Monday, March 9, 2015

The Supreme Court of Wine Rules

The Supreme Court of Wine ruled on some important issues this week. Arguments before the distinguished Justices were animated and contentious, but Chief Justice Parker continued to exert his unprecedented power over the other Justices. There has been much speculation that Chief Justice Parker may be stepping down soon, but in a written statement, Parker wrote, “I won’t be stepping down until I’m dead, and even then it’s not a sure thing. I may continue to review wines after I’m dead. Hell, Laube’s doing it, why not me?” Parker has been Chief Justice since 1982, when he was unanimously self-appointed.

Here are the most important rulings to come from the Parker Court in 2015:

In the case of Consumers vs. Bordeaux En Primeur, the Court ruled 7-1 against Bordeaux. Chief Justice Parker wrote for the majority, “I’ve ruled in favor of Bordeaux 37 goddam years in a row. I made those clowns, and in the twilight of my career, I intend to break them. I tasted so many doctored wines out of barrel over the years I should get an honorary M.D. Buying wine futures based on a barrel tasting of Bordeaux is like buying a Thoroughbred based on sniffing the horseshit. It might tell you something, but mostly it tells you you’re one step removed from an asshole. The En Primeur system is broken. Buying wine En Primeur is like paying for an expensive hooker and getting a blowup doll instead. The inflation kills you. Only an idiot would participate in this old Bordeaux sham. So I’m sending Justice Neal Martin in my place.” The lone dissenter, Justice Perrotti-Brown wrote, “I’m in charge now, why isn’t anyone listening to me? I’m the only M.W. on this Court. Shouldn’t you all be bowing to me? I’m a Master of Wine, dammit, my opinions are indisputable. I wasted the best years of my life studying for those letters after my name. Listen to me! Since when do we favor the consumers? ‘Wine Advocate’ is just a figure of speech, like blind tasting—no one really believes it. In my view we should send our top talent to judge the 2014 Bordeaux out of barrel. Who’s going to buy expensive red wine based on numbers from Justice Martin? We owe it to the Bordeaux producers to promote their outdated system. After all, they certainly promote our outdated system.”

The Supreme Court of Wine’s ruling will have a significant effect on the Bordeaux market, although much depends on how well the decision is translated into Chinese.

In the case of Galloni vs. Larner, the Court ruled 7-1 in favor of Larner. Writing for the majority, Justice Squires said, “Listen, that pretty boy Galloni had to go. We all knew that. He just showed up here one day, years after I’d steadfastly been the head janitor in the chat room, doing the thankless job of cleaning up after that sausage fest, what a Macy’s Parade of hot air wine balloons that gig is, and he gets all the plum jobs—Italy and California—while I’m tasting stinking Portuguese wines. Yeah, Portuguese, like that’s where all the glory’s at. Well, he can kiss my low-hanging Baga and floss with the hairs. If you ask me, it was always a setup so he could make enough dough to buy Tanzer. Oh yeah, all the critics say they can’t be bought, what does that tell you? We’ve got Justice Larner now and she knows Italian wine like a horny pig knows truffles. Did I mention I’m a lawyer?” The only dissenting vote was Justice Larner, who wrote, “For the love of God, help me.”

In the case of Singapore vs. Return on Investment, the Court ruled that Return on Investment had no standing. Chief Justice Parker wrote, “I’m not sure how they expect to make that money back, but that’s not my problem. I’ve already blown that money on foie gras and cases of Just for Men® for this half-ass beard. Justice Perrotti-Brown has to worry about it, but this Court rules that she also has no standing—she’s sitting on her ass like the rest of us. Hahahahahaha. I don’t know how Singapore intends to win with this set of second stringers sitting next to me. We’re now the damned Oakland A’s of wine, and I’m Billy Bean-o, trying to keep this place from smelling like Natural Wine. It used to be Schildknecht and Galloni, a helluva lineup, now it’s Dunnuck and whoever that guy in Spain is, Pancho Something-or-Other. Campo, Pancho Campo. No, that’s not right. Whatever. Who are these guys? Not that it matters, I’m cutting back. I’ve got my little nest egg, and my stellar reputation as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Wine, the most powerful man in the wine world, so all I have to do now is have these occasional meetings and pretend the other Justices matter. Which no one believes, of course, but Singapore held up their end of the deal, so the least I can do is pretend I’m handing my empire over the ’27 Yankees instead of the ’62 Mets.” Justice Perrotti-Brown issued a second opinion, writing, “As the sole M.W. on this esteemed Court, why is it no one cares what I say? I know more about wine than the rest of this Court combined. I’m the smart one. Well, yeah, OK, I see it now. However, the Singapore investors are entitled to a return on their investment, though it’s becoming more and more unlikely. But I’ve got ideas. And not just that glossy ‘100 Points’ magazine. No, I have a lot of moneymaking ideas. What about glassware? There’s money in glassware. The Chief Justice Parker Bordeaux Wine Glass Collection—whatever you do, don’t drink out of the 89 glass, the wine will smell like failure. How about lunch food? Come on, lunch food is a huge deal. What wine lover doesn’t want to have a Perrotti-Brown and Jelly sandwich for lunch? I’m thinking Action Figures! Kinda like G.I. Joe. We can call it Upper G.I. Joes. Collect the whole set! Parker, Dunnuck, Martin, Gutierrez, Larner, Perrotti-Brown, Reinhardt, Squires--well, we won't make a lot of Squires. We'll make a killing! But remember, 'Scores sold separately.'”


Eric V. Orange said...

Drive by.


Thomas said...

My two favorites:

"Did I mention I'm a lawyer?"


"Upper G.I. Joes."

Blaise said...

This is a good one, Hose.

Robert Millman said...

"scores sold separately" may be the best ever,

Anonymous said...


You are the Colbert Report of the wine industry.

I strive to one day being satirized on your site.


Charlie Olken said...

Ah, yes, a good, old-fashioned spoof. I agree with R. Millman. "Scores sold separately" was a very cool line.

Don Carter said...

What a brilliant idea. The unanimously self-appointed Chief Justice ... The inflation kills you ... the decision is translated into Chinese ... Did I mention I'm a lawyer? ... all the critics say they can't be bought ... (and the topper) 'Scores sold separately' Pure comic genius.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Common Taters,
I saw the photograph of Parker's press conference with the entire WA team held in London, and immediately my twisted mind thought of the Supreme Court of Wine. From there it was easy. Parker is much like a Chief Justice. His reign over wine has lasted 30 years. He often seems to have been appointed for life. And his rulings are endlessly dissected and talked about, criticized by those powerless to change them. Like any good comic premise, it works on a bunch of levels.

That said, this was almost a throwaway piece. Well, like everything I write.

Fernando said...

The thing about writing good satire is one must have an intimate knowledge of the subject and/or those being satirized. Ron, my darling -- and btw, did I mention you rook mahbelous? -- you are the Firefall of wine! I love you.



Divine Miss M said...

Don't you think the Supremes should wear uniforms? They look fairly motley.

Bill Klapp said...

Fine stuff, Ronaldo.

However, witnessing the lengths that Dunnuck will go to to BECOME his idol is scary, and frankly, psychologically unhealthy. It was one thing to create the Rhone Report to give Rhone and Rhone-inspired wines exactly the same absurdly high scores that Parker did. It allowed Dunnuck to become Parker's Mini-Me, thus achieving his dream. Copying the scruffy beard look is even worse. And starting to train the comb-over while sporting a full head of hair, and not yet knowing whether male-pattern baldness will be a future problem, is simply too much. What will be next...elective hip-replacement surgery? :)

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Bill,
Great to hear from you. It's been my experience in just about every field I've worked in that a boss inevitably hires someone a lot like himself for the important jobs, and especially the job to replace himself. Which is why Galloni was never going to do--too smarmy. Jeb is his guy. Jeb also writes EXACTLY in Parker's voice--it's eerie. I'm guessing the French will soon award Jeb some kind of worthless medal.