Thursday, April 23, 2015

EPHEMERA: Poodles and Fires

I’m very relieved. It appears that HoseMaster of Wine™ has not been nominated for a Poodle Award. In fact, I only noticed the nominations were open by accident. I’m not sure anyone cares, it appeared there were far fewer nominations than usual, except those who took the time to nominate their own blog seventeen times. I skimmed the nominations, and was happy to see I wasn’t listed. I don’t want to win another one. I didn’t want to win the first three either. I’d love to win a MacArthur “Genius” grant. I’d be thrilled to be nominated for a James Beard Award, or a Roederer Award, but there’s absolutely zero chance of any of those. I’m more likely to win Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, or Miss Congeniality.

The folks behind the Wine Blog Awards, in their wisdom, eliminated the “Best Writing on a Wine Blog” Category. Their reasoning was that by winning any of the other awards, well, best writing was understood. Morons. I can state without fear of contradiction that nearly all of the “Best Overall Wine Blog” winners, while perhaps deserving of that award, are barely above average writers. What eliminating that category does is diminish the importance of language, the importance of originality and talent. Oh, I suppose they eliminated it for budgetary reasons. You just can’t hand out awards worth absolutely nothing willy-nilly. What are they, made of penury? I won that award the previous two years (so what?), but I will say that the other people that were nominated in that category, all of whom deserved it more than I, are the most talented people nominated, the most original, the most interesting to read. So, yeah, get those people out of here! They’re making us all look bad.

So, once again, I won’t be attending the Wine Bloggers Conference. The keynote speaker this year is Mother Karen MacNeil previewing the second coming of her “Wine Bible.” With any luck, there will be a Poodle Rapture.

I was generously invited to attend a new event in the Sierra Foothills that looks like a pretty cool deal. It’s called Amador Four Fires (not Amador For Fires, which is the prestigious annual convention of pyromaniacs—no wine, but plenty of cocktails, mostly Molotov), and you should check out the website, see if you can attend, too.

There is a lot happening up in Amador County, and it’s been too long since I’ve been there. I love the Zinfandels from Amador, always have. So different than Dry Creek Zin or Paso Robles Zin or Napa Zin. I find the Amador Zins show more high-tones in their aromatics, yet have great richness and power on the palate, a prettiness you don’t get that often elsewhere. The best ones, say from Jeff Runquist or Scott Harvey or Shenandoah Vineyards, can be mesmerizing. I’m hoping to find some new producers as well.

And let’s not forget Barbera! Oh, man, I have a great fondness for Barbera. There’s something about good Barbera that reminds me that what I’m drinking came from the earth. Cabernet, as much as I love it, doesn’t do that for me, nor Pinot Noir. Mostly, they’re too pure, too polished and seductive. Barbera (and maybe old vines Carignane) has that edge, that wildness, that, when it’s right, reminds me just what a miracle wine is, this utterly captivating, intoxicating liquid that grows from the ground. I’ll taste a lot of Barberas.

This looks like a great event. Plenty of Rhône varieties available as well, so I’m going to be one happy taster. They were kind enough to invite me, so consider this a gratuituous and fawning plug. It looks to be a great event, and the price ($75) seems well worth it. If you’re anywhere near Amador on May 2nd, and you love the wines from that underrated region, you should attend. If you see me there, make a point to say Hello. I’m the one wearing the designer hair shirt.


WineKnurd said...

Ron, I nominate you for the "best blog I read while on the toilet" award. I read other blogs while on the throne, but only your free-flowing and smooth delivery gives me that same free-flowing smooth delivery. Some blogs leave me feeling like I should have gotten more out of them but didn't, while others appear to have been written during a bout of intense intestinal cramps. Remember this is just a nomination so don't go posting that you were nominated if you don't win. It's like adding a vintage review to your shelf talker in the absence of a Suckling 98.

Daniel said...

Nothing clears the sinuses like a good Molotov Cocktail.
True Story, in High School I referred to a Molotov Cocktail in a poem I wrote for my creative writing class. My teacher circled the words and wrote "What's this?". This was before the internet so I had to wait and ask my dad when I got home if I had mistakenly made up something. I think his eyes are still 'bout them California educators!

Thomas said...

Ron, I feel left out. The wine blogger gathering this year takes place 30 miles from my home and not even a free drink has been offered to me, let alone a keynote slot.

Oh well, I guess my nonattendance record will remain intact.

Unknown said...

Checked out the poodle noms out of morbid curiousity, all I can say is, wouldn't want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member.. too bad you weren't nominated, if you won again, you could have done a Brando and sent a toy poodle that yaps and pisses on the rug.. what an embarrassing wank fest..

Sybaritewino said...

Check out Bill Easton's Zin if possible.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thank you for that lovely nomination. Coincidentally, I write the blog on the toilet.

Must have been a lovely poem. Limerick?

There once was a cocktail named Molotov,
That's finish would blow all your fingers off...

You finish.

Hell, the first one was ten miles from my house and I didn't go. I've won three Poodles, and had about 11 nominations, and I've never been. You'd think they'd ask the HoseMaster to speak. Nope. This is why the whole thing is stupid. And we have Wark to thank for it.

It's basically a timeshare scheme for Poodle travel. They get you in a room for a few days and try to convince you you're buying into something valuable.

The list of who isn't nominated is pretty impressive. Before I published this Ephemera (and it's completely useless, but I felt like publishing today), I made absolutely sure the nominations were closed. I knew some clown would read this and nominate me.

I am certain that 90% of the nominations are self-nominated, or nominated by family members. It will be hilarious to see who got suckered into judging. I'm hoping Jon Bonné!

I love Bill's Zins. I'm sure I'll taste them. Thanks for the reminder.

Thomas said...

"Hell, the first one was ten miles from my house and I didn't go"

That was the day you blew me recrimination; just remembering.

I dropped in on that first one to meet up with Tom Wark; it was just when they were doing the speed tasting review, which was my cue to get the hell out of there.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Oh, man, I'd forgotten that! That was a long time ago, when HoseMaster was new, and probably more shocking. I think I'm the old satirist now, still cranking out the cranky.

When the hell am I going to retire? Again.

Charlie Olken said...

I did nominate you. They sent it back. Perhaps it was the fact that my letter was printed on toilet tissue and that I tried to bribe them with a bag of kitty litter. I forgot that they were poodle fanciers.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I knew I could count on you.

What struck me was that I hadn't even heard the nominations were open. Granted, I don't read many blogs, but usually there are all kinds of bloggers begging to be nominated and that's how I find out. Not this year. Did Tom Wark even mention it? The Poodles have lost all their momentum, and, apparently, need to be put down.

I went to the nominating site when I found out and was praying I hadn't been mentioned. I'd take down the medallions on my blog, but I find them amusing, and at the same time irritating, which is perfect HoseMaster.

Thomas said...

Come to think of it, I hadn't received the usual email telling of the nomination period, and I hadn't seen one email from a blogger begging for my vote.

I take that to mean that I am finally persona non gratapoodle.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


Joe Roberts said...

The Poodle Rapture was actually predicted by Blondie about 30 years ago:

"And you don't stop, sure shot
Go out to the parking lot
And you get in your car and you drive real far
And you drive all night and then you see a light
And it comes right down and lands on the ground
And out comes a man from Mars
And you try to run but he's got a gun
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head"

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Nice. A Blondie sighting. For a minute I thought you were referring to Dagwood and Blondie, who also predicted a Poodle Rapture in the funny pages in 1954. But the damned dogs are still with us.