manboob in sight. So, yeah, Sans Dosage is way more fun.

Thanks to everyone, all 14 or so, who made this possible. We may never see it again.