Monday, December 9, 2013

Lo Hai Qu is A Wine Judge!

Lo Hai Qu seems to have my overflowing wine cellar under control, wineries are killing themselves to get the HoseMaster of Wine™ to review their wines, can you blame them, so, as a reward, I’ve once again turned the blog over to her. She’s sort of a loose cannon, “loose” being the key word, but, hey, everybody loves Lo Hai Qu.

OK, so I’m sitting at this big table, it’s about four o’clock in the afternoon, there’s twelve wine glasses in front of me filled with Nebbiolo, like I know what the fuck Nebbiolo is, I thought it was the company that makes, like Nilla Wafers (which is gonna be my stripper name, which, the way the wine business pays, will be any day now—I already got a Chilean for the job—which is like a Brazilian except the water always flows west), and I’m kinda drunk. Not like waking up with 1WineDoody drunk, there’s not enough Moscato in Detroit for that to happen, more like I think my nipples are asleep drunk. But the thing is, I have to taste all these Benniolos and give ‘em medals. I’m a fuckin’ wine judge, Baby, it’s how we roll!

I’m one famous blogbitch, you know. And blogbitches rule, blogdicks drool. So one day I’m sitting at home playing the Home Version of “Fifty Shades of Grey” with the UPS guy, and can that guy deliver OverNight, and I get an email asking Lo Hai Qu if she wants to be a wine judge for this wine competition I never heard of, “The International Gaia Wine Competition.” Hey, I’m thinking, I’m not Gaia. Me and my girlfriends make out now and then when we’re all buzzy, but that’s just to get free drinks. But then I keep reading, and it’s a wine competition where all the judges are women. So it seems like they’re having a hard time getting women to judge, which is news to me. Judge is what we do. Anyway, they heard of Lo Hai Qu, read my Wine Blog Award winning piece here on Blogdick of Wine™, and they be wantin’ me to judge. I am all over that like white on MW’s.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, sometimes it’s like my brain goes all dead like I’m the mayor of Crackville, Canada, but I asked the HoseMaster about what it’s like being a wine judge. Eight hours later he finally stops talking. Man, he is so old. He’s got like hair growing out of his tongue. He’s telling me horror stories about judging. Of course, he’s always the fucking hero, he’s the guy who knows everything about wine, and how to judge. He makes it sound like he’s some sort of Solomon Rushdie or something, like wisdom oozes from him, which would explain why you stick to his couch. Anyway, he’s judged like a billion wine competitions, and he’s telling me about all the worst judges he’s seen. All the know-it-alls and crackpots. Like some woman at a competition who only did two things wrong. She wore perfume and she didn’t spit. Fuck, that’s what I put on my OKCupid profile. I just tuned him out and sat there wishing I was having my teeth pulled out without anesthetic instead. Same thing I do when I’m watching Guy Fieri. You ever notice, Guy’s hair looks like guano, like fucking seagulls nest on that numbskull.

I have to admit, I was really nervous the first time I sat down to judge. My pits were wetter than 2013 in Bordeaux. I was with two other lady judges, and I guess I thought they knew more about wine than me. They were kind of eyeballing me funny, like checking me out, and then they get all pissy that I’m having a cigarette before we start. OK, I smoke, so fucking sue me. Lots of people who smoke buy wine, maybe I’m representing those people. Sure, the Gaia Competition has winemakers, sommeliers, journalists…what about real people? I get nervous, I light up. Don’t judge me. Drinking and smoking go together, like drinking and driving. I’m just the only one who admits it. Unlike these two hippo-crits I’m judging with. But I’m a newbie with a doobie, so I put my butt out and get to work, like I’m Nilla Wafers, Wine Stripper.

So not once did anybody tell me that we have to judge 120 wines the first day. After the first flight, I grab my purse and I’m almost outta there when the hippo-crits ask me where I’m going. Where I’m going is the hotel bar, like any good wine judge, where I’m gonna get a cocktail to wash the taste of these cheap goddam Chardonnays outta my mouth, that’s where I’m going. But it turns out we got like ten more flights to judge! Crap.

I was all worried about the judging part, but it turns out it’s easysleazy. You smell every wine, which, really, doesn’t tell you shit. Sure, every other moron tells you that taste is 70% smell. So what. Foreplay is 70% of sex and no one does that. Taste is 70% smell. That’s like saying basketball is 70% hockey. Stupid. Anyway, you smell the wines, like those Chardonnays Under $15 (what kind of fucked up competition is this? Like there’s Chardonnays Over $15…), and then you taste them one at a time. And, yes, I spit. The only thing the HoseMaster told me that made any sense was that judges wait to get drunk until after the judging part, with people they actually like, not the clowns on their panel.

So then comes the weird part. You have to give a medal to every wine. Unless you give it no medal. It’s kinda hard at first because what’s a bronze wine? Sometimes it’s easy, like I had a Chardonnay that smelled like Coppertone, so I gave it a Bronze! See, that’s easy. But then what’s a Silver? Like a Bronze with a nice booty? Gold medals are easy. I like giving Gold Medals, it’s like when you’re a little kid and your teacher gives you all those Gold Stars. Come to think of it, if wine is so fucking sophisticated, why are all the rating systems like what we had when we’re in elementary school? Gold, Stars, and 100 Points! It’s like the wine experts think of us as those special ed kids, the ones who wear helmets all the time, like football players. We’re just so many dumb kids in the class to them. But we must be, I guess, cuz we keep listening to those old white guys.

The two hippo-crits and me tasted like 250 wines in two days. They were kind of stingy with the medals, all picky and up in my face when I gave like 14 Gold Medals in a row. Hey, I fucking needed a butt right then, OK? Maybe I tasted a little fast, but there were judges a lot faster. One panel was done by 11 AM. Three old white women. They haven’t moved that fast since before they had their leg bags installed. We got the job done, my homely girls and me. I hope they invite me back to judge next year! I had a really good time, and, you know what I learned? 70% of wine judging is giving medals!


Charlie Olken said...

The thing I like most about having to judge 120 wines a day, most of which are crap because the best wines do not need wine competitions to sell all they make, is that I refuse to go to these things anymore.

Oh sure, if someone asks me to sit on a panel in Australia or the Cayman Islands, I can compromise. But LHQ can do as well as most judges when it comes to 90 cheap Chardonnays--or may favorite, 60 Petite Sirahs first thing in the morning.

Martin said...

Snigger! My favourite line was 'they’re having a hard time getting women to judge, which is news to me'.

Maybe there's a place for a competition where the judges are tipsy, smoking, wearing perfume and eating chips (crisps) as lots of wine is consumed like that. Sort of a reality wine contest. Could be onto something there!
Martin Moran MW

Lynn said...

"Where I’m going is the hotel bar, like any good wine judge, where I’m gonna get a cocktail to wash the taste of these cheap goddam Chardonnays outta my mouth, that’s where I’m going."

Love you Lo!

Marcia Macomber said...

This may be the best LHQ yet! She's so vivid with one zinger after another. (Takes after her HoseMentor, no?) My fave: "Nilla Wafers, Wine Stripper"! Ha!

The Sommeliere said...

My fave: "I have to admit, I was really nervous the first time I sat down to judge. My pits were wetter than 2013 in Bordeaux."

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Gang,
I've judged with people like Lo Hai Qu I'm pretty sure. Yikes.

The most fun I have writing is writing Lo's voice. She makes me laugh. I channel her more than make her up. I have to restrain myself from just writing Lo Hai Qu pieced every week. Something about the combination of crazy, mouthy, profane and young that kills me. For those who hate these posts, oh well. I'm a bit in love with my fictitious intern.

Judging is seen as "glamorous," but, as you know, it ain't. I enjoy them, mostly for the camaraderie. But, hell, judging 60 Petite Sirahs absolutely sucks. And not only is it NOT glamorous, but you get endless crap for doing it, as though it's evil, or dishonest. Oh well. Everybody with a wine blog is a know-it-all.

Yes, you're right. Judging wine like folks drink it at home might be more accurate and valuable. Maybe the judges should judge it with the TV on in their underwear too.

Don't encourage Lo. She's already a pain.

Marcia Love,
I'm just finding her voice. Once I do, then there's no telling what hell will break loose. I think I love her.

Marlene Darling,
Part of the schtick is to make this goofy Millennial, voiced by the HoseMaster, written by me, occasionally say something far wiser than she should be capable.
And, yet, it's all about bad comedy.

Unknown said...

"...if wine is so fucking sophisticated, why are all the rating systems like what we had when we’re in elementary school?"

Ask the CDE. They think you need a masters degree to give out those elementary grades. But, of course, Lo Hai Qu deserves an honorary doctorate just for staying awake during an eight hour lecture from you, Ron.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Lo has a tendency to exaggerate. It was only six hours of lecturing. And she snores. So no honorary doctorate for Lo Hai Qu. Though Lo Hai Qu, Ph.D. has a certain ring to it.

Thomas said...

LBJ took the IRT down to Fourth Street USA. When he got there what did he see? The youth of America on LSD.

LBJ, FBI, CIA, LO Hai Qu, Ph.D. If only they rhymed.

Credit (and apologies) to James Rado, Gerome Ragni and Galt MacDermot.

Thomas said...

How dated that song is. You can't find many people who remember the IRT.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I don't remember the IRT. And I try not to remember the IRS. And my IOU's. Never had an IUD, but I met a few.

Apologies to everyone.

renzo said...


Speaking of dated:
I miss Hair... and the stuff on the top of my head as well!

Charlie Olken said...

I am struck that LHQ now sounds less like The Hosemaster on LSD, or the IRT, and more like a separate identity.

There are places, however, even in this essay, when she sounds like Ron, especially in the last couple of sentences.

I will admit to not being a big fan of LHQ early on, but the emerging voice is becoming more fun, more challenging and different.

But, will Sam be jealous if she keeps developing? Well, tell her (LHQ) to keep her clothes on and to not become friends with Alice or Natalie or Lettie or Genitalia Biocchi.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

As a Voice, Lo was always meant to be fake, an obvious attempt by the HoseMaster to make fun of Millennials and their take on wine. I find that her Voice is morphing into someone a bit different, and, for fun, I just let it go there.

Now when I write Lo Hai Qu pieces I hear her voice quite distinctly. I've done six now, and I quite enjoy the exercise. I don't think it's my best work (a low bar to get over), but Lo is my first new voice in a long time that has captivated me. Once upon a time, I must have been an Asian woman with a foul mouth.

By the way, Charlie, I liked your piece about dying wine blogs. Wine blogs never had anything original to say, folks are just now realizing it. There is nothing original to say about wine, really, or anything else for that matter. It's all about the originality of how you say it. I can't think of four wine bloggers with actual writing talent. And that's why blogs are dying. They're dull.


Thomas said...

When I heard voices I was sent to see a shrink. When Ron hears voices he gets a blog award.

Life ain't fair.

Are blog dying? Someone ought to persuade bloggers about that.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My voices rule!

I liked Charlie's piece because he calls out STEVE! for his classic Jumping the Shark post interviewing his dog. And Jamie Goode for writing a fourth grade book review of Andrew Jeffords' original idea. It won't change anything, but I like that Charlie nailed it.

Though he left out the HoseMaster, and his son the 1WineDoody. If we ain't dead, who is?

You can't persuade wine bloggers of anything except their own importance and great palates. In other words, crap that isn't true.

Thomas said...

Thanks, I missed both those pieces because I don't read those blogs anymore.

I'm down to reading about three blogs regularly and another three every so often--and commenting on three regularly and three when something I read makes me crazy! I know that based on my calm, measured, non-opinionated delivery, it's difficult to believe that some things I read do make me crazy...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I'm always curious what blogs other people read. I'm down to a couple as well. Samantha's, of course. And I do read Charlie and Stephen's now and then at CGCW. And Chris Kassel at Contra Connoisseur because he makes me laugh. I usually read STEVE! just to see what clowns are commenting there. And the occasional piece over at Tim Atkin. That might be it.

I honestly do wish there were more to read that wasn't either boring to read, consist of simpleminded opinions better expressed elsewhere, or be full of the endless drivel of tasting note after tasting note. But it's the Intergnats, it's free to everybody, so live and let live.

Though I'd love to hear about new wine blogs worth the investment of time to read them. Anyone?

Yeah, I know, really late here in the common tater section to bring that up. But I thought I'd ask.