Thursday, July 11, 2013

What We're Reading

Compiled by the editors of HoseMaster of Wine

PALATE PRESS: The big news over at Palate Press is that editor David Honig, in tribute to the wooden prose of its contributors, has rechristened the online wine publication, “Pallet Press.” Hell, he can do what he likes, he’s Chairman of the Bored. Among the current features is one exposing the inadequacies of wine competitions. You can’t miss it, it’s right above the vacuous Pallet Press wine review of a Merlot that was awarded 92 points by somebody or other. Dorothy Gaiter, who once wrote the wine column for Wall Street Journal with her husband Wally, contributes an interesting piece on the 2010 vintage in Bordeaux. “While most of the famous Bordeaux went to the Chinese market, I found a few bottles in a Korean liquor store you might like.”

STEVE HEIMOFF: It’s “Out of Ideas” Week over at STEVE!, and you won’t want to miss a single day of it. Monday begins the week with a post on what you do when you run out of ideas, “Post about wine bloggers.” Tuesday, STEVE! makes the case that “my post yesterday should be nominated for next year’s Wine Blog Awards.” Wednesday, it’s a personal reflection on how Wednesday’s piece “strongly affected the way I want to live.” Thursday, a fun-loving return to Monday’s topic, “And I’m the only critic who will even talk about how he’s completely out of ideas, though they all are.” Friday’s post is a return to his usual cry for help.

WINE SPECTATOR: Foodies rejoice! It’s the Grand Awards Issue! Wine Spectator honors restaurants that have wine lists that weigh more than 100 pounds--restaurants that set their tables with a knife and forklift. This year’s new recipients include Thomas Keller’s newest restaurant, Per Rina, where the cuisine is made entirely of dog and cat food. “We like to think,” Keller has said, “that Grandma needs a special restaurant too.” The wine list at Per Rina has more than 1500 selections, including a large selection of Burgundy, as well as a large cuisine-appropriate selection of bottled waters from European toilet bowls. And, something of a surprise, Paula Deen’s new establishment, Minstrel Show, wins an Award of Excellence for its extensive selection of Malbecs. “Somebody tol’ me it’s the black wine of Cahors,” Deen says in the magazine, “so I wanted to have plenty for my darkie friends.” Côt with her gigantic panties down again. Tim Fish writes about tipping sommeliers, “You sneak up on ‘em just like you do with cows and shove really hard.”

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Jay McInerney takes us on an exclusive tour of billionaire Bill Koch’s wine cellar. “Now that you’re here,” Koch tells him, “my collection of wine frauds is complete.” Koch offers McInerney the chance to try any bottle in his legendary cellar. “Tens of thousands of bottles, the history of wine in a single room, the ghosts of every legendary winemaker from Andre Tschelistcheff to Leroy hovering over us, an open invitation to open bottled history; I didn’t want so see the expression on Koch’s face when I chose the one wine I can never resist. ‘Wow, you have Turley Zin?!’” Lettie Teague opines on concrete eggs, “It saves you a lot of money on birth control.”

Fermentation has another post on the American Wine Consumer Coalition that compares it to Lincoln freeing the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. “Wine consumers are the 21st Century version of slaves; and if I’m exaggerating, well, someone can shoot me in the balcony.” Might be more appropriate to plug him in the lobby.

Charlie Olken over at Connoisseurs’ Guide reflects on his involvement with the AWCC, “Every new member receives a free 1-year subscription to our online publication, or a tostada. One will give you gas, the other is a nice meal.”

Terroirist’s David White reflects on his participation in AWCC. “Consumers need a voice, and, as a former speech writer for George W. Bush, I can tell you, that voice doesn’t have to be smart or honest, it just has to say it with a straight face.”

1WineDoody weighs in on the AWCC, “If you people aren’t willing to stand up to the big distributors and your state legislatures, if you won’t put your money where your winehole is, then you’re just going to end up like Supertramp—no one will give a s**t about you.” Yeah, we don’t know what that means either. I guess he wants us to Give a Little Bit.

Alice Feiring has opened her own branch, “I’ve decided to found the American Natural Wine Consumers Coalition. It’s just like the AWCC, only we try to intervene as minimally as possible. We’re the Authentic voice, though we’re almost always alone.”

The New York Cork Report isn’t convinced, “ We’re skeptical of the AWCC. The last ‘great’ idea Wark had was the Wine Blog Awards. Look at the idiots who win those. The HoseMaster? He writes jokes and insults people. Wine writing is serious business and we won’t tolerate it being any other way.” New York Cork Report is the Taliban of wine blogging, only without the native charm and cool hats.


Samantha Dugan said...

Tip your somm will never, ever be the same. I love you!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,
Sometimes you write a joke and it just seems as if the joke must have existed before you wrote it. That was one of them. The mind is a strange place. Well, mine is anyway.

I love you, too, Gorgeous!

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
Sort of like while preparing the platters for our last tapas and Sherry event and I was plating the Serrano, took everything I had not to drape a piece across my face and walk out of the kitchen and creepily say, "The silence of the hams". That couldn't have come from my head, as fucked up a place as that is. You should see the plans I have for you in there! Your joke however gave me a visual that I shall never forget. And a full on chortle.

The Sommeliere said...

Ron, your comment, "Lettie Teague opines on concrete eggs, It saves you a lot of money on birth control," and Paula Deen--enough said, really cracked me up. I needed a laugh after the dog threw up three times! TMI?

Don't tell anyone, but I secretly miss John and Dottie at the WSJ. I saw them occasionally when I still lived in NY and they were a fun read--concrete eggs, Lettie Teague and Jay McInerney's often convoluted musings notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

The scene in Koch's wine cellar, fraud collection now complete, made me laugh very loudly in a public place. Thank you!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,
Oh, your visual with the ham tops mine every time. Though it should have been at a Chianti event.

I love you!

Marlene My Darling,
After a long, dull piece on wine competitions, I felt it was time for just a bunch of stupid jokes. Was that what made your dog throw up? Is he a Labrador Regurgitator?

You're welcome. And, yeah, I'm pretty proud of that joke.

Thomas said...

Huh? I haven't said anything yet.

Anyway, this post has a lot of laughs in it. Well done.

Unknown said...

Great stuff Ron.. lol on the Paula Deen stuff.. maybe you missed the great Richard Jennings blog yesterday.. oh! a very long, eye glazer, fellatial, drivel piece about the history of Krug, then oh! the fabulous tasting at their pop up place in Woodside, and oh!how wonderful it was that he was there, and finally his scores with nothing below 95 points of course! Brutal but ripe for satire..

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thanks, Thomas.

Though I've met Richard Jennings, and enjoyed his company, I don't read his blog regularly. I don't read many blogs at all, for that matter. But he certainly would be easy to parody, though I might die of exhaustion.

There's a reason folks like Richard and 1WineDoody and Alderpated are in big demand for marketing luncheons, dinners and tastings, and I'm not. Don't know what it is, but I know there's a reason. Probably personal hygiene.

The Sommeliere said...

Ron darling, My dogs are girls, kind sir. And, no "bitch" references as in the British dog shows.I think they caught me reading what you wrote about Keller's new restaurant Per Rina at the Wine EXPECTORATOR and took their cue. They are labradoodle regurgitators.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marlene Darling,
But for the breed and the sex, I was right. Sounds like my first wife.

Henny Youngman, 1965.

Anonymous said...

I find cows have better palates than most somms. And they're just as easy to bang after a couple glasses of wine.

"What We're Reading" is always a favorite of mine. It's amazing how accurate it often is.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

"What We're Reading" is often the hardest piece to write simply because it's so joke-heavy. I often use it as an exercise. Early in my freelance comedy writing career, I would sit down every morning and write 25 jokes. Didn't matter what they were about, I just used to warm up by writing 25 jokes, like playing the scales on a piano. That's kind of what this is. Some jokes were great, most were subpar. That's also what this is.

As for "accurate," well, it's easy when the targets are so huge.

Dean Tudor said...

I've always felt that "What We're Reading" is your best stuff -- because it is so truthful and so accurate, Ron..

You cannot beat it: that's what you are reading, or at least interpreting. The worse I can think is that you need a new pair of glasses (lenses, not beverage)..

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Coming from you, that's high praise. Thank you.

The fun for me when I write HoseMaster is to try to change the tone and style, while using the same voice. I finished a piece today that's dark and satiric. I mentioned that to my wife and she said, "Oh, I hate those." I suspect it's a sentiment shared by many.

The title "What We're Reading," is, clearly, ubiquitous. The NY Times version was the original one that inspired me, but it's a format that's everywhere. Terroirist is "What We're Reading," and it's the Best Goddam Wine Blog in the World. But I started thinking. Instead of it being a literal list of "What We're Reading," wouldn't it be more interesting (and, one hopes, funnier) to be more of an expose of "What We're Reading?" I almost called it "What We're Actually Reading." And then I just started writing jokes.

What makes it more and more difficult is how few targets are actually out there in the wine world, recognizable targets. I'll never run out of Tim Fish jokes, but it would be nice if the wine world wasn't focused on so few magazines and critics.

Unknown said...

Love Wally and Dorothy Gaiter; didn't Wally make Barbera for Hanna Winery?

I cringed as soon as i saw Paula Deen mentioned, but was laughing again as soon as Tim weighed in with how to tip a Somm.

I also appreciated the well deserved pin prick for the chronically uptight NYCR, who never laid it down like CSNY.

Thanks for the smiles, chuckles, and laughs.

Joe Roberts said...

“my collection of wine frauds is complete.”

One of your finest in a post that contains some of your best.

I laughed hard enough to get wine coming up through my nose (some of the samples I'm sent actually taste better that way)...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Ah, cringing is my favorite reaction--thanks for that. You're lucky I didn't put a picture of Deen on the post--now that will make your sphincter wink.

Thanks. Just a random collection of throwaway lines--just like your random collection of throwaway wines.

Dean Tudor said...

Thanks for bringing up Deen again.No relation of mine. But put her in the same room as Nat MacLean...can you tell them apart? Blondes all...the team of Deen and!!! Covers all the food and wine angles...They aren't bloggers, they're floggers...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Why is it always about the hair? Paula Deen and Nat MacLean and Dean Tudor... Perhaps I need a new character. Paula Dean MacTudor MW. That could work.

Eric V. Orange said...

Very funny Hose. I do like "What We're Reading", but your reviews of books not read and movies not seen are high on my list as well.


Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Eric,
Well, I spend most of my days not reading books and not watching movies, so I have lots of material.

Thanks for reading. More people should not read HoseMaster of Wine, but then talk about it anyway.

David White said...


As you may have noticed, the NYT's "What We're Reading" ceased publication on July 9th. So Terroirist will soon be THE BESTEST!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

As you may have noticed, HoseMaster's "What We're Reading" has not ceased publication, despite popular demand. I am, in fact, claiming responsibility for the demise of the NY Times "What We're Reading." It's total HoseMaster domination!

So Terroirist will have to settle for BESTER until I hang it up.

Beau said...

Pure gold! I laughed so hard my dogs woke up and looked at me funny. These seem to be getting better and better. Or I'm losing my sense of humor.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Yes, I rely heavily for my audience on the comedy-impaired.