Monday, June 9, 2014

Announcing the HoseMaster of Wine™ International Wine Competition!

Dear Winery Owner,

I know you’re excited to receive this invitation to enter your wines in the First Annual HoseMaster of Wine™ International Wine Competition. My competition is unique, and one in which you’ll certainly want to participate. I’d like to take a brief bit of your time to explain how the competition works, and how it will benefit your obviously desperate winery.

I know that there are countless wine competitions competing for your entry money. Don’t be fooled by them. They are all the same. The same judges just in different venues. It’s like Dog Shows—they get the same judges who know how to fondle balls and pick winners, and they fly them around the country to reproduce the same results. Only, they don’t produce the same results! Why? They just don’t care. Sure, there are critics of wine competitions who say that their palates aren’t as good as advertised, that they’re incapable of judging the same wine the same way every time they taste it, but this isn’t true. In actuality, they just don’t care to give the same results every time; in fact, they try not to. And, frankly, it would be stupid if they did. Look, even if you love someone, not every sexual encounter with that person is a Gold Medal performance, even though they’re the same person with their same genitalia and you’re tasting them blind in front of volunteers. Well, that’s how I do it. Every so often, after the sex is finished, you’re forced to say, “Sorry, Honey, that was a Bronze.” And, frankly, I’m pretty happy to get a Bronze. Often I’m sent back for obvious defects, mostly sulfur issues.

But what if there were a wine competition that didn’t use the same judges as every other wine competition? Know how you keep getting crappy medals for your exorbitant entry fees? It’s not your wine! You know that. You make one of the best wines imaginable, given your crappy grape source and lack of knowledge about the most basic chemistry.  It’s those same fifty judges that judge in every goddam wine competition, it’s their fault. Hell, most of them don’t even have real jobs. They have a bio. Oh, yeah, they have a bio. It’s pretty inflated, and they’re having a good time with it. Son of a gun, gonna have big fun, with the bio. Mostly, these judges are the wine business version of vampires. Hold a mirror up to them, and, guess what, there’s nothing to see.

My wine competition is different. I’m the only judge. I think you’ll agree that this is the perfect scenario.

For the competition, I’m putting the judge up at a very fancy hotel, not one of the fleabags judges are usually assigned. At most wine competitions, the worst thing a judge smells is the carpet in his room. Not mine. My judge is pampered, and I think he deserves it. Just read his bio.

Other wine competitions rely on volunteers to serve the wines and clean the glasses, do all the work, keep the competition running smoothly—and those volunteers work for--wait for it--already open bottles of wine! Yes, you read that right. How stupid is that? It’s like working a fashion show for the used panties. No, wait, I’d do that. It’s like working “Biggest Losers” for free for the contestants’ old clothes. It’s one gigantic waist. My competition will have paid “volunteers.” Hooters girls! Everybody’s wine tastes better served by a Hooters girl! I’m guessing there may be a record number of Double Golds, and some might be for the wines. As a winery, you’ll benefit from a judge in a very good mood. Trust me, wine judging volunteers at other competitions, well, let’s just say they give the wines a flabby impression. Perky is better.

Judges in wine competitions get paid very little money for their work. Most wine competitions award their judges a modest “Honorarium.” Basically, a wine competition Honorarium is the equivalent of giving money to a homeless person. You want him to be impressed and grateful, but it’s really just chump change on your part. There are even wine competitions that don’t pay the judges anything! So, for example, when you enter your wine in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, a competition sponsored by the newspaper that employs Jon Bonné anyway, every red cent, minus hotels and travel expenses, goes into the competition’s pocket! Do you want your wine judged by uncompensated, surly, penniless wine judges? Hell, might as well just take it to your local wine shop and have the owner judge it—he’s in the same shoes. Don’t enter those competitions. It can’t be good for you, or your wine. I guarantee you that every last dime of your entry fee for the HoseMaster of Wine™ International Wine Competition goes directly into the pocket of our award-winning, internationally respected judge. You have my word.

And let’s face it, you’re hungry for a medal, preferably a gold one, for your really rather pedestrian wine. And it won’t be long before a Gold Medal from the HoseMaster of Wine™ International Wine Competition will be worth its weight in Moscato. But you can’t get a Gold Medal unless you enter! And now’s your chance to get in on the ground floor of what is destined to become the pre-eminent wine competition in the world. Plus, unlike other wine competitions, the more often you enter, the more HoseMaster Points® you’ll accumulate. Points you can later redeem for guaranteed Gold Medals! Yes, it’s innovative, and, yes, it’s way overdue. The more wines you enter, the more HoseMaster Points® you’ll earn! In just a few years, pick a wine, and your Gold Medal is guaranteed! OK, it’s maybe not so innovative, lots of wine competitions basically do this, but admitting it is innovative. You’ll give me that.

As Sponsor and Chief Judge of the HoseMaster of Wine™ International Wine Competition, I can promise that your wine will be carefully evaluated and awarded an appropriate medal. If you do not receive a medal, rest assured your check bounced. Briefly here are the criteria for each medal, the same criteria most competitions honor:

BRONZE: A wine that has the appropriate varietal aroma, and also smells of entry money.

SILVER: I was gonna say Gold, but no one else did.

GOLD: Better than the other crap in this competition.

DOUBLE GOLD: Now can we go home?

I think you’ll agree that entering the HoseMaster of Wine™ International Wine Competition is the best entry fee you’ll ever throw away. Please remember to fill out the forms carefully, and note that you’ll need to submit five bottles of each wine entered. Two for the competition, and the other three for the awesome party the judges are having with the Hooters girls.


WineKnurd said...

Ron you should sell out and start awarding Platinum.


Nicolas said...


We will provide you with ample amount of wine and are willing to provide additional hallucinogens to guarantee a triple gold that I will personally carry around my neck to keep inflating my ego.

You are the best

Bob Henry said...


How many points on the Million Point Scale™ are exchanged for payola payments . . . oops, 'cuse me . . . "entry fees"?

~~ Bob

The Sommeliere said...

"Every so often, after the sex is finished, you’re forced to say, “Sorry, Honey, that was a Bronze.” And, frankly, I’m pretty happy to get a Bronze." No, Ron, it was a Silver!

(After my first experience as a judge, tasting THREE HUNDRED FREAKING MERLOTS over three days, all I wanted was a beer. It took me five years to drink a blend with even a little Merlot in it.)

Marcia Macomber said...

Ha! Ha! I wondered when we'd see a post with this theme... And I did expect you'd give out points on the MPS instead of medals too!

Now how can we combine a wine competition with Olympic events? Can wines compete in compulsory and freestyle exercises for points? (Show me a cab that can do a triple-toe loop!) Could we have some play-by-play action from the judging stands? ("Well, Bob, the aromas seem to be off to a slow start." "I don't know, Bill, I may have to take a few points off for the obvious VA in the nose...") I cite the master from another industry:

Keep 'em coming, O Mighty HoseMaster!

Unknown said...

I just got a new computer, so I can break through your fancy comment matrix. And just in time! I've got a five-spot for the Hosemaster and a 12-pack of PBR for the Sommelliere. Customers can't resist gold-medal riesling!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot about Platinum. Or maybe Titanium is even better. "Our Sparkling Catawba got a Titanium at the Kansas International Wine Competition and Hoedown." Well, there's always the Second Annual HoseMaster Invitational. Thanks, Wineknurd, nice to see you.

Fantastic. In return, as an Introductory Offer, I'm awarding you 10 complimentary HoseMaster Points®! You're welcome. 990 more and you get a free car wash.

I'm far from the best, but thank you.

Dollar point is fair, don't you think? Far lower than many of my competitors.

Marlene Darling,
Just what I love, an easy judge. How about double or nothing on the next try?

Yeah, judging can certainly put you off a variety. Though I think I hate judging dessert wines more than anything. Wow, is that a brutal and undistinguished category. Dessert Merlots might be the only thing worse.

Marcia Love,
Sorry, no play-by-play when I'm the only judge. I talk to myself enough as it is. And I tried to keep the Million Point Scale out of this. It's confusing enough as it is.

Welcome back, common tater! Congrats on the newfangled Intergnats-mobile. I'll expect you around here more regularly. Stay the hell off STEVE! Are you nuts?

A five-spot? That barely gets you a Bronze. In fact, it gets you the coveted Pyrite Medal. Congrats!

Samantha Dugan said...

Okay, that "son of a gun gonna have big fun on the bio" that one made me cringe, then snort. But seeing as I didn't snot myself I'm going to have to give it a silver+.

This was too much fun to read Love and reading the "sent back for sulfur issues" comment, well that made me miss you so. I love you!

Charlie Olken said...

Finally a wine competition I might be willing to judge and I don't get invited.

Oh well, I might fall asleep in my food after all those dessert Merlots.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,
Well, this was something of a throwaway piece. Though that's true of almost everything on HoseMaster. It's slapdash, and not particularly insightful, but, hey, 90% of everything is crapola, even crapola.

I'd venture to say this never makes Best of HoseMaster.

But I love you for reading all the way through.

I have a steadfast rule never to judge at a competition that would invite me to judge. I demand higher standards. And dessert Merlot is the next big thing, I predict. I know one of the better Napa producers is making one fortified with tequila. It's called Duckhornitas.

Unknown said...

Well, Stevie is blogging every day, and his comment section doesn't require a blood-sample. But if a fiver won't get me a gold-medal, how about some Grand Cru Burgundy magnums I bought at a Rudy K yard sale?

Bob Henry said...


Sounds more like Goad Medals.

~~ Bob

Unknown said...

Ron--In the future you should do the judging with Lo High Q. The only wines to get awards would be those in which the 2 of you agree. That should reduce the awards to a manageable few. Bob Millman

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My comment section is set up to discourage spam. It clearly isn't working. It's also something of an intelligence test. Damn, also not working. I quit.

Grand Cru Burgundy magnums from Rudy are perfect. Are those the one with screwtops for easy refills? I love those. Thanks!

It seems a bit contradictory to give Gold Medals to wines with Lo scores. But you're right, I should include my crazy intern, if only to see her taste 100 wines without spitting. That's when the fun would begin.

Alfonso Cevola said...

Did Dan Berger approve this blog post?