Thursday, June 20, 2013


Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, and thank you for coming. I know you’re going to be glad you did. Tonight I am presenting you with the Wine Opportunity of a Lifetime, one that each of you would be crazy to pass up. Saying “No” would be like Dom Perignon going to the boss, probably bumping into a few walls on the way, telling him he had discovered a way to make wines bubbly and sparkly in the bottle, and his boss, Teddy Moët, says, “No, thanks, Dommy Baby, we’re going with orange wines.” How much would weddings suck now? Even gay people wouldn’t want to get married, not even, in that newfangled way, to other gay people. But Teddy Moët didn’t say, “No.” And he and his partner, Wink Chandon, went on to make a fortune in Champagne, though eventually, in a nasty moment of betrayal, Wink stabbed Teddy to death on the Ides of March--thus creating the famous Champagne named for Teddy’s last words, “Moët too, Brut?”

What I am offering you tonight is the chance to get in on the ground floor of the latest offering from the newly remodeled Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Your very own Robert Parker Wine Advocate franchise! Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Scorebucks®!

Robert Parker is the biggest name in wine. We bought it! We own it! We intend to milk it like a six-foot rattlesnake and spread the venom everywhere. One day, in the very near future, there will be a Scorebucks® in every major city in the country. People will start their day with the latest wine review from their local Scorebucks®. Reviews that you will generate! From wines sent to you FOR FREE! How does that sound? Too good to be true? Don’t be stupid. It’s the wine business, it’s wine reviewing, it doesn’t have to be true. It just has to be precise. 96 points—that’s precise! This is how the Robert Parker World Famous 100 Point Scale works. Exactly like our sophisticated military drones—screw accuracy, it’s precision that counts.

When you decide to become a Robert Parker Scorebucks® franchisee, we will provide everything you need to run your successful business. You will be officially licensed to review wines and assign them numbers. With that license comes incredible power, and incredible fortune. The scores you assign as an Official Robert Parker Scorebucks® franchise can make or break a winery. No other franchise has that power. Robert Parker is the most trusted name in wine. What Colonel Sanders is to chicken, Robert Parker is to wines. Destroying them for your enjoyment.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, But I don’t know anything about wine, how can I rate them? You know numbers, don’t you? You know what you like, don’t you? That’s all you need. Knowledge and experience are totally unnecessary when it comes to wine. People win Wine Blog Awards without either! Taste the wine, give it a number. Yes, it’s that easy. Lots of reviewers give numbers to dozens and dozens of wines every single day! How hard can it be? I’ll tell you. It’s a three step process. 1. Put the wine in your mouth. 2. Spit the wine out. 3. Give it a number. Simple! And between you and me, most of those “bigshot” reviewers skip Step 2 half the time, and the other half they leave out Step 1 as well. Trust me, once you have authority (a word that derives from the same root as “authentic,” a word that every moron in the wine world finds convincing), you don’t need knowledge. What would you do with it if you had it? That’s the beauty of Scorebucks®--it’s 89 because you say so, and you have the power of Robert Parker behind you!

Once your Scorebucks® is up and running, get ready for your daily visit from the UPS guy, bringing you wines from all over the world. Open ‘em up, drink ‘em, give ‘em a rating, and let the fun begin. And, believe me, you will get lots and lots of wine. Wineries love scores like a Kardashian loves saturated fat. They want to swear off them, but, damn, it increases their enormous bottom lines.

OK, you’re thinking, I get the “Score” part, where do the “bucks” come in? Memberships, my friends, memberships. And, not long after your Scorebucks® is open for business, you’ll have thousands of memberships. And as the franchisee, you are entitled to 50% of those membership fees. It’s a license to print money, and then send it to us.

There are a lot of wine reviewers trying to sell numbers. Pathetic little pretenders who prey on the insecure and the underinformed, but they have little chance of success. They’re simply founders of fringe religions, like those of people who worship snakes or join covens or buy Bordeaux futures. They have a few sad converts, a few True Believers, a congregation of dunces, but you’ll be working for the damned Catholic Church of wine. And once you open a neighborhood place of worship, a Robert Parker Wine Advocate Scorebucks®, your wine collection plate will overrunneth.

We’re looking for visionaries, visionaries with money. The best kind of visionary. Investing in a Robert Parker Wine Advocate Scorebucks® franchise is the wisest decision you will make in your lifetime. It isn’t every day that a name like his comes up for sale. Sure, everyday wine critics, they’re always for sale. But not their names. And who would want them? But Parker doesn’t need his any more, and it’s the biggest one out there, so we bought it, and for way too much money. There wasn’t anything else of value to buy. The publication, The Wine Advocate, what’s that worth? Look at it this way. You take the Ripley’s out of Believe it or Not, and what’s that worth? Believe it or not, NOTHING!

So our investment can be your investment. We fronted the money for the name, and now we’re going to sell it, one little bit at a time. But only for a limited time. You need to act now. Before the bastard reads the fine print.


Steve Lay said...

Works for me. Seems to be a perpetuation of the existing model however. Well, except for the franchise part, which is brillant. Sip, spit (maybe) and draw a number out of the hat.

Dean Tudor said...

I love the idea of franchising...They could come to Canada and re-assess all our wines.

They could do regional and local assessments all over the world. Imagine a Bordeaux ScorebucksTM

Terrific idea, Ron, make a million bucks on this one!!!!!

Hey, Investment Canada will help out -- just get yourself to employ a local person, say, Nat MacLean -- all that hair to yourself...And she can do all the work while you count the profits!!!!

The Sommeliere said...

Ron, "It’s a three step process. 1. Put the wine in your mouth. 2. Spit the wine out. 3. Give it a number. Simple! And between you and me, most of those “bigshot” reviewers skip Step 2 half the time, and the other half they leave out Step 1 as well."

Ron dearest, say it isn't true! Could all those pretenders to the throne really do that? How could you disallusion me so? And here I though they all swirled, gurgled and tasted (not!)

Samantha Dugan said...

Haven't even gotten past the wedding part, "newfangled way, to other gay people" and I laughed so hard I made a horking sound which was horrifyingly piggy like by the way...
Damn, I love you!

Wink Lorch said...

Inspired by my back-stabbing name-sake I'm definitely up for grabbing the UK Franchise. Just what I've been looking for I Jura you. Presumably you will provide a way that we can avoid paying tax in the UK too like others with similar names?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Steve Lay,
Of course, it is the existing model. If it ain't broke, it ain't a wine critic, or something like that.

Wine writers used to pretend that they arrived at scores by assigning numerical values to things like color, aroma, texture, finish, and then adding those values together to arrive at a score. Everyone knew they were lying. Now they freely admit they taste it and assign it a number based on their knowledge of those numbers. The hubris and intellectual dishonesty is humbling.

Oh, I think it's only a matter of time before Robert Parker is the Roy Rogers of wine, or the Ronald McDonald (he was real, wasn't he?).

I have a definite thing for Nat's hair. Did she work at Disneyland as Cinderella?

Marlene Darling,
OK, it's not true. There I said it. I made this stuff up. I know, it seems so real. Like Nat's hair. All shiny and perfect. But I made it all up. There's nothing more legit than wine scores. Unless you count Barry Bonds' home run record.

My Gorgeous Samantha,
Different subject, but every time I'd hear "gay marriage" I'd get confused. Gays are allowed to marry. Just not each other. Once I figured that out, I got it.

Damn, I love you too.

I love Wink as a comedy name, though I usually think of Wink Martindale, a US game show host stiffer than a Brunello producer's co-star. OK, that's a vague allusion.

It's easy to avoid paying taxes when you're rich, and a Scorebucks franchise is a guarantee of vast wealth. For example, award high scores and get Dr. Conti to produce a lot of fraudulent bottles! Easy peasy.

Marcia Macomber said...

Brilliant! As an added bonus for the early franchisees why not throw in a package for painting fantasy landscape masterpieces while enjoying the wines? They can just pick a price out of the air, say $50k for that goofy thatch roof cottage with glowing light coming from the windows. It pairs perfectly with that Clos du Kinkade Kab we just sent you!

Unknown said...

hillarious. with enough people giving out scores, it's only a matter of time before someone accidentally gives our gruner a 90

Unknown said...

Okay, I get the sip, spit and number.. I can do that.. as any moron can.. but what about all the turgid, flowery descriptions?? Does our franchise kit come with those?? Once saw Paul Giamatti on Today when he was plugging Sideways, and they showed the clip of him describing a Pinot with "just a hint of asparagus"
Matt Lauer, said, "I know people like that," to which I said, "poor you"..

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marcia Love,
Oh well, now you're just talking crazy. This is serious wine business, numbers and everything. Now you want the Scorebucks to look like a Motel 6? Hmmm, could work.

I thought you weren't going to drink and comment any more.

But all you have to do is get your own Scorebucks and you can give your own Gruner 90 points. You'd still lose to the Miami Heat.

Yes, there's an accompanying MadLibs book of Wine Descriptions that you can use with your Scorebucks employees (referred to as "Buttboys"). But you have to sign a confidentiality agreement when you buy the franchise to use it. So no franchise for that Edward Snowden guy.

Unknown said...

oh, you're saying i'm drunk, is that it? you just DECIDED i'm drunk. well, who make you the decider, mister smarty pants? i'm a man and i can drink if i want to! you can' tell me to...oh god...i think i'm gonna be sick...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Oh, man, I wish you hadn't eaten those nachos...

Jeff Lorton said...

Oh my god man... You are the genius that Jay Mac said you were. I plan to make so much money that I am going to rent that vacant bank across the street from my antique shop/wine tasting room here in Carlton and keep it in the pretty vault. I am so ready to start Oregon Pinot Scorebucks! I can already count to 100 and I like spitting thins that are in my mouth out of my mouth most of the time. This is going to be great. The first thing I am going to do is give Rascal Pinot Noir a 100 score. Just to see what happens. I'll bet the French have a stroke. Ha! I f'ing hate the French don't you? Anyhoo. Where was I... Oh yeah the F'ing French. What is with those D-Bags anyway. I mean there gonna ban wine bloggers. It's a buncha BS! I was totally planning on retiring in France and starting an English language wine blog about Coats do Ron or something like that. Anyhoo... Now I am totally going to take all the mone y and empty wine bottles that I am going to have from Scorebucks and go to France and buy all of their wine and review the shit out of it. I'm giving them all a 5 or less. I'm just gonna pour their stuff out any way cause the only reason I am into wine is because I like the way the bottles look on my window sill.

Thanks for the great opportunity Man. I am totally going to take you up on it. Here in Oregon we only just figured out that we can make real money by buying each others wines raising the prices and selling it to other people that are less smart than we are. Its called "adding value". It works great but takes too long to make the kind of money that you can F the French around with. I'm going with Scorebucks. Where do I sign and can I pay you with my Pinot futures? I still have lots because I have not actually made any yet.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Jeff,
Love the enthusiasm. Sign on the dotted line. No futures, cash only. Oregon Pinot Scorebucks is sure to be a big sensation. Soon you'll be the Lettie Teague of Oregon. Just think of the power! The prestige! The free wine! Why, it's like being a wine blogger only you make money. And have some credibility.

Daniel Posner said...

I have heard that Jay Miller bought the first franchise for Baltimore.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Daniel,
But I think he's partners with Pancho Campo. As usual.