Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm Off to A Big S.H.I.T. Event

I'm off to Northern Italy for the "Where did Teroldego?" event put on by the Sustainable Heroes of Italian Teroldego. This is a new organization to me. Frankly, I don't know S.H.I.T. However, in my capacity as one of the finest wine bloggers on the planet I am invited to countless wine festivals and events all over the world. It's not easy to choose which events to attend. But I have come up with a solution. I attend the ones that pay the most money for me to show up. No, they don't give me cash. But it costs them quite a bit to cover my airfare, hotel, gambling addiction, propensity for hookers (though I do prefer the cheapest ones, if only to educate my olfactory buds) and laundry. You'd think this would guarantee my praise of their wines. You'd be right. Except if I go and there's an actual wine expert there, then I just parrot his opinions. I mean, come on, let's face it, no one's heard of Teroldego. I thought it was the island next to Trinidad. Turns out I won't need my snorkel. Except for the cheap hookers.

Yes, I am going on a junket, though they told me I was taking a plane. Aren't junkets those slow Chinese boats? No? Oh. I'm going on the S.H.I.T press junket, though I'm about as much a member of the press as Octomom is a member of the human race. I looked it up, like I had to for Teroldego, and the word "junket" comes from the Old English for a reed basket that was used to carry fish. So now I know why I was invited along with all the other bloggers. I'm a widemouth basshole.

The S.H.I.T. producers are anxious for their wines to gain further exposure. So they asked around about who the most influential writers are on the Internet. None of them were the least bit interested, so they asked a bunch of bloggers to visit them and taste and write about their wines. They'd already booked the hotel anyway. It will be a crash course in Teroldego for us, and a good dose of American ignorance for them. I'm excited to learn all about this mysterious grape. I'll be one grape closer to joining the Wine Century Club! It's long been my goal to taste more grape varieties made into wine than I have IQ points, and now that I'm up to 45, I'm but 7 grapes away from my goal! And if there's a Teroldego Gris, which you'd think there would have to be, I'll be even closer.

This wine journalism thing is really cool. I went out and got a WSET credential (Wine Studyin' and Elevator Training), a CSW (Certified Sycophant in Wine), and passed my First Level of the M.S. Exam (Fun With Corks--How to Look Like A Walrus), so I qualified to have my own blog filled with opinions and facts I made up on the spot. Now here's the really cool part. Turns out you don't have to go to school to get a journalism degree! Who knew? No, it turns out that if you type, you're a journalist. This explains a lot. Like Alice Feiring and Tim Fish (hey, no wonder he gets so many junkets, he's a fucking Fish!) and Leslie Sbrocco. So, look at me, I'm a wine journalist. I'm going to Northern Italy. Which is right next to Trinidad, I'm pretty sure.

Look for my daily reports about my trip. You'll be able to live vicariously through my crappy photography and tales of fascinating seminars I'll be nursing my hangovers through. I know one thing. Those Teroldego guys better not be using a lot of oak on their wines. If there's one thing I know, it's too many wines in the world use too much oak, and I'm not afraid to point it out. That's just me, I have one opinion and I never get tired of it. Just because you've produced a wine from your family's vineyards for seven generations, that doesn't mean I can't teach you a thing or two. I'm not just going to roll over and say nice things about your Teroldegos because you invited me on a press fish basket. No, I'm going to be critical, I'm going to educate you about wine bloggers. We're not to be trifled with. We don't get rich writing a wine blog. We do it for passion, we do it for our twenty-five regular readers, we do it because our voices need to be heard. We do it as a way of learning more and more about our favorite subject--ourselves. We do it to learn about wine, there is so much I don't know. For example, I don't know S.H.I.T.


Thomas said...

I thought Teroldego was the Spanish guy who fights bulls.

Live and loin shit.

winebookgirl said...

And you did not invite me to come along? I could use a vacation.

Wines for the People said...

So does this mean you've finished your wine bloggers awards judging?

Charlie Olken said...

I've always wondered. It is better not to know shit, or it is better to not know shit. I mean, why is shit worth knowing?

I once heard someone say of another person whom he did not like that we would not pee on him if he was on fire. And I have always wondered why not.

Ron Washam said...


No, my friend, that's the Torrontes. And I thought I paid Google to keep you out of here.

Amy Love,

Going on a trip with a bunch of bloggers is like wishing you'd gone on the Bataan Death March.

Wines for some People,

Oh, yes, I finished. I've nominated WineHarlots as Best Wine Business Blog, BrixChicks as Best Blog for Head Trauma Patients, and Corks and Caftans for Most Delusional Blog with Purty Pictures. Oh, and myself for Best You've Got a Lot Of Nerve, Moron Wine Blog


Shit is only worth knowing insomuch as it differs from Shinola.

I served with shit, I know shit, shit was a friend of mine, Sir, you are not shit. Or something like that.

Dave said...

Charlie Olken said...

"we would not pee on him if he was on fire. And I have always wondered why not."

I think one's own personal ABV urine level would be a *major* concern here. I mean, I'm all for flambe' but you've got to draw the line in the snow somewhere.

Thomas said...

No, Ron. You paid Whitman and she has yet to pay me. I may be a blogger, but I'm not exactly easy...just clueless.

Samantha Dugan said...

I've given a S.H.I.T before, even eaten S.H.I.T once or twice....does that qualify me for some schmancy trip? Oh AND I'm a blogger so clearly I have my head so far up my ass the view is nothing but S.H.I.T...I'm with Amy, I wanna go too!

Charlie My Sweet Wrong Team Loving Man,
I would pee on you if you were on fire, just sayin

Wines for the People said...

HMW, while of course I wish you the best in winning you category, I confess that I am stunned at the existence of Corks & Caftans. Quite literally stunned--the only thing I am capable of doing is leaving a comment on a wine blog while I try to wrap my head around the blog that exists despite my certain knowledge that you had made it up. Or maybe you did make it up. Is that your day job? If so, and even if not, can you please explain Corks & Caftans to me?
(And, oh, the pictures aren't *that* purty.)

Samantha Dugan said...

Wine For The People,
I hate that blog like poison, seriously.

Ron Washam said...


Corks and Caftans is outside the realm of even my twisted imagination. When folks like Tom Wark and Heimoff and so many others talk about wine blogs as though they are admirable and wondrous they conveniently neglect to mention that 99% of them are horrid, vain, useless and meaningless. Is it any surprise the WBA judges take so long to nominate blogs for awards? As Derrick commented in my previous post, it's damn near impossible to find five, out of the estimated 1000 or so, worth reading. And if you subtract the blogs written by "professional" wine writers--Asimov, Heimoff, Tanzer (whose blog really sucks), Feiring--you really see how impoverished the wine blogosphere is.

However, that does make my job a whole lot easier.

My Gorgeous Samantha,

I look at that blog and cannot stop laughing. You know they think it's really good. Just classic.

I love you!

Thomas said...

I'm partial to the blog: Bungs and Burqas.

Unknown said...

To get to Trinidad you have to switch to rum and hope for the best (from the French islands, a straight shot (ha) south).
Famous Dr Jeff Masters at Wunderground (the best place to track hurricanes that will do quite a bit to BT's stock this year-supposed to be a big season) doesn't seem to talk about rum or wine. Maybe you can invite him along if you get the Caribbean gig.
He can talk about the weather.

Unknown said...

As this seems to be a catch all moment while you're flying...
Why, oh, why do the blogger awarders not split judging into categories?
To do a good job, one needs to look at the pace; the good and the bad days, the knowledge flow (or not) relative to what was on Twitter or Google trends at that moment (and how many tasting notes were lifted from winery or other blogger websites...).
Doing that, you should not have been finished until at least June..2011 (which coincides with when the plumber says he can fix our septic tank).
I am ranting because it is actually unfair to the very good writers. And you'd come in first in the satire column if they had one and if anyone had a real minute or 60.
They would get more and better judges if the task was not so overwhelming. Ask EPpy (Editor and Publisher) how they do it.
Attn FTC: I am not a wine awards judge. I am an EPpy judge. I forget what EPpy stands for. I am not paid by this website (so far). I hope the plumber comes.

Ron Washam said...


Isn't that


Welcome to my flying circus. Take the plunge, as your plumber might say, and become a regular at HoseMaster!

You make some good points. But, really, we don't know how competent the judges are because we don't know who they are. Except Tom Wark, who outed himself. It's a tiptop secret which masochists decided to judge wine blogs.

And if you go to the WBA site today,, you'll see that they got hacked by some Chinese James Bond! Really. Check it out, it's hilarious!

Of course I'd win in the satire category--I'm the only one. Though the Corks and Caftans site is the funniest blog I know of.

Anonymous said...

Is there a pay site for Corks MINUS Caftans?

Some of us would like a spicier wine blog..... Or should we say Gewurz-ier

Unknown said...

Thank you, I accept your invitation.

Fly well (take 1mg melatonin flying +3 days both directions); hope unpronounceable (except to BBC) volcano stays quiet.

("Some California authorities compare Teroldego to Zinfandel, with its spicy red fruits, and hints of tar, pine, and almond, but few tasters would confuse the two varieties in a blind tasting. Its snappy acidity makes it a versatile food wine"....says a PR-manipulated Wikipedia. Let us know.)

Ron Washam said...


Not sure I want to see her sans caftan, but whatever floats your boat.


Teroldego like Zin? Oh man, that's like saying Nebbiolo is like California Syrah only sassier. Well, it is Wikipedia, the World's Foremost Misleading Authority on Everything.

Thomas said...

Hey all--check out my new blog:
Plonk and Pleats.

It will make you pant.

My ex-wife has a new blog, too:
Bottles and Bell Bottoms.

That woman was always behind.

Ron Washam said...


I'm actually a secret fan of the new site, Screwtops and Pushup Bras.

Alfonso Cevola said...

I never took you for a Nascar fan. I learn something new everyday from you. At least you kept it in the South.

Sip with Me! said...

Hey, be careful… don't want to give Americans a bad name over there in Europe.

Hope it's a really good SHIT for you! Big and long but not too hard or smelly ;)

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Yup, I actually won the Teroldego 500 back in the 70's in my '75 Ford Lagrein. Man, could that baby roar.


Was that S.H.I.T you were describing or your perfect man? I'm so confused. I should have worn a helmet when I won the Teroldego 500.