Monday, March 17, 2014

How You Can Help With the California Drout

Everywhere you travel in California wine country, people are talking about the Drought. Conserving water is the topic of the day, though really, shouldn’t we also be conserving letters? Why is “draught” beer pronounced “draft,” but “drought” isn’t pronounced “droft?” Fucking English, what a stupid language. So let’s begin by saving letters, which conserves energy after all, and write about the “Drout.” That’s a good start. This very piece on HoseMaster of Wine™ is dedicated to conserving countless “gh”’s. If every citizen did the same, we might save enough energy to have Jim Laube electrocuted at no cost to the public! Tell me that’s not a worthy goal. And even if it’s not quite enough energy for electrocution, we at least get a couple sessions of electro-shock therapy for the guy. Zap his head until he’s a babbling NFL lineman. If you clowns don’t pitch in and conserve, well, we’ll just have to settle for cattle prodding his ass.

This year California is facing its worst drout in hundreds of years. There hasn’t been a drout of this magnitude since I mistakenly put the results of my herpes test on my FaceBook page. (I thought that’s what FaceBook was—a place to talk about stuff on your face. Turns out, for the most part, like the adolescent behavior it represents, it is.) Neither of these drouts is going away any time soon. As a public service, for those of my fourteen readers who live in California (Hi, Dad and Moms! You put the “gamy” in polygamy!), I’m providing some suggestions for how ordinary people, and also wineries, can help during this challenging drout.

For those with a spiritual bent, pray for Jesus to return and convert all that wine Treasury Estates had to dump back into water.
You can bet Treasury Estates wishes He would return and do a backwards, one-and-a-half transubstantiate and eliminate that pool of unsellable wine by turning it into water. Wine turned back into bottled water by Jesus?! Wow, that would be even more expensive than Evian. You could come up with all kinds of cool labels for it, too. "The Father, The Son, and the Holy Water." "H2OMG." I can see the print ads now—“Have a nice cold glass of 'Miracle on Ice.'” This is an idea that not only adds to our dwindling water supply, it saves one of our precious wine conglomerates. And what would be better than a cool glass of Holy Water before The Rapture?

Women who frequent winery tasting rooms should stop wearing goddam lipstick.
It takes an amazing amount of extra water to wash the traces of lipstick off a wine glass. Why are you putting on lipstick to taste wine? You’re already drunk. You don’t look any better drunk because you’re wearing lipstick. Wearing lipstick to taste wine is like piercing your nipples to get better radio reception. What the hell is wrong with you? We’re in the middle of a drout! We’re wasting water trying to get the lipstick smudges off the glassware because you care more about your appearance than you care about other people. I hope you know that when children don’t have clean water to drink, it’s going to be all your fault.

Winemakers making wines over 16.5% alcohol should stop adding water to the must.
We know you’re doing it. There’s a damned shortage of water, and you’re grabbing a hose and adding water back to your fermentations! Why? So you can make ridiculously lousy wine from raisins? Get higher scores by eliminating all the water you can out of the grapes while they’re still on the vine, then adding water in the winery to make the shit palatable? Then call it “long hang time.” Listen, long hang times are for Dr. J or John Holmes, not wine. Pick the grapes to make wine, not trail mix. Take all that water out of the ground and let it evaporate, then take more out of the ground and add it to the must? Just to win Gold Medals at wine competitions judged by people suffering with ageusia? Idiot. This the HoseMaster speaking, “PUT THE HOSE DOWN!” We need that water! Thank you.

If you’re the dimwit that rinses his wine glass between every taste, knock it off.
Who the hell taught you to do that? If you’re going to drink it, fine, stay hydrated, that’s important, it keeps the hangover from being nasty. Know what’s better? SPIT! You think rinsing your glass with water makes you look wine knowledgeable, but you’re wrong. It makes you look like a dick. Rinsing your wine glass between tastes is about as smart as brushing your teeth between every kiss. Not the way to impress the people you’re tonguing. Get over it. You cannot tell the difference between the Pinot Noir you’re tasting, and the same Pinot Noir with a milliliter of Chardonnay in it! You can’t even tell it’s 5% Syrah. Stop wasting our precious water on your profoundly stupid habit you think is professional. It’s tap water! You know what they put in that stuff to make it potable? Chlorine and anti-fish milt. Gallons of anti-fish milt. Trust me, once you taste it, you can’t get the flavor of milt out of your mouth. Ask any sperm whale. There’s nothing in tap water you’d ever put in wine and get away with. However, it can add flavor to an awful lot of white wines referred to euphemistically as “crisp.” So there’s that. But just stop rinsing between tastes! You look stupid.

Buy less wine.
If anything can help the current miserable drout conditions, it would be to lower the demand for wine. There’s even talk that the Chinese demand for California wine is, in fact, an evil, government-sponsored conspiracy to worsen the water supply in California and cause the state’s collapse. Every year, more and more vineyards are planted in order to satisfy the demands of wine drinkers all over the world. California fruit growers tear out their orchards and groves and plant vineyards because they can’t compete pricewise with whom? THE CHINESE! Starting to see the big picture now, genius? So by buying less wine, you not only conserve our most precious resource, you’re screwing the Chinese. Now the question is, where do you stop buying wine? Simple. Don’t ever buy wine at gas stations or 7-11’s. Why do I have to even say this? Who buys “Yosemite Road” wine from 7-11? Have you been on a road in Yosemite? Oh, delicious, I detect the meaty flavor of  road kill in my Chardonnay. This will go good with my microwave dog puke I’m having for lunch here. Yes, I know it will be hard to stop buying the wines recommended by the guy in charge of the pumps at the Shell station, but, really, is it that big a deal to swallow your pride, help conserve water during this desperate situation, and follow the reviews of  Tim Fish? Hell, he'll soon be a Fish out of water anyway. Yes, it’s a lot to ask. But the future of our industry relies on everyone buying less wine, and on following the advice of perfect strangers.


Daniel said...

Happy Monday...
"H2OMG" is awesome! Trademark it now and sell it at the next Christian Pop Music festival.

And the thing with the rinsing the glasses...can I just slap that guy (and it's always a guy and his drunk girlfriend)??!?!

thanks for making my brain start working this morning.


Quizicat said...

I have to agree. H2OMG is a winner. And I often did wonder, why rinse your glass? Which is worse, having some of the residue of the last wine or diluting it with water? More wine please.
Actually the best answer to the water problem is to quit building cities in the friggin' desert!

renzo said...

So the prude patrol has convicted you of public potty mouth. In light of the drout, I'm afraid we can't enforce the punishment of washing your tung wit "soap and water". Therefore we'll have the privilege of reveling in further filth. Long live the dirt dishing.
Hail Hosemaster!

The Sommeliere said...

This line cracked me up: "Wearing lipstick to taste wine is like piercing your nipples to get better radio reception."

I never thought of trying that--yet!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I actually had a rather annoying name for the Miracle water, and at the last minute, as I reread the piece before posting, I thought of H2OMG. Yeah, it works.

As for the rinsers, well, one day they wake up and realize the whole team is laughing at them, and they stop. But someone always takes their places. So it goes.

I say close all the golf courses. Who the hell would miss golf? Golfers!? So. They'd go extinct.

Not sure what prude patrol you're talking about, though the wine biz does tend to be rather boring and conservative. My mother used to threaten me with the soap and water--we know how that worked out.

Marlene Darling,
When you do try it, I can tune those things for you.

Thomas said...

Ron, Number one in your list will be easier than anyone might think, since the wine that Treasury dumped was nearer to water than the San Joaquin Valley.

By the way, the radio thing doesn't work. All I get is a recording of Tiny Tim singing Tit 'n' Toe Through the Tulips.

Bob Henry said...


Funny, but every time I drink wine I turn it back into water.

Must have been something I picked up from the Jesuits at Santa Clara.

~~ Bob

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Yeah, it's a shame when they waste perfectly good water on perfectly stupid "wine." And, no, the radio thing doesn't work. However, it's fun to pierce nipples with magnets and walk through the appliance section of Sears.

Remind me never to ask you for a glass of water. And what you picked up from the Jesuits might actually be lice.

Unknown said...

Ron, given my day job your observations are most timely and to the point.

I'm afraid, however, that your H2OMG may come under legal fire from ... I'm not making this up

Beverly Hills 90H2O

One other suggestion, just imagine the savings if we could use a solar array to electocute Laube!

Keep on keepin' on,

Cheers, Dave (yeah, that one again)

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I think I've heard of these morons making 90H20, and their "water sommelier." That guy has to be one of the world's bigger idiots. A water sommelier is sort of like a Vegan steakhouse.

The site reads like an elaborate prank. Like my old Lot18 friends making a splash with their fake machine turning water into great wine in three days. What they really did is turn 40 million bucks into turd, but that's another story.

Thanks for chiming in. Don't be such a stranger, Dave.

Marcia Macomber said...

Yes, the H2OMG is awesome! I like the idea to close the golf courses. (Well, they don't have to close them. They just have to get used to them being brown. What's so difficult about that?!)

"Vegan steakhouse"? Yes, that goes with the whole lot too! Obviously there's no drout of one-liners here.

Wines for the People said...

Hear her! Hear her! "Play it where it lies?" If it lies in the desert, play it in the desert! Why do golfers travel the world to play the same conditions? When in Scotland, play on green turf; when in California (or Dubai), play on the sand. And why haven't the club manufacturers gotten on board? Instead of selling one bag of clubs for "Scottish" conditions, they could sell any number of clubs for various terrains.

Unknown said...

Between the lipstick and the rinsing between pours, I was only half-sure that this was meant as a joke

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marcia Love,
Every time I read about droughts I flash on all the Las Vegas golf courses--and Arizona and Palm Springs and and and... I have no love for golf, but have many friends who do. I take shorter showers, why don't they close half their golf courses?

Wines for the Peeps,
It wouldn't surprise me if there were a sort of Riedel for golfers. I don't know. I think the line about golf, aside from Twain's famous quip, is, how can it be a sport if there's never any running involved?

I'm only ever half-joking. The other half is way too serious.

Charlie Olken said...

How did I miss this? Oh, yeah, I'm on vacation in Arizona where everything is brown except the golf courses.

Re washing glasses between wines: It has always been my philosophy that wine is closer to wine than water.

Unknown said...

Sometimes a piece delights more than others. As a tasting room guy, thanks for lipstick and rinsing guy. H2OMG brought a smile too. Nice blend of humor and genuine unspoken thoughts from a tasting.

Dean Tudor said...

As for drinking wine, we only rent it, for it just gets peed out.

Ron, after "drout", when are you going to take on the Oxford comma????

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Puff Daddy,
Well, I was away in Cambria while you were goofing off in Arizona. Spring training? Let's see, the Dodgers are in first place already! True, it's Australia league rules and you have to run the bases in reverse, but it still counts.

People who rinse glasses between wines are just weird. I don't know how that started, but it's ubiquitous and annoying. They're fine with water between wines, but put ice in their warm red? Horrors! You can't add water to it. Idiots.

Hi John,
Thanks for stopping in. I know you're out there, but you only speak up occasionally. Glad you were delighted. Personally, I was deloused.

Oh, man, the Oxford comma? Who does that any more? Only those who are addlepated or comma-tose.