There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding the annual announcement of the MacArthur “Genius” Grants. This year, I was passed up once again. I know, hard to believe. I’m the Philip Roth of MacArthur Genius Grants, the Pete Rose, the Harold Stassen, the other Pope who’s still alive but no one gives a Ratzinger’s ass. What does it fucking take to get that MacArthur? I’m damned near out of genius. But for $125,000/year for five years, I can keep cranking out this brilliant stuff . Hell, that’s Lettie Teague money.
Frankly, I need the money. What stinks is that there isn’t any way to actually apply for a MacArthur Grant. You have to be recommended by one of an anonymous group of experts to an anonymous panel of judges. So it’s just like “America’s Got Talent.” Sadly, in that case, it seems as though my genius is doomed to go unnoticed.
However, in looking through the list of MacArthur geniuses, I noticed that not a single one had anything to do with wine. Not really a surprise. After all, wine and genius go together like monkeys and table manners. But, I wondered, why do we have to aim so high? Attaining genius is rarefied air, attained only by the likes of the greatest composers, the finest writers, and those guys at Apple stores. Why can’t we have grants for people in the wine business who aren’t necessarily geniuses, but who think they are? I could win that. And I can nominate a bunch of others. (Finally, the premise arrives…)
WINE GENIUS Greg Lambrecht!
Greg Lambrecht invented the Coravin, a device which allows you to drink from any bottle of wine sealed with a cork without having to remove the capsule or the cork itself. This is the stuff of pure wine genius. Reputedly, Lambrecht began thinking about this problem no one else has when his wife was pregnant, gave up drinking wine regularly, and, like most geniuses, he didn’t have a single goddam friend to drink wine with. Now, using a specialized medical needle he’d patented, a needle previously used only for delicate surgeries and making really nice popcorn strings for Christmas, Lambrecht found a way to penetrate the cork, remove a glass of wine, and fill the remainder of the bottle with argon gas (harvested, I believe, from flatulent Argonauts). In the great tradition of wine, the hallowed tradition of Riedel stemware, Vinturis, and wine magnets, Lambrecht created a whole new category of useless wine toy—a $300 gizmo, of limited production, of course, because every wine dweeb knows that everything valuable in wine is of limited production, that is the equivalent of a sterling silver caviar spoon. “Really? You actually opened your bottle of ’61 La Chapelle last night? Was it the servants’ day off?” The Coravin seems to be indicative of this era’s incessant need to pierce our most precious things—nipples, check; clitoris, check; old Burgundy corks, check. “Hey, Baby, want to see my piercings? Come down into my wine cellar and I’ll show you what I put my needle through.” As with all men’s toys, it’s overtly sexual, all about secret penetration. Using a Coravin is essentially wine frottage.
And, honestly, what good is a Coravin unless you have a Drilaporker® to use along with it? The Drilaporker®, which uses a high-tech, titanium fork to take one bite at a time out of a live pig so that you can savor your favorite pig for years to come!
Of course, the good news is there will be a lot fewer assholes complaining about corks as a closure from now on. Assholes with Coravins! Thank you, Wine Genius Greg Lambrecht!
WINE GENIUS Eric LeVine!
Genius is often found in the creative juxtaposition of the simplest insights. What do wine people like to do more than anything else? Not drink wine, though that would seem to be the right answer. No, wine people like to give their stupid opinions about wines to anyone who will listen. Now, what, when you get right down to it, is the Internet? The Internet is an infinite receptacle for stupid opinions, half-truths, misinformation and photographs of kitties. Why not combine those two insights? What if there were a place where wine people could go and share their wine opinions? Voila! CellarTracker was born. Originally a personal creation, Eric LeVine opened it up for anyone to use to track their personal wine cellars and post public notes on the wines they’ve consumed. Now you no longer have to hang around your local wine shop to hear someone say something worthless about a wine, you can go online to CellarTracker and hear thousands of people contributing to the white noise of wine criticism. Experts are so last millennium. Do the math. Why pay to read a wine critic with 50 years of experience when, with the click of a mouse, you can see the unbiased opinions of 50 people with at least a year of experience?! Or ten people with five years of experience? And, best of all, they’re all men! But, remember, it’s just like Twitter. If you expect people to follow you, you have to follow them, too. Thus, if you review wines on CellarTracker, defend its value to the death! This is how the virtual world works. You pretend you’re a hero on Dungeons and Dragons, and pretend you’re a wine expert on CellarTracker.
Eric LeVine had the brilliant insight that the Internet ultimately devalues everything. That humans will gladly take lousy advice for free over quality advice they have to pay for. He is clearly worthy of the title, Wine Genius! Though he forgot to include a place for the photos of kitties.
WINE GENIUS Wilfred Wong!
The wine buyer for BevMo, Wilfred Wong is also their most important wine reviewer. OK, this is genius. That 80 case floor stack in all 140 BevMo locations of The Incredible Bulk 2012 Sauvignon Blanc
? Look at the review! 92 Points, and it’s only $6.99. Wow. That’s an amazing value. Who gave it 92 Points? Wilfred Wong! Well, he must know, he bought it. Plus, why would he exaggerate? Give me a case. I can tell my friends it got 92 Points from a famous reviewer. My friends are at least as stupid as I am.
You know, it’s a damned shame the rest of the world doesn’t get to do this. “Maison Pichette is clearly worthy of three Michelin stars!”—Chef Pichette. And, hey, I’ve had sex with myself, and I can truthfully say, no one is better, but women never believe me. But, then, I’m no Wilfred Wong. Though, yes, I can give you a case.
And let’s not forget the legendary BevMo 5¢ Sale. More genius. People actually believe they’re getting a deal. “Hey, that wine was horrible, but for a nickel, hell, I’ll take another.” Last time I went to the 5¢ Sale I decided to give the second bottle to an old wino hanging around the parking lot.
“Fucking cheapskate,” he thanked me.
Thank you, Wilfred, you’re a Wine Genius.
Someone actually exposed the ridiculous Wilfred Wong BevMo conspiracy... Very subtle, very devious! Woe is the poor unsuspecting wine consumer!
Gotta disagree with you about CellarTracker though. If you use the tool as it was intended, you can find others with a similar palate and use the connection to investigate their wine cellar and get introduced to wines that are closer to matching your tastes.
You were serious about Cellar Tracker? Damn!
I would never buy a case of wine without tasting it, and I probably wouldn't buy a BOTTLE of wine based on a high score alone. However, I might pay 7 bucks for one just so I could disagree!
We don't have BevMo in STL (even if it is IN MO). Do these reviews state where the score comes from? I don't pay a lot attention to scores anymore, but if I saw that Wilfred Wong gave a wine 92 points, my first thought would be, "Who the hell is Wilfred Wong?"
Oh, yeah. Also....GO CARDS!!
"And, honestly, what good is a Coravin unless you have a Drilaporker® to use along with it? The Drilaporker®, which uses a high-tech, titanium fork to take one bite at a time out of a live pig so that you can savor your favorite pig for years to come!"
You are a GENIUS in my books!!
That's all that's important!!!!
Brilliant! Never saw the connection between genius and uselessness before. I mean Newton invented calculus, but who ever uses it? Or Leonardo, how useless is a woman who looks at you wherever you are in a room? OK maybe you can figure out something there, but
Einstein? Everything's relative? How could you rate things on a 100 Point scale if that were true. It would make Robert Parker completely useless. Hmm...maybe now I can finally see why Einstein was such a genius. Thanks.
I've been hosed, love it!
Thanks to you, Hose, I know exactly what I want for Thanksgivmukkah, Christmas and any pagan rituals--a Drilaporker®
i've never understood why you need a vacuvin, coravin, vinatopia, vinomatic or any other silly wine 'preserver'. what the hell is wrong with people, can't they finish a bottle of wine?
when my wife was pregnant I wasn't concerned about the extra wine she wasn't drinking, I was thinking "hey, more wine for me!".
brilliant as usual, Hose...
First of all, thanks, Eric LeVine, for being happy to be Hosed. My pleasure.
This is one of those kind of obvious premises that makes my job a bit easier. The recent announcement of MacArthur Genius Grants provides the premise, I just take random potshots at wine trends and wine people. It's very high-strength silliness.
And I get to be called a GENIUS by a guy holding a banjo. That's the very definition of irony.
You deserve a genius grant on this comment alone: "And, best of all, they're all men!" Aside from that, good on Eric LeVine for being a good sport.
Is there a wine chat room that isn't completely dominated by men? It's the most annoying part of eBob and wineberserkers. The damned gesturing and testosterone.
That was a line I liked, too.
Though I was hoping one of those three "Geniuses" would write me some hate mail. Guess I have to be meaner next time.
Anyone have any more nominations for a HoseMaster Genius Grant?
Don't you hate it when wine bloggers ask for readers' suggestions? So pandering.
Entertaining as usual, good stuff. I find that Wilfred is usually Wong.
Happy Birthday, Hose! Hope you get the wine of your dreams to celebrate.
Honorable Mention on the Wilfred Wong Useless Review Award to Jonathan H. Newman of Wines Til Sold Out...
Thanks for the birthday wishes. Indeed, I did fine on the birthday wine. 1990 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle. Breathtaking is the only word to describe it.
Perfect! It's been a long time since I received offers from WTSO, but Newman's stupid, overblown hypes of the wines were self-parody after self-parody.
Wilfred is a great guy. When his parents closed the Ashbury Market, he sold me the last of the '88 Palmer for $20 a bottle. No point score given although he assured me that it was "really good wine".
I myself have enlisted a crew of college football coaches to score wines. 110! We're gonna give it 110 per cent!
Wilfred is a great guy. And funny. I just judged on the same panel with Wilfred at the Sonoma Harvest Fair (first time I've judged alongside him, though we have been at a lot of the same competitions), so I warned him I might make fun of him. I'm guessing that like Eric LeVine he won't mind being Hosed.
The video you did is pretty good, Bill. Nice going.
Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday mister hosemaster, happy birthday to you...
I know you're a Samantha Sans Dosage regular, and never been here to be a common tater, so I imagine My Gorgeous Samantha posted my birthday on FaceBook, or some other annoying social media site. But thank you for the lovely birthday greeting. I appreciate it.
can't wait until next year, when i get my genius grant for inventing shark nets for grape vines, to protect vineyards from sharknados
Excellent! Great tater from a regular common tater. Made me laugh.
But don't expect to make a lot of money from the vineyard shark nets--you can only charge a fin.
We know that Ron Washam has birthdays--and you have probably sussed out why we know.
But, does the Hosemaster have birthdays? And, if so, how old is he? Inquiring minds have nothing better to do this early in the morning.
I don't know, do fictional characters have birthdays? Maybe I need to create a calendar of birthdays for the HoseMaster himself, Larry Anosmia, Lo Hai Qu, Avril Cadavril, Dick and Lotta Splooge, and all the other weird folks who live in my head.
But no matter how many birthdays the HoseMaster has had, he is perpetually thirteen years old. At least sexually.
holy crap, i made the hosemaster laugh! that's like making Fredistaire dance. Now I can't wait for you to try my 25-gallon side project, the "chardonado". Still trying to figure out what to name the 15 gallons of gamay - so far we've got "gamaygeddon", "gamaybriel jagle", or our tribute to the ramones, "gamay gamay hey!"
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