Thursday, August 23, 2012

The HoseMaster's Bucket List

I’m getting old. I’m so old I was the sommelier at the Last Supper. Jesus stiffed me, but, then, I had to cut him off, so that might have made him angry. I know later he was cross. Anyway, I thought I’d make myself a bucket list of wine activities I’d like to do before I finally meet my maker, who lives in New York and is named Mark. He’s my Maker Mark Manhattan. Never mind. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to cross all of these off my bucket list in the near future. I can dream, can’t !?

Taste rare old Burgundies with Allen Meadows and Rudy Kurniawan, the Burghound and the Burglar. Which is which? It would be interesting to taste those rare old Ponsots and listen to talk of terroir, history and why the label was done on a computer. I’d learn so much about aged wines even without having aged wines actually present! Do they allow wine tastings in prison?

Drink Drew Barrymore Pinot Grigio from Drew Barrymore. Be her spit bucket of Love. Yeah, I know, sick. But, really, it’s my bucket list, don’t be judgmental.

I want to meet James Suckling just so I can say, “How are Mrs. Suckling and all the little Sucklings?” Well, no, on second thought, I don’t really want to meet the guy. His hair scares me. He looks like a Van de Graaff generator, only stiffer. Though I would want to taste wines with him and beat him to the score. We both taste at the same time, spit, then I’d quickly shout, “94!” The first score always wins, it’s an old Wine Spectator party trick, but then so is he.

If I could afford a pair of every different varietal wine glass made by Riedel, I could crush them with my feet and then place the shards in the driveways of all the pompous shitheads who think Riedel stemware is legit. Alternatively, I could buy them and just wait a few weeks for when they’d all be broken anyway.

Jerk off Jay McInerney with Port tongs.

Rounding up 100 bottles of wine that scored 89 points and tasting them all in the same day would fulfill my lifelong dream of understanding failure. Or I could just read about Crushpad.

Being wine critic for a day at a respected wine publication, or even Wine and Spirits, would be a dream come true. I’d taste just like real wine critics taste—triple-blind. That’s where you don’t know the wine, don’t know the variety and don’t know what you’re doing. I’d assign numerical ratings for at least forty wines that day using the 100 point scale, for which I’d take out a special One-Day Use Permit (it is heavily regulated and only allowed to be used officially by pundits, licensed critics and the criminally insane). My initials would be printed after the score and my succinct, if repetitious, reviews, of which I have two, but I can rearrange the sentences to make it seem like more. Thus:

“Opens with a nose of upfront red and black fruit. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it speaks to its appellation with some authority. Should make for great drinking over the next 5 to 8 years, except in Canada.”

“Except in Canada, it speaks to the appellation with some authority. Opens with a nose of upfront black and red fruit and should make for great drinking over the next 5 to 8 years. Medium to full-bodied on the palate.”

And what day as a wine critic would be complete without a nasty phone call from a winery owner? Jim Clendenen would be perfect. More scary hair and lots of it. Which is amazing considering his hat size is “Puncheon and ¾.”

Win a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award for Pomposity. Tough category.

Cultivate noble mold in my pants to put the sac back in Barsac, the d’Yq back in Chateau d’Yquem.

Get paid to write this crap.


Mike Dunne said...

I've been in Wisconsin, so I missed word on the Wine Blog Awards. Not that Wisconsin doesn't have the Internet, but the hay had to be chopped, raked, baled and stacked. I watched, and took photos. At any rate, if you didn't win, demand a recount.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Not exactly news that I didn't win, my friend. Recount? Hell, it took 'em a couple of years to reveal the judges. In a stunning turn of events, Alderpated of Vornography won. So it's official, Randall Grahm and I are pikers according to the wisdom of the bloggers.

Wisconsin has the Internet? Can you get that with rabbit ears?

Daniel said...

Since everyone knows that the 'Wine Business' is so glamorous...How about the chance to pour wine at a grand tasting event with hundreds of world class wines, only to be asked what kind of fining agent was used, if it was vegan or not, what clone of chardonnay is planted, and have your every word you pronounce (from a language that you don't actually speak) corrected by long time 'experts' as they spit wine all over themselves between words?
oh wait, that would be every single tasting I've ever done.

Let me know when you plan the tasting of 'wine that sucks just a little' 89 point event and I'll be there. At least it will be wine I can afford.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Daniel,

Here's my advice, from a guy who's been in the wine business way too long, never go to any event labeled "Grand Tasting." Going to be nothing but Fart Waters attending.

And, as you must have figured out by now, if you don't know the answers to the "expert's" questions, make something up. "We don't sell wine to vegans." "Clone 667"--works for Pinot Noir or Chardonnay or Star Trek. And when they correct your pronunciation, always say, "Gesundheit."

I'll be sure and invite you the the Grand Tasting of 89 Point Wines.

Clint said...

Damn you're good.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Thanks. Looks like today might be New Commenter Day. Keep 'em coming. All you rubbernecking lurkers, come on, join in. We're a friendly group here. Well, most of us.

Dean Tudor said...

So what's this about "except in Canada"? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? What have we done now besides knocking the officiating at Olympics' Women Soccer team semi-final?

I even voted for your blog. Several times, in fact. I guess it was not enough. Canadians never do enough, ee are totally self-effacing. We never do enough.

But you'll be sorry when Jeb Bush wins the fall presidential election through a massive write-in campaign. All the wine lovers will be emigrating to Canada, fleeing to the land of equal opportunity in the inflated pourchase of foreign (California) wines at the government store.

Meanwhile, try the Silly Tasting Note Generator at

Overdone almost oily Semillon. Whispers of salad, yellowed herbs and traces of raspberry. Drink now through whenever the cows come home.


Overbearing almost hopeless Port. Attacks with nectarine, fleshy pineapple and aggressive green tea. Drink now through May.

There's an extra-silly version too.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


So you're the guy who voted for my blog! I take it all back about Canada. I voted several times against putting up a wall along our border, but they did it anyway. No, wait, that was the other border. You're welcome. I guess the Mexicans have a better soccer team.

Jeb Bush?! Yikes. The US has already had more Bush than a nudist convention. No mas, por favor.

A tasting note generator is fairly new. Random number generators, also widely used in the wine press, are ancient.

Thomas said...

The last time my Port attacked me with nectarines, pineapples, and green tea, I was forced to check in for detox before the little ants would start crawling up my ear lobe carrying their Sherry.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


When it comes to Port, you need to get a grip.

Andrea said...

"Jerk off Jay McInerney with Port tongs." -- Freakin' brilliant!

Ron Washam, HMW said...


If I could have found a photo of Jay opening a bottle of Fonseca, I could have captioned it "Jerkoff Jay McInerney with port tongs."

Though the original way is what I meant.

Thomas said...


One of those two ways would need a dash; the other would need a red light and incense, not to mention cheesecloth.

Richard Jennings said...

Brilliant Ron! So many acute observations and assessments condensed into a very pithy and entertaining read. Hats off!

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Not sure about "brilliant," but thank you, Richard.

And you were robbed of a Poodle too, apparently by Barbie's genital-free boyfriend at Ken's Wine Guide. Sorry, Richard, I voted for you, and had the courtesy to not tell anyone so that you'd stand a chance.

keithlevenberg said...

Riedel really deserved that. So did McInerney.

Michael Alberty said...

You might only need salad tongs.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Not so sure I always focus on who deserves it, I'm more of a scattershot satirist that that, but I may have got it right this time.

And, wow, another new guy! Thanks for joining in.


Welcome to you, too! Valid point. Though the salad tongs tend to melt when you heat them the way I'd want them.

And then there are tweezers.

Samantha Dugan said...

Dang it! I was hoping to make your bucket list...

Blaise (formerly known as Kathy) said...

Wow! There's just not enough in this glorious bucket. Plz, plz refill.

My bucket broke as I was carrying wine spiced with borax to kill the Japanese knot weed (this is true). I will present the recipe at the #IFBC this weekend.

Blaise said...

"There's a hole in the bucket, dear Samantha, dear Samantha..."

Robin said...

Creative skullblogery almost as diverse as a Constellation Portfolio! Thanks for the laugh list (>:

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,

Oh, you're on a different list that rhymes with "bucket."

Blaise ?,

Yeah, the HoseMaster's bucket list could become a regular feature. So much to do before I'm killed by an angry mob.

What the hell is Blaise, or Kathy for that matter?


Yet another new commenter! Great. Please, please, please, come back and chime in again. And I like "skullblogery." Very nice turn of phrase.

Unknown said...

How about planning on having a live audience for the Pinot Grigio session? Just saying

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Hmm, kinky. I like that. You must be reading my emails.

I'm all for it, but Drew may object. But you have to figure anyone who remakes "Charlie's Angels" is pretty shameless.

Unknown said...

Kinky is the new Nerd isn't it?

No mas Tomas said...

Do you count yourself among the friendly? The rest of us should get a vote.

Thanks for the random note generator. That will come in handy. Classic!

Thomas said...

Is the Hosemaster paying shills to comment on this blog?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

No mas Tomas,

I'm friendly in the comments section. The posts are where my evil twin the HoseMaster rules--he's a bit incorrigible.


I can't get rid of the old shills, why pay new ones?

Thomas said...

Well, I was thinking that maybe I'm underpaid...

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Shills traditionally shared in the take as pay. So you're perfectly compensated.

Thomas said...

Then I am overpaid...

Beau said...

I still can't believe you didn't win, but those bloggers are a fickle bunch. Many of them have traded their sense of humor for free samples.

Bravo to another pithy, napalm-bomb of awesome dropped upon us.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Thanks. But I, as I've said for a long time, I knew I would never win. And I didn't care. And anyone who thinks Alder is the best writer in the blog world is sorely in need of an education. Technically, he's fine. Inspirationally, he's Ayn Rand. Randall's work will live for a very long time. Alder's has the shelf life of White Zinfandel.

Nothing we do on wine blogs has any literary longevity or merit. It's hubris to think otherwise. It's all spitting into the wind. I am grateful not to have the vanity of Alderpated, the self-importance. I write for the simple surprise of comedy.

There just isn't enough laughter in wine. Look at the Poodle winners. Dull and steadfast. That's not fickle, it's simply boring.