Monday, July 9, 2012

What We're Reading

Compiled by the editors of HoseMaster of Wine

1WINEDOODY: The Dude offers another wine quiz, this time asking readers to identify the three major causes of wine headaches (Hint: Histamines, drinking too much, and opening Champagne with your teeth). In a video post, the Dude lectures other bloggers about not being douches, which is what a douche would do. And don’t miss his account of his visit to Harlan Estate where he and Paul Roberts hide behind a Salmanazar.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Jay McInerney talks about a new trend in wine he’s excited about--drinking it out of the skulls of poor people. Tasted blind against the same 1990 Burgundy out of Riedel crystal stemware, he prefers the beggar’s coconut, saying, “…it was deeply satisfying knowing this was a vessel that had never seen Burgundy, not to mention First Class on Singapore Airlines.” As an added bonus, he reminds us, wine skulls are dishwasher safe. Lettie Teague discovers Wine Away.

WORLD OF FINE WINE: Jancis Robinson, MW tastes the latest crop of orange wines and wishes there’d been a frost in the damned groves. Andrew Jefford says that it’s time we get back to appreciating wine for it’s true purpose, getting pissed and waving our bangers at the Buckingham Palace guards. Hugh Johnson weighs in on something, it’s not clear what, but it seems important. Tom Stevenson conducts a vertical tasting of Veuve Clicquot and suggests it might be useful for cooling off dressage horses at the upcoming London Olympics.

DR. VINO: As usual, more links than Jimmy Dean’s funeral buffet. Also, details about Robert Parker’s asking Jay Miller to return and review wines from Mexican drug cartels. And news that Chateau D’Yquem sells a bottle of Semillon for more than $500!

WINE SPECTATOR: Matt Kramer says that it’s time we get back to appreciating wine for it’s true purpose, getting hammered and waving our kielbasas at airport security. James Laube suggests his favorite reds for kielbasa. Harvey Steiman rates hotel honor bars in his Dora the Explorer pajamas. Tim Fish writes about the joy of cork trivets.

STEVE!: STEVE! debunks Biodynamics, calling it pseudoscience based on mysticism and faith. He goes on to rate 50 new California Cabernets on the 100 point scale, yet another pseudoscience based on mysticism and faith.

PALATE PRESS: Don’t miss the fascinating article on the newest trend in restaurant wine lists—placing the iPad wine list on the chair and having the customer butt-pick his wine, written by one of Palate Press’ regular buttpickers. A sexy look at the reproductive cycle of grapes, glassy-winged sharpshooters, barn cats and Ben Flajnik by Meg Houston Maker. Not sure who wrote it. And reviews of dozens of wines that will make you lose the will to live.

WINE ENTHUSIAST: Publisher Adam Strum answers his most frequently asked question, “What the hell is up with my hair?” A year-long investigation by Virginie Boone reveals that the 100-year-old vines in Lodi are actually only 25 years old but look so ancient because of the fucking heat. And Paul Gregutt introduces us to Oregon’s best-kept secret—most of the Pinot Noir vineyards are actually Zweigelt.

SERMONTATION: Tom Wark weighs in on the minerality debate with his opinion that, “…wines don’t taste like minerals, stupid, those are your fillings.” He also congratulates the winners of the 2012 Wine Blog Awards, somehow knowing who they are already. And don’t miss his rant about how electing a Mormon President will be bad for the wine industry unless he picks a drunk as a running mate, but will Limbaugh accept?

ON AND ON AND ON AND ON AND ON THE WINE TRAIL IN ITALY: Alfonso Cevola is the master of nostalgia, and in his current post he takes us back to how hard it was to sell wine when he first got into the business, before the invention of shoes.


Samantha Dugan said...

Didn't think I could get much happier this morning but then I saw you had a new post up! Laughed my ass off love, (and fuck do I need to get rid of some ass) that and I beat mockingbird. Thank you for a big morning chuckle. I love you!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

You know I prefer that you giggle, but I guess a chuckle will do.

Happy to make your day brighter, Love. Though I can't compete with you son's homecoming, it's always a pleasure to be included in your joy.

I love you!

Puff Daddy said...

I believe you have proven my point--although you will have to leave home to see why.

Thomas said...

Now we know which blogs the Master reads; but does he understand any of them?


winebookgirl said...

In fine form today. My pick: Jay McInerney talks about a new trend in wine he’s excited about--drinking it out of the skulls of poor people. Tasted blind against the same 1990 Burgundy out of Riedel crystal stemware, he prefers the beggar’s coconut, saying, “…it was deeply satisfying knowing this was a vessel that had never seen Burgundy, not to mention First Class on Singapore Airlines.” As an added bonus, he reminds us, wine skulls are dishwasher safe.


Kathy said...

Oh, dear hose. Another great day in the world of drink.
You know the wine cycles are faster than fermentation these days. Will you update?
And, (this is inspired by jamiegoode and dr. vino) the folks at Gallo encore know that if you don't reply to a fact-checking call (if there is one) all they have to suffer is: "...didn’t immediately return a request for further comments." As few of us are paid, few make the call again. How... clever.

Eric said...

I need more of you in my life. From a safe online distance, but more of you just the same.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


You're the 57th person to declare wine blogs dead. Doesn't bother me, I enjoy a good day in the morgue--ask Avril Cadavril.


I understand the blogs, I just don't understand why anyone reads or writes them. Especially me. For fun now, I just read them outloud. There are endless unintentional laughs.


So you survived reading all those nominated Wine Blog Award posts!!! Wow, don't you feel a little bit like one of those crash test dummies? Can't wait to see who was nominated. And, of course, I know who to blame.


I do a What We're Reading once a month or so. So many targets, so little feces to hurl.

Gallo stonewalling? Pshaw. They've got nothing to hide. (This has been a paid political announcement.)


Make sure and wear adequate protection when reading the HoseMaster. Most use a wet suit.

Still Puffing Daddy said...


Wine blogs aren't dead, or even D-E-D, dead. They are just napping waiting for the next Robert Parker scandal. To think otherwise is to suggest that they were ever alive.

Well, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration. It is not that wine blogs were alive so much as they were inflated by visions of their own potential.

Turns out that no one can read all those words all the time, especially when the topics are exhausted. Being 57th to declare wine blogging dead isn't all that bad anyway since I was about the 950th person to begin a wine blog.

Oh, and you don't see my blog going away. Dead is not buried. Buried is what all those folks who thought they were going to fill their cellars and their wallets have become now that they know they will accomplish neither.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Let's face it, wine is a dull subject. The details of it, the day to day of it, fascinates a very tiny portion of the population, most of them with little literary talent. Wine reviews are equally dull, which is really why the 100 point scale succeeds. God forbid you'd have to choose a wine after having to wade through 100 wine reviews--I believe that's outlawed under the Geneva Convention. You do a far better job of descriptions at Connoisseurs' Guide than almost any other wine publication, and I'm sure you and Stephen spend far too much of your lives writing them, but, truly, reading Rod McKuen is more rewarding. (Is he dead yet?) So dull subject matched with dull wit, Bingo, Wine Bloggers Conference.

I do wonder at the perseverance of wine bloggers. I'm at 199 posts in this incarnation of HoseMaster, and I'm amazed I've cranked out that much foolishness and venom. But somebody has to do it. Without all those persistent bloggers, I doubt I could have. Sad to say, I owe those damned Poodles. But if HoseMaster didn't exist, they'd find a need to create one.

It isn't about Parker, really. Wine scandals are pathetic for how unimportant and stupid they are. Wow, Jay Miller can be bought, or, in my view, is just really stupid, that's scandalous! How can that be? People bought nothing but $200 Spanish wines on his word! So who's stupid? It's sad that the biggest scandals about Parker are that his dog farts, his buttboys worship him, and his Parkenstein! monsters lack common integrity. That's not scandal, that's celebrity.

My wine blog isn't dead either. I'm like the winery cat--I've got six more lives left. Welcome to my litterbox.

Whose Boring Now? said...

As long as their are persons in the world who think their bloviated scribblings are worth reading or even just worth the time and effort, there will be wine blogs.

We all write for our own personal reasons, and we get bored by ourselves at times. It is the folks who never find themselves boring who worry me.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Who's Boring Now,

Well, you can certainly count me among those who find my own work lousy.

"We all write for our own personal reasons..." Yup. But boring writers rarely recognize that they're boring writers. I applaud anyone who tries to be creative, it's part of the joy of being alive. But doing it and waiting for acclaim or recognition or a job offer or free samples, that's where it gets a little sad.

Thomas said...


The first musical blogger has not gone away:

Knock yourself out!

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Thanks. I didn't have the guts to actually Google him, and I don't have the stomach to check out his site either. But he is one of the great poets of the 20th Century, the other being Suzanne Somers. I know she's still alive, if you call that living.

Thomas said...

" of the great poets of the 20th Century."

There was a time when even I listened to him (I'll deny that I ever said that).

I particularly remember a poem/song about chasing clouds away. Broke my ankle trying.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


I'd forgotten that Rod McKuen had very popular recordings of his poetry, not just bestselling books. Wow, YOU listened to Rod McKuen?! If I had done that my mother, the English teacher, would have had me sent to a mental institution. Where I clearly would have fit in.

Makes me think though. When is the last time a poet sold that many books? Aside from Dr. Seuss.

Thomas said...

In my own defense, I was young and stupid, and a little high, too.

Alfonso Cevola said...

another good one from La Hosa Nostra!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Grazie, Alfonso,

Coming from a guy who's worn out more leather than an English dominatrix, that's high praise.

1winedude said...

Dude, get it right, that bottle was totally a Jeroboam, not a Salmanazar (I'm small, I could probably fit behind a magnum, actually...).

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Getting it right? On a wine blog? Why start now?

1WineDoody said...

HMW - Hmmm... good point...

PaulG said...

I'm late to this one, but happy to see you are reading the Thuse! I shall wave my zweigelt with extra pride this morning!