Monday, June 21, 2010


Oh, to be headed to Walla Walla and the Wine Bloggers Conference! It would be like a dream come true. All of those talented and brilliant bloggers in one room! It sends chills up and down my spine. Something they can only imagine--having a spine. All of those titans of wine in one room, well, it makes me wish for one thing. If only writers' block were as contagious as the Ebola virus...

The Wine Bloggers Conference, better known as Oodles of Poodles (or OOPS, for short) is the annual meeting of Wineabee Bloggers and their handlers. They converge on the unwitting town of Walla Walla this year for speeches, seminars and awards. The agenda shows a lineup of talent rivaling the editorial board of Penny Saver. First up, keynote speaker STEVE! Heimoff, the Justin Bieber of the wine blog world. Expect large crowds and girls tossing panties. Many will toss breakfast. And you can Leave it to Bieber that STEVE! will wax rhapsodic about his favorite subject matter. What a successful blogger STEVE! is. Eventually, STEVE! will speak about "The Future of Wine Writing," which, coincidentally, is the name of his upcoming book. HoseMaster of Wine was given a special sneak peek at the index, which I reprint here in its entirety:

Heimoff, Steve pp 1-235

Parker, Robert debt owed to Steve p. 12, lucky p. 42, obituary p. 49

Wine Enthusiast debt owed to Steve p. 14, obituary p. 36

STEVE! will lecture the Poodles about ethics and how to pretend you have them, as well as the huge influence social media is having on the wine business. He'll speak about the influence of ROI in the way wineries view bloggers, as well as his abiding love for ROI's partner, Siegfried. Be sure to arrive early, and be prepared to spend an extra fifteen minutes when STEVE!'s speech is through for the applause to die down.

And don't forget to sign up early for the Saturday seminar "The Future of Wine Writing" with STEVE!, Tom Wark and Ken Payton. Am I sensing a theme? Could it be "The Future of Wine Writing?" Could it be the same theme as last year's OOPS? And the year before? Maybe. But, let's face it, OOPS has the same problem as wine bloggers--coming up with original ideas. I am so upset I won't be able to sit and listen to this panel discussion! Led by the God of Poodles, Tom Wark (ironic, isn't it, that his surname is the very sound a harelip Poodle makes), the panel will focus on wine writing, which one of them has even been paid to do! Clearly, these three men are experts. It's like going to a panel discussion of sex featuring two eight-year-olds and Warren Beatty. But, remember, Poodles, don't ask Mr. Payton any questions or look directly into his eyes. He will bite you, and his bite has been compared to that of a Komodo dragon, though the Komodo dragons are suing for defamation of character.

The Wall Street Journal's Lettie Teague is the keynote speaker on Saturday! Yes. I'm not kidding. I know! Can you believe it? And she's going to tell us how to find our voices! Just like that. Turns out you don't need talent, you just need a voice. Well, she's living proof of that!

There's just so much to do at OOPS! Yet the main attraction is meeting the other wine bloggers, sniffing the other Poodles. Oh my God, I scrolled through the list of attendees and it took me right back to when I visited the Vietnam War Memorial. It should be a blast shaking the hands of all those famous wine bloggers and sharing your thoughts about your favorite posts. "I loved your post about Rose and that it's the new wine cooler! Great post." "I love how you match wine with old comic books! That's so brilliant. Heidi Barrett wines with Wonder Woman! Wow. And then Fred Franzia with Jughead! Perfect. Rombauer Chardonnay with Baby Huey! Great post." It will certainly be an OOPS to treasure. A roomful of the Legends of Wine Blogging. There hasn't been this much wine knowledge in one room at the same time since the last meeting of Al Qaeda.

Of course, one of the highlights of OOPS will be the awarding of the 2010 Poodle Awards. The
presentation of the Poodles is going to be hosted by Alan Kropf from Mutineer Magazine. I love Mutineer Magazine! Whenever I want to find out the latest 2007 news in our wonderful industry, I read the current edition of Mutineer! Mutineer redefines "cutting edge!" It redefines it as dull. It's like Palate Press, but at least you have the consolation of having paid for it. Most of the wine world will be anxiously awaiting the results of the 2010 Poodles. (And the nominees for Best Writing on a Wine Blog are...) There are no higher awards in the world of wine blogs. Unless you count free wine, press junkets and Alder Yarrow's home phone number (1-800-EGOTRIP). The voting is very close this year, and all eleven of the judges will be present for the awards ceremony. Ask them for a peak at their trephination scars! Yes, these people can spot talent like seagulls can spot your forehead, using the exact same technique.

Just remember, no matter who wins the Poodles, you're all winners! Your blogs are widely read and vastly influential--at least with the other 299 people at OOPS. Let me be the first to say, "Great post!"


Joe said...

I can't even get the other 299 to read my blog.

Maybe I'm not barking enough.

Samantha Dugan said...

You had me at harelip poodle....

1WineDude said...

Just about wet my poodle carpet reading this one! Bravo!

But wait a second... I have a handler? How much do I owe him, and will he do my laundry?


Hosemaster, Sir!

Great Post!


Marcia Macomber said...

The best! My fave may be "...rivaling the editorial board of Penny Saver!" Damn!

I can't believe I've got scheduling conflicts and can't go to OOPS!

Thomas said...

"The agenda shows a lineup of talent rivaling the editorial board of Penny Saver."

That line made me spit my Rose all over the keyboard. But a writer would respond that way, huh!

I here that whenever he's in public, Ken Payton has to be muzzled by order of Interpol.

IDude, a poodle handler is the one who does the pooper-scoop thing, not the laundry.

Thomas said...

I here? Did I type I here when I meant I hear? Not I.

PaulG said...

Do I detect just a faint tinge of regret seeping into the cynicism, oh Hosemaster? Not too late to crash the party you know. I'm going to (since I'm not registered but am a panelist). Tell you what - you show up and I'll provide the lodging. How good a deal is that? And if you are actually floating around Wallyworld for the big show, think of the great material you'll generate. 300+ poodles to dismember, one for each weekday of the year.

Charlie Olken said...

That's OK, Tom. I took "here" as an affirmation that you are alive and well and the rumors are greatly exaggerated.

Have fun at the Bloggers' Convention, Tom. We all want postcards.

And, Ron, when you win in the category of Acerbia, do not think you are a new entrant to the World Cup.

Thomas said...

Postcards, Charlie? How about postscript?

Ah, but too bad. I won't be attending this year, just like I hadn't attended the past two years. Don't know where bloggers get the money to take these trips anyway. Is there a potential ethics problem in there somewhere? I mean, are the conventions underwritten or something?

Jeff said...

I quote, "as well as his abiding love for ROI's partner, Siegfried."

That is inspired, funny, and clever.

Actually, this is one of your funniest posts ever.

Good stuff.

Ron Washam said...

Just before I started this response I was over at Tom Wark's blog. He's much funnier about this situation than I am. On the subject of wine blogging Tom writes:

"Wine lovers find themselves living and drinking in a "Golden Age" of wine writing."

Now that's satire!! I'm assuming he means Golden Shower, but I'm not sure.

But I digress.


You're barking plenty, my friend, just up the wrong tree. Bark up the Alder.


See, I went an entire post without mentioning you. And you're the rock star at OOPS. You'll have all the groupies. All the Poodles will be humping your leg. Congrats on your Poodle for Best Overall Wine Blog!!

Marcia Darling,

Thanks. Everyone seems to love it when I insult bloggers, though they are the easiest target this side of Sarah Palin (the side where you can see Russia). No matter what Wark says, I don't know of worse writing or journalism than what passes for wine criticism on wine blogs. And he must know that, he judged the Poodles and he can certainly attest to how it can cause narcolepsy. But he's a marketing guy. Fudging the truth is what they do.


I laughed out loud when I saw STEVE! and Tom and Ken on the same panel. That is absolutely the one panel I wouldn't miss if I were attending OOPS. I encourage attendees to bring BioDynamic produce to hurl. It will get ugly.


You've tempted me with that offer! But, somehow, I suspect the ol' HoseMaster would not be welcome at OOPS. First of all, Ken Payton might scare me with his razor wit.

It has become weirdly fashionable to want the HoseMaster to lampoon you, so I pick my victims carefully. From looking at the list of attendees, few of them are worth the trouble except as a passing cheap shot. However, the Poodle winners may need to worry.


What's the World Cup? Is that what you wear to protect your vuvuzelas?


Wow, even you're hanging around here now. I'm impressed with my own self.

Thanks for the kind words. I hate almost everything I write, occupational hazard, but I figured everyone would want me to chime in on the Wine Bloggers Conference. I aim to please.

Good Luck, Jeff. I'm sure there is at least one more Poodle Award in your immediate future. And you're always on my short list to lampoon. I never do tall bloggers.

Enobytes said...

Tom - ethics problem? I found a $100 cargo flight on Alaska (thankfully I’m fully weaned) Hotel can accommodate 50 poodles in a king sized room (with roll-a-beds) and plenty of room left over to fit a HoseMaster (hint hint).

Thomas said...

I swear that when my wife suggested that we drop a few hundred on a standard poodle, I had no idea it would reflect on my blogging.

Yes Ron, when I read Tom's words about Golden Age and all that, I knew that PR had hit its nadir.

Anonymous said...


You Ignorant Cynic!!!

There is more good wine writing in the world now than there every has been in the history of wine writing. It's just not being paid for.

You shoulda come up for the conference. Better yet, we'll have a mini blogger get together at my house. You me and about 5 or 6 other wine bloggers. Charlie can come and sit in the corner and comment on the goings on from time to tim.

Tom Wark...

Samantha Dugan said...

Can I go too?! I'll be Charlie's Tim.

Christine Collier said...

I don't quite get this blog yet...

Thomas said...


Ron is not an ignorant cynic; he's an ignorant satirist! Get the facts, man.

If I were out West, I'd join you--then you'd know what a cynic really is. But we've met, you probably have an idea.

As for good wine writing: if you use the nominations as proof, you have some 'splainin' to do on a few of them.

Ron Washam said...


Isn't there an old expression that suggests that you get what you pay for? So it is with my blog and most other wine blogs. However, from the perspective of a wine PR person, it may in fact be a Golden Age. Never have there been so many ill-informed and easily-influenced people writing about wine. But from my point of view, lover of words and writing that I am, never has so much about wine been said in such a dull fashion.

I've been a cynic my entire life. I even doubted my parents were my parents. I just strive not to be dull.

Conferences of any kind don't interest me. I'm a loner, a recluse, a misanthrope. However, a get-together at your house sounds fantastic, if only because I like you and like your significant other even more. And if Samantha is there, and Charlie, well, I simply can't imagine a more interesting and entertaining evening. Count me in.

My Gorgeous Samantha,

You, of all people, shouldn't be jumping on typos! You're just mad because Tom didn't use enough commas.

What a dream. You and me and Charlie and Tom in the same room. Now how do we get rid of Charlie and Tom--I know, break open the Pastis!

I love you!


I'm awarding you the coveted Best Comment of the Post Award! I love the "yet" at the end. I think you've summed the whole thing up for everybody. Please please please come back.


I sure hope Tom expresses the same sentiments in front of Payton.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Tom and I have a rich typo history, it was a loving nudge not a pointed finger. You are correct however, he did not have nearly enough commas!

I am so down for that party...should I be included. The Pastis might send our Charlie running but Tom loves the stuff. Plus I am not sure you cats are ready for me "On" Pastis, you think I'm a leg humper aint seen nothing. So veto on the Pastis plan but you in my nurses outfit might do the trick...I can get you some fishnets on my way up.

Marcia Macomber said...


Stop with the leg-humping, nurse's outfits and fishnets! Some of us may accidentally inhale our rosés and have them squirt out our nosés while reading!

Oh, and Tom's thing ain't so much the commas as the apostrophes. (Comments don't count.) Those two really don't get's... It's all the same to Tom. BUT, we always know what he means!

But you and the comma - a total love affair, and we love you for it, dear! The more the merrier.

...One of these days I'm gonna work up the nerve to try some Pastis. Tell me it ain't as tough as Yagermeisters?

Thomas said...

Oh, its (sic) a drink! I thought, Pastis, was that stuff, that strippers, put on.

Kathy said...

Dump Palin. Pause the Poodle. It's Deepwine Horizon time. With every turn of the corkscrew, blogs gush out.

I have it on good authority that aged Pastis (opened in a damp French cellar in a previous century for authenticity only Bill Koch would appreciate) pairs best with Lourdes water.

Ron, sorry it took me a while to get here. I second Samantha and Jeff: extraordinaire.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

If Tom was referring to you, then indeed this is a Golden Age of wine writing. You're easily the most interesting writer in the wine blogosphere, though that's the very definition of damning with faint praise. Somehow we'll make the party happen--how do we get you up here?

Last time I wore fishnets it was to hold up a bank--wonder how they knew it was me.

Marcia Darling,

It's not about the Jagermeister, it's about the Jagermeister girls! Jagermeister is vile. I hope the girls go down easier.


So you're not going to support Tom's notion that this is the Golden Age of wine writing? I'm a fastidious contrarian and even I can't agree with him. Though I still hope he's being satirical.

Thanks for the kind words, Kathy. And thank you for commenting regularly here at my Kennel for the Confused. I'm sort of licking my own Poodle chops to see who wins the Poodle Awards. That post will just write itself.

Anonymous said...

The Golden Age of Wine Writing:

Let's consider for a second the purpose of wine writing. I suppose they may be varied. But let's at least agree that in addition to stroking the egos of the writers, the purpose of wine writing is to educate, entertain, inform and provoke literary minded wine lovers.

Today there are far more very good wine magazines and newsletters that do these things than existed 20 years ago when I first got into this business. Add to this the fact that among the many very bad wine blogs, we have very many blogs that do indeed provide education, entertainment, information and provocation.

There are also far more voices in offering many different points of view today than 20 years ago.

I don't think any of this can be denied. There may not be a lot of Gerald Asher's, but there never were. But if you are looking for honest, good, revealing commentary on wine, there has never been more than there is today.

Tom Wark

Ron Washam said...


So your argument boils down to there is MORE wine writing, thus this is a Golden Age. In that case, wait six months and we'll be in a Platinum Age!

I guess I prefer quality over quantity. I sporadically read the major wine publications, but simply for information. The writing is dumbed down and as dull as chimp porn. There are exceptions, of course, but hardly enough to declare this a Golden Age. Besides, don't we declare Golden Ages in retrospect? Truthfully, this may be the age when the unwashed masses declare themselves experts in everything thanks to self-publishing resources like blogs, but I really doubt future generations will look back at the early 21st Century as a Golden Age of wine writing, or any other writing for that matter (well, maybe it's a Golden Age for video game writing).

I read Asher's eloquent argument against the 100 point scale in the latest Fine Wines and I rejoice at his language, common sense and eloquence. I read Charlie Olken's intros to each issue of Connoisseurs' Guide and I feel privy to decades of wisdom and analysis and passion. I fondly remember David Shaw in the LA Times, the joys of Kermit's newsletters, Bob Thompson and Jerry Mead. Most of these guys (sorry I listed only guys, there are many talented women also)are still with us, but I suspect an awful lot of Millenials don't know them. Sure, they have a lot more to choose from, but it's Gary V and thousands of blogs and Wine for Dummies and endless vapidity from the Wall Street Journal and the completely soulless Mutineer Magazine.

OK, it's just me. But among all the sources of new information and entertainment and education and provocation available in this Golden Age, I haven't found much worth bothering with when it comes to wine and wine criticism. And to find that occasional worthwhile needle you have to sort through the most enormous and fetid haystack in history.

Have a blast in Walla Walla, my friend. Give everyone my regards. I suspect they'll embrace your Golden Age theory with much enthusiasm and agreement.

Ron Washam said...

By the way, two comments from Tom Wark on one post is a record!

Kudos to me.

Thomas said...


Have you considered that there are only a few writers in the Gerald Asher class because the standard is high and most can't meet it?

To me, Golden Age means two things: innovation and quality. Beyond its genius for exploitation, social media is woefully deficient in innovation and in quality.

Thomas said...

After re-reading my last comment, I realized it lacks explanation, so here goes.

To the first point: if the standard is high, I don't think lowering the standard is the answer. I don't buy into the idea that everyone gets a gold star just for showing up.

To the second point: in the early 80s, Parker was innovative with his take on reviewing wine and his push of the 100-point scale. Love it or not, and I've never loved it, it's clear that nothing has yet replaced that innovation in wine criticism. It appears that everything since has been either a copy or a bad alternative that proves to be just a copy.

Parker did it with old technology. Our new technology has given us myriad ways to promote our egos, gossip faster than ever before, and issue baseless opinions by the pound, yet no one seems to have been able to apply the technology to create an innovative approach to wine writing or even to wine criticism--they are not the same thing, you know.

On top of that, the law of averages, or even the 80-20 rule, easily precludes the possibility that most of what appears in wine blogs is useful, or even readable. On any given day, hundreds of paragraphs are filled with such important phrases like, "sort of" or "a bit of" or "good but not great." Clear indication of poor writing skills and even poorer talent at coming up with something worthwhile.

Tom, the evidence simply does not support your claim.

Marcia Macomber said...

Man, this is a tough room to play!

Dorothy Parker would approve, of course....

Guess that’s why Ron’s Round Table cohorts are staying in the Algonquin Room instead of Poodling.

Samantha Dugan said...

Oh goddamn it Thomas. I was already having a crap day thanks to some chessedick listing me as the worst wine reviews, (which I don't even do on my blog...grumble) and now you go and bring up the, "bit of".....dang. Should you need me I will be under that rock over there....

Ron Washam said...

I think the irony is that the vast majority of wine bloggers out there recognize their limitations and would also disagree with Tom. Hey, Tom has been selling wine bloggers for five years now (there is no denying my first bit of actual visibility came because of his recognition of my blog) so he has to stick to his guns and keep promoting them. Promoting is what he does, and, like anyone good at his job, Tom loves a challenge. Hard to think of a greater PR challenge than selling wine bloggers as a golden age. Unless it's promoting offshore oil drilling. The two have a lot of pollution in common.

Ron Washam said...

My Darling Samantha,

You're making me hungry for a good cheesedick. Or, wait, aren't cheesedicks people from Wisconsin?

Marcia Darling,

Is Dorothy Parker related to the dead Robert?

And I'm not in Poodletown because I'm pouting that I didn't get a nomination and Chronic Negress did (I noticed she hasn't posted since June 1--I hope she's OK. I want her to win!)

Charlie Olken said...

I have been worrying about Walla Walla for a couple of days now, and it comes down to this.

Poodles make puddles. Who is going to clean up after them?

Charlie Olken said...

Asking wine writing to achieve at the level of Gerald Asher is a big stretch.

Each generation of writers has its poets and romantics and each generation has its reporters. I would argue that there is romantic winewriting in this world, but that it has to compete now with thousands of voices and has a hard time getting heard.

Samantha Sans Dosage falls into that category. So does Brooklyn Guy on occasion. There are probably others. Enobytes might get there some day. Jordan Mackay has some of the best ideas for describing wine, but his efforts are hidden, and he is forced into making a living which, in my view, dulls some of his takes on things.

Gerald Asher came to writing late, having made a great living in the English wine trade. His writing is that of a gentleman storyteller, which combines well with his humanity and makes his writing both personal, warm and insightful. But he is not so much constrained by financial bounds the way many good writers are.

I agree with much of what Tom P. has said, but I get lost in the argument that wine writing has to invent new ways of expressing itself. I don't agree with that. Good writing informs, enlightens, expands the readers' horizons. It does not necessarily have to take on new form to do that.

Ron, thanks for the kind words. If my writings have anything special in them, it is because I have outlived most of my writing peers and thus have more history to inform my comments. I have never thought of myself as a brilliant writer. Asimov, Asher, Kramer, Washam, Dugan, Mackay are all better writers than I am. I have just sliced more baloney than you all so I can slice and dice it in my own style. Fortunately, a few people still pay me or I would be living in a retirement home working on my bocce ball and mustache trimming skills.

Thomas said...

No, no. I mixed arguments there, Charlie.

Innovation is one part of creating a Golden Age. Quality is the other.

If it is a Golden Age of writing, then I'm looking for the innovation (i.e. 100-point scale for wine reviewing as the model) and Quality, good writing.

Thus far, I see no innovation beyond technology use. How it is being used is as old hat as Madison Avenue, and similarly, too.

As for quality writing: it's there, but in small quantity and doesn't seem to gain the recognition it deserves.

Sam's blog proves that good writing is one part innate: a voice and a communication talent. The other part is developing the skill or craft to carry the voice so that it is not confusing and does not lose the audience, and is inspiring. I'm thinking now of Alfonso's (the Italian Guy) writing. Why he isn't on the "Best Writing" nomination is a testament to the low standards of the blogging community that has little room for high standards, or maybe little ability to recognize them (I have no idea who the judges are, so I make no claim against them individually, only universally).

Thomas said...

Of course, the judges are stuck with the public's nominations, the Zagat model, which always struck me as about as useful a way to evaluate quality as a blind fold and a dart board.

Jimmie Schnipke said...

As most consumer markets expand, so do the products “feeding” the market. When Charlie started, only Motzart & Beethoven were composing. Today, it is more of everything; variety of wine, availability of info, general increased consumption.

“Golden Age?” Yes, for PR people. But from my vantage point, the landscape of useful information is proportionately the same as many years ago. (I will side with Ron’s ‘Golden ‘ analogy.)

Sam, Charlie, Ron, Alphonso, Tom P., and a small group of others that I have not mentioned, but should be listed here, are or have worked actively in the industry. It shows, you feel it, you sense it when you read their words.

Kathy said...

A little story:
In another life, one of my art critics had been working on a vague story all week for a Sunday newspaper cover feature. Deadline: Thursday noon. I threw out all the usual threats and still the story did not arrive. Finally, at 6:30 pm on Friday, Harriet filed. It was long in newspaper terms (maybe 3,000 words for a 1,000-word slot). I was ready to slash the story to smithereens and then go after her.
Until I read it.
At 7 pm, two hours before the press run, I called the pressroom and coerced them into reworking the section.
I ran (almost) every word. It was beautiful, intense and intelligent. Worth savoring every word.
Some can do the same with 140 characters. Some with satire. Some without thinking.
Yes, "even" in wine it can be done. But, like Harriet and 100+ wines, the stars are few and far between.

Ron Washam said...

Don't you people sleep?


It's because you're a wonderful writer that I'm looking forward to your Fall book release, "Don't Call Them Puffs, Buttholes." Sorry, Amy leaked the title to me. I guess I shouldn't say "leaked" about a Poodle. I am not a wine writer by any stretch, I'm a joke boy who knows a bit about wine.

No one's asking every wine writer to be Gerald Asher any more than we expect every wine to be Chateau Rayas. I think we all agree that Tom Wark's words were said in the space of the eleven minutes it took him to write his post, and were said from a PR perspective. Frankly, what does Tom Wark know about wine writing? About as much as I know about Marketing, which is always get a cart that doesn't have wobbly wheels. And whenever one declares the Golden Age of something is the one you are living in, one is always wrong.

You read a LOT more blogs than I do, Charlie. I don't have the heart. But winning a Poodle won't make any of them more talented, only more convinced they're talented. The Poodles are a hilarious sham, the sort of backslapping and sycophancy that gives every blogger a bad name. However, I can conclude all of that with a great big So What?


As much as I agree with you, I don't think it's valuable to get lost in definitions of what makes a Golden Age. Nor do the Poodles reflect reality any more than the other great marketing awards--the Oscars, the Emmys, the People's Choice, ad nauseum. They weren't designed to. I guess the MacArthur "Genius" Grants are the one award that is given by anonymous judges. Here we have the polar opposite of "Genius" awards, the Poodles, so perhaps anonymous judges are appropriate in a satirical sense.


When I started writing most of those guys were decomposing.


All I know is that if this is a Golden Age of wine writing, no one will look back and point at the HoseMaster as proof. I think, though, I did have 140 characters in The M.S. Conspiracy.

Samantha Dugan said...

Wow love. You humble me with your adoration and praise. Not sure I deserve to be listed with such names but the fact that you find something in my words that touch you...well that there makes me very proud. I love you Charlie.

And thank you to you as well, feeling all loved and junk this morning. As to the Poodle Awards, the three of us; Ron, Alfonso and myself were in fact nominated....the judges were the ones that thought there was better writing elsewhere. So I guess much like wine, it's subjective.

Big hugs and a giant thank you to you both.
Oh and Jimmie a kiss to you too kid!

(bit of an inside joke, my verification word is jurableb)

Charlie Olken said...

(bit of an inside joke, my verification word is jurableb)

It could have been worse, Sam. It could have been pastisbleb.

Eric V. Orange said...

I'm with Sam. The "harelip poodle" nearly did me in.
Truly one of your best Ron.

BTW, the secret word is:
Ironic isn't it???


Thomas said...

Having been out of the loop, probably by design of those who hate truth, I had no idea Ron, Sam, and Alfonso were nominated. Makes me almost feel like I might even deserve to be shunned...

I'm taking my Golden Parachute now and going out to do some gardening for the rest of my life. Just me and my real poodle, Oliver, who puts bloggers to shame with his way with words on so limited an alphabet.

Ron Washam said...


I nominated Samantha, which earned me a Huck Finn raft of shit, and Alfonso, and then someone nominated me. Apparently, the category isn't about talent, but more how relevant one is to promoting wine blogging in general, and how well one promotes the Poodles. I'm not speaking of myself, I'm not talented, just odd. But Alfonso writes like he's Irish, and Samantha is literature in the genuine sense of the word. Heimoff will win, and he is a wonderful wordsmith, honestly, and his presence at OOPS helps them far more than it helps him.

I think I told Samantha at one point that I have my share of awards hanging on my wall--none of them means half as much as the fantastic assemblage of voices I have here on HoseMaster. I feel like I've won just about every day of the year.


Thanks. I hated it. But I always do. If only my whole life had had people commenting on my stupidity, I might have been better off.

winebookgirl said...

I go out of town and don't look at blogs. Paul and I talked tonight about our disappointment that you are not here. Ftr, I did offer room space weeks ago.


Ron Washam said...

Amy Love,

Did anyone really think for a single moment that I would attend OOPS? I have a life, and a damned fine one.

Have a blast, Love! I expect lots of juicy gossip and behind-the-scenes reports from the Poodles.

Dave said...

Marcia said:

"Tell me it ain't as tough as Jagermeister?"

Having spent two years in Germany one decade, like you and Ron, I too found the big J revolting, until we visited Greece and tipped back a bottle of Retsina, aka turpentine that probably won’t kill you. Fortunately we were able to Vaynerupchuck most of it directly into the VWs fuel intake. The shit was powerful enough to get us the hell out of Athens the long way without refueling.

Ron Washam said...


Isn't Retsina what Socrates drank to kill himself? They didn't have Jagermeister in those days, and Gruner Veltliner was illegal.

Dave said...

Have a feeling the Retsina just made him sick and it was the bad high coos that did him in...

Greener Felt Liner
soft pad over plastic sheets
absorbs verdant urine

(Sorry, can't even blame that one on a third martini)

viNomadic said...

What, am I the sole sicko here? First two years in NY & NYU dinner would be a plate of Meze with a couple glasses of the pine resin wash at Meandros, a Cypriot place on MacDougal, not far from Folk City. Then my friend héctor's marriage tanked & we got sick on two bottles. Never again.

But Master-Hunter? I don't mind chasing a big dinner down with a couple those. Big dinners are increasingly few & far between, I'll own.
(Heh-- captcha: PUBTON)

Ron Washam, HMW said...

D J,

You certainly aren't the sole sicko in this bunch. But you might be the only Jagermeister fan. Over the years, I've found that the better looking the women selling the product, the more revolting the product is. And Jagermeister girls are usually babes.

viNomadic said...

Touché! That's it, of course!
Hi, my name is David & I'm an aging poodle bachelor-- & a sucker for babe-fueled marketing.