Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Year in the Wine Family 2013

Merry Christmas to Our Family and Friends,

2013 was a busy year for the Wine family. There’s so much news I’m not sure I can fit it all in to this one Christmas letter! But I’ll sure try. It’s just hard to know where to begin.

I’m sure most of you have heard by now that Uncle Bob sold his business. Everybody in the Wine family was pretty relieved. Uncle Bob sold it to three guys from Singapore, I think, though no one in the family has actually met them. Which is probably good, because we’d have a hard time keeping a straight face. Good ol’ Uncle Bob, he completely hornswaggled the “businessmen.” On the 100 Point Scale, they took it up the chocolate Highway 99. They paid big bucks for what is basically just his old rag business. Most of Uncle Bob’s employees at the rag business stayed on, which is good, because they’re otherwise nearly unemployable. They all seem to think that the way you cover up it being a rag is to flower it all up with indecipherable gibberish. An old moth-eaten rag is still an old moth-eaten rag—no matter how hard you try to disguise it, people can still see right through it. But it’s not Uncle Bob’s problem any more, although he’s still going to consult. The whole Wine family can hardly wait until Uncle Bob retires for good, though what the hell Uncle Marvin will do without Uncle Bob to follow and mimic is going to be hard to watch. Marvin’s never done anything original or useful, despite his success. He’s the Ryan Seacrest of the Wine family. His rag business is just like Uncle Bob’s, only Uncle Marvin figured out to take advertising. That was pretty smart. Get the people who appear in his rag to give him money, only say the money wasn’t to become a rag favorite. They just like the rag so much, they tithe. Well, it is the season for tithings of comfort and joy. Comfort and joy. Oh Oh, tithings of comfort and joy…

Sadly, Uncle Bob’s favorite employee, Cousin Antonio, left the rag business and disappeared. No one has heard from him in months. We would like to thank the Antinori family for putting Cousin Antonio’s picture on the sides of their Chianti Classico cases below the headline, “Have You Seen This Clown?” Hey, it worked for Berlusconi. Uncle Bob and Cousin Antonio had a big falling out after Uncle Bob sold his business. I guess Cousin Antonio thought he was being groomed to take over from Uncle Bob. But, instead, Lisa Perrotti-Brown nosed her way in to the position. I may have put the hyphen in that last sentence in the wrong place.

If you see Cousin Antonio, tell him the Wine family misses him. And if his brother Rudy can plead insanity, so can he.

Not all the news in a family can be good. And at Christmas, we should also remember the less fortunate members of our Wine family. Those behind bars. Not bartenders, idiot, I mean jail. I’m talking, of course, about Rudy. Poor Rudy. He’s been incarcerated for selling very expensive bottles of wine that were fake. Did they taste fake? Apparently not. Uncle Burghound liked them, at least that’s what he said before he took off looking for Cousin Antonio and also vanished. If anyone can find Antonio, it’s Uncle Burghound. He smelled a pair of Antonio’s sackcloth underpants to get the scent.

It wasn’t very nice of Rudy to fool Uncle Burghound with his fake wines. That’s not how we like to conduct ourselves as part of the Wine family. Yes, sell expensive fake wines to outsiders, that’s what ratings are for. But don’t drag family into it. Well, Rudy’s on trial now. He made a fatal miscalculation. It’s one thing to amass a large fortune with criminal behavior, to have become “too big to fail,” but it’s another thing altogether to take advantage of those poor unfortunate filthy rich criminals by making them look stupid and taking some of their ill-gotten gains. Those folks will see that Rudy spends the time they deserve in jail for them. Though word was Rudy was thinking of pleading insanity. Well, frankly, nearly everyone in the Wine family has a screwtop loose, so he’s got a chance. But you’d think that if you can’t taste the difference between the “real” wine and the Rudy wine, there is no difference. That you’re only angry because you look stupid. They say 80% of the wines in Rudy’s cellar were fakes. How did they know? The labels and the foils and the corks were suspicious, stuff that makes up the wine’s appearance. Yup, those are fakes, you can tell by the outsides. Just like the rich dildos who bought them at auction.

*Well, it seems Cousin Rudy was convicted on all counts. Now he'll be making fake license plates in New York. Raise a glass to poor Cousin Rudy this holiday season--fraudulent wine would be best. Say, The Prisoner, or Apothic.

Let’s talk about good news again! Did you see the great Wine family movie, “SOMM?” Gosh, I hope so. We’re so proud of all the Master Sommeliers in our Wine family. Even if they won’t shut up about being Master Sommeliers. Oh, I guess I was the same way when I was a Cub Scout, dreaming about growing up and becoming a Boy Scout. Master Sommeliers are like Cub Scouts to the Masters of Wine Boy Scouts. When you’re a Cub Scout, you can only dream of being old enough to one day enjoy being part of the big Circle Jerk of being a Master of Wine. Anyway, “SOMM” followed a bunch of M.S. candidates as they studied for their exams. It was an awesome look at the little part of our Wine family normally hidden from the public. Kind of like an alcoholic leper colony. With Uncle Fred Dame as Father Damien. Hey, what do you get when you let the leper stir the soup? Finger food! Wow, the soup and the joke in poor taste.

Oh, I just know I’m going to leave important news from 2013 out. So much to talk about. Uncle Paul Gregutt got booted out of his Seattle Times wine critic job for making his own wine. Critics aren’t supposed to know about making what they critique. That’s just silly. Why, would a music critic write music or play an instrument? Sure, if he wanted to get fired! Uncle Paul should have known better. He should have become the music critic! No one would confuse his playing for music. But wine is obviously wine. Sorry, Uncle Paul, this one’s on you.

Some guy, not part of the Wine family, invented a device to extract wine from a bottle without opening it! It’s called a Coravin. It’s an amazing addition to our family. It penetrates, extracts liquid, and withdraws with just a spurt of inert gas. Cool. Sounds like sex with Great Uncle Miljenko.

From our Wine family to yours, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

For the entire Wine family,
HoseMaster of Wine

This will be my last piece for 2013. I'm going to take a holiday break, but HoseMaster will return, God willing and the creek don't rise, January 6th, 2014. Maybe. Thanks to everyone who checks in to HoseMaster of Wine™ on a regular basis. I've had a wonderful time this year thanks to all of your support and kind words. Merry Christmas! And let's see if we can't have a few more laughs in 2014.


Thomas said...

Happy trails, Ron.

As for your wish for laughs in 2014: if you are still looking at the wine world, laughs are guaranteed.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thank you, my friend, and a Merry Christmas to you and yours.

There should be laughs in the wine world. It's only fermented grape juice that we babble on and on about, that's comic on the face of it. I really just need a break from the utter banality of the blogosphere, the relentless barking of those lonely Poodles. And I need to stop barking myself for a while.

Steve said...

Merry Christmas to all and may all the wine you consume be to your liking. New Years resolutions include not reading wine ratings/reviews, count my fingers after shaking hands with a wine critic and fumble for folding money long enough to solicit pity and have someone pay for my wine.

Brian Baker said...

What a great way to start my day! still laughing as I send this...Merry Christmas

Unknown said...

Tried to respond in sign language I acquired from a chimp,but realized no human would give a shit...but friggin awesome post Hosemaster....just never stop slingin' the shit at this silly-assed profession with enough goofballs to fill a vaudeville freak show...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Merry Christmas to you. Good luck with those resolutions. As for shaking hands with wine critics, don't count your fingers--wash your damn hands. Many have been handling cash.

Merry Christmas, my friend, to you and your lovely bride. Ho, Ho, Ho. Or as they say around your neck of the woods, Bo, Bo, Bo.

renzo said...

Okay... take a break... but return you must. The Wine Family needs a black sheep.
I know barking poodles. You, sir are no barking poodle. You are the big dog (and a black sheep). Woof, woof (baa, baa)!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Mr. Parker,
Welcome to my humble abode, and Merry Christmas. Coincidentally, I learned my shit-slinging from a chimpanzee!

And of all the folks I've slung crap at, you've been the most gracious. Which is a low bar to get over. But thank you for at least having a sense of humor. 89 Points.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Merry Christmas, Common Tater!

I suspect I'll return. I have several unpublished pieces, and countless ideas for more. Truly, I'm weary of the hopelessly dreary wine blog world. Lately, I've reacted not with head shaking when I read the drivel that passes for wine writing, but with anger. So I know it's time to step away for a couple of weeks, regain my comic perspective.

Thanks for commenting frequently, Renzo. Happy 2014!

Daniel said...

Merry Christmas to you, Hose, and to all my fellow slightly off center taters...
it's only funny because it's true.


Drew M. said...

Loved that you saved the best (the sad news of Uncle Miljenko's sterility) for last. Best laugh of the week.

Merry Christmas!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Merry Christmas, and thanks for being such a regular common tater around here. I'm often told the comments section is more entertaining than my prose. By shitheads.

See you in 2014!

Merry Christmas back at you! Uncle Miljenko puts the leche in lecher.

Resolve to become a regular common tater in 2014!

Unknown said...

Fantastic piece to finish off the year Ron. Looking forward to 2014 and you NOT threatening to quit this blog. I have just discovered you and I use your pieces to sort out my wine industry friends. I send them through and if they say "I don't get it" I realize they don't understand the wine business or don't have a sense of humour. Either way I remove them from my life. Hope we meet on the wine circuit someday
Best of the holiday season to you
Mark D

voice of reason said...

thanks for ringing out the year in grand style! Have a wonderful holiday season, and please don't get all Scroogey-Gooey on us... I hope that 2014 brings you back with continued smart*ss writing!

Unknown said...

Hilarious as always. Enjoy your well-deserved break, I'll look forward to reading more of your mad rantings in the new year

Beau said...

Happy 2013 and thank's for all the laughs! Hope to read more of your prose in 2014. Cheers

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,

If I promise not to bark will you promise to come back?! A perfect end of the year letter Love. Been remarkable to see your talent soar over the past year, to see so many people catch on to what all us old school taters' already knew, you are not only the funniest wine blogger there is, (although STEVE! gave you a run for your money with the hilarity of his interviewing his dog....) you are, by far, the most talented.

Thank you for all you do Sweet Ron, it might feel like a thankless task but I assure you Love, we are all so grateful.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year handsome! Oh, and if you don't report your findings on the Champagnes I sent you I will be forced to deck your balls with blows of folly. I love you.

Charlie Olken said...

See you later, Hosagator.

By the time Jan 6 rolls around, you will be overflowing with balloons to pop.

Do pop some of Sam's bubbly in the meantime.

Just remember, Christmas comes but once a year, but the Poodles back nonstop.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Mark D.
Happy Holidays! I not only threaten to quit all the time, I actually do quit all the time. I just like the makeup sex.

Well, make sure and introduce yourself if our paths cross on the wine circuit. As for HoseMaster being the metric for friendship in the biz, well, that sounds scary.

Thank you, and Merry Christmas! Nice to see all the common taters around here today. Makes me feel my moist, creamy center. See you in the new year.

Thanks. Happy Holidays! Thanks for adding to the nonsense as a valued common tater, and have a prosperous and Natural 2014!

Well, I don't know how happy 2013 was, but one can hope 2014 is happier. I'll really enjoy this little hiatus. Thanks for reading, thanks for your comments, and see you next year.

My Gorgeous Samantha,
No promises. Though you'll be the first to know when I come back.

Not sure my talent has soared this past year, but it's lovely of you to say so. When I began this foolishness I had no inkling of how it would change my life. Meeting You, in particular. I'm the one who is humbled and grateful.

Oh, I know the Champagnes you sent are fabulous. Your taste is impeccable. I can't wait to drink them. And I shall dutifully, balls intact, report back to you!

Merry Christmas to You, Gorgeous. And may we meet early in 2014. That would make it a Happy New Year!

Wow, you and Parker in the same comment section! My cup runneth over, no thanks to Samantha.

Thank you for your constant support, Puff Daddy! You are one of the original common taters, not just on HoseMaster, but on California Wine. It's an honor to have you hanging around.

Have a Healthy and Prosperous 2014, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Ron, and thanks for the many laughs reminding us not to take this business so seriously, looking forward and hoping for your return

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Brian,
Merry Christmas! Nice to see you landed with Jayson over at Pahlmeyer. Wish him Happy Holidays from the HoseMaster too.

It's only two and a half weeks of a break. I could use triple that. But I should be back in January.

Marcia Macomber said...

I'm as late comment-tatering here as my Christmas cards are late at getting out in the mail! Merry Christmas, Ron!

What a wonderful Christmas letter from the Wine family. (The only thing missing was a long list of ailments that besieged the family this year -- excepting Rudy's many 'ailments.')

Marvin as Ryan Seacrest - how perfect! Wonder who's getting all the lumps of coal in their wine glasses this year...?

Looking forward to the first post of 2014 on Jan. 6th! :-)

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marcia Love,
Merry Christmas, Marcia! Thanks for your longtime support and tenure as a HoseMaster common tater/Peanut Gallery member. You've stuck around here through thick and thin, and I appreciate it.

See you here in the New Year!

Jack Everitt said...


So there's a rumor (like, in my mind) that you've written the screenplay for SOMM II: Blowing Wine Country.

Yes, the incredible tale cum saga of a wine retailer who gets stuck for a year being the somm at an extremely well-to-do country club in wine country. You share the awesome(!) tales of the snotty rich and their laughable naivete with regards to acquiring, tasting and decanting trophy wives.

This hard-hitting, cork-popping documentary will even include a reenactment of the cal chard tasting you hosted where the honored winemaker stood you up and one of the members got extremely shitfaced. Yes, who can forget?!

I think the only chance for Oscars, though, is to have Bruce Willis play you. Yes, he's a little old in the teeth, and can't swirl for shit, but he can piss into the chards and say, "Drink this Yippykiyahmutherfcker."

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Jack,
Ah, yes, SOMM2, based on a true story. I'd write that script, but who would believe it? And, really, I had Justin Bieber in mind to play me. Or, if he's not available, Leonard Nimoy. Bruce Willis has too much hair to play me.

Merry Christmas, Jack!

Anonymous said...

Loved that you saved the best (the sad news of Uncle Miljenko's sterility) for last. Best laugh of the week.

Happy New Year

Online Wine