Monday, January 18, 2016

What Not to Publish on Your Stupid Wine Blog in 2016

Here we go, a January tradition. This year, pay closer attention...


Ooooh, a new study shows that the alcohol percentage listed on bottles of wine is usually wrong, and more often than not is higher than listed! So the fuck what? You don’t need to chime in and act like this matters to you, or anyone else. “The label says it’s 14.6%, but when we analyzed the wine it was 14.9%!” Listen to me, No One Cares. We talked about this last year! We drink wine for the alcohol, so who cares if what it says on the label is wrong? Pedantic, uptight, anal-retentive jerkoffs, that’s who. Lazy ass “journalists” who can’t think of anything actually interesting to write about. Oh, maybe the label misleads me and I get pulled over by the Highway Patrol and the officer giving me the Breathalyzer doesn’t believe me when I say, “If I’d known the Chardonnay was actually 15.6% ABV instead of 14.9% like the label said, I wouldn’t have had that fourth glass.” Yeah, that could happen. And maybe the officer is a babe who asks you to drop your pants and offers to give you the alternative Fartalyzer test. I took one recently and blew a .12, and all the candles out on a birthday cake. The alcohol percentage on almost every goddam bottle of wine is wrong! There are actual reasons for that, but it isn’t important. Don’t worry about it. Don’t even look at it. Ignore it. People who pick up a bottle of wine and believe the alcohol percentage listed on the label is accurate are the same fools who think wine aerators work. Is that who you want reading your wine blog? Those morons? Don’t write about goddam alcohol percentages. You sound like an idiot, and you don’t know what you’re talking about.


And when some utterly unread and worthless blog publishes a list of The 100 Most Influential Wine Bloggers and your creepy little compendium of masturbatory musings makes the list, have the common sense to ignore it. There are no Influential Wine Bloggers! It’s stupid to think there are. You get 20,000 hits per month and you’re influential? I guess that makes NFL wives influential, then. Or your crack pipe, if you believe that shit. A list like that is like a list of The 100 Most Powerful Homeless People. They’re homeless! How much power can they have? Bloggers are the wine business’ homeless people—always asking for handouts, free alcohol and warm places to sleep, then wondering why no one wants to make eye contact with them. Plus, they smell bad. And you’re #87 on the list! Congratu-fucking-lations! I’d be crowing about that, too, right after I finished bragging about how I got one number right in the PowerBall lottery. Just write your little blog, don’t bother us with how impressed some other loser is with your influence. It’s boring, and it’s unbecoming to someone with so much awesome power!


Here’s another subject to avoid—2016 is the 40th anniversary of the Paris tasting. Great, you can do math! You weren’t there, you’ve never tasted any of the wines that were judged, everything you know about it comes from the movie “Bottle Shock…” Which means you don’t know shit from Sassicaia. Wow, a bunch of French wine experts were fooled! How often does that happen? Every week? Every time Michel Bettane publishes? No one wants to read your thoughts about how that tasting changed the course of history. Basically because you’ll just parrot the same crap that’s been said about the Paris tasting for the last fucking forty years! Did it change the course of California wine? I guess you could say that. I mean, groups of stupid people can change history, look at the OJ Simpson jury and the Hollywood Foreign Press. If it weren’t for the Paris tasting, would there be an Opus One? So, yeah, thanks a lot French judges. It doesn’t matter, just don’t publish anything about the Paris tasting on your wine blog—what the hell can you say about it that matters, or that hasn’t been said better by people with a lot more talent than you have? It was a blind tasting and the California wines did a little better. What does that prove? You know how every idiot says that he and his friends had a tasting of Cabernets and the cheapest wine won? So, like that. It was a bunch of French judges in 1976, a very bad jury of your pères. Let it pass.


And we get it, the three-tier system of wine distribution sucks. Wow, there you go, sticking your neck out with those outside-the-box opinions! Those giant distributors are squeezing out the little guys like so many butt pimples. Which makes it harder for all the smaller, boutique wineries to get representation and distribution. Which means it takes those wineries years to learn that there’s no demand for the mediocre crap they’re making when it used to take only months. That doesn’t seem fair. And it means that you may only have tens of thousands of wines to choose from instead of hundreds of thousands, which matters, even if you always buy the same eight wines most of the time. If you live in a state that doesn’t allow wine shipments—MOVE, asshole! Though if you’re in the state next to Utah, man, you’re going to wish there were more Syrians available.


Do you really feel the need every year to predict wine trends? You’re suddenly wine’s Nostradamus? I predict you’re going to end up with a horse’s head in your bed if you keep it up, and I’m wine’s Cosa Nostradamus. Every fucking blog had the same four stupid predictions. Hey, I know, next year let’s predict the calendar. My prediction? This year, April is going to show up right around late March. You heard it here first. Idiots. You’re barely in the wine business. You write a wine blog, for hump’s sake. Believing your predictions for what’s going to happen in the wine business in the coming year is like believing Ted Cruz is going to be the President of Canada, which would be nice because who the hell cares about Canadians? So resist the urge to predict wine trends. You’re full of shit, you know it, we all know it, and you should just stick to what you do best. Plagiarism.


Eric V. Orange said...

Laughing out loud, Hose.


Charlie Olken said...

If there is anything in life that I love, it is a weekly wine blog.

Did get big laughs at "jury of your peres" although I cannot figure out how to get the accent right, and Ted Cruz as President of Canada--although I do have several Canadian friends and I would not really wish Cruz on them.

Don Clemens said...

This post was just so much fun that I don't know where to begin. So I won't. Absolutely dead on for every topic. I would like to think that I had already shared all these zingers with my friends, but I'm pretty sure that I'm not all THAT clever. Thanks, Ron, for making my week get off to the proper beginning. BTW, it's -10F here in suburban Chicagoland, so I really NEEDED this post for attitude adjustment.

Carl LaFong said...

"And it means that you may only have tens of thousands of wines to choose from instead of hundreds of thousands, which matters, even if you always buy the same eight wines most of the time."

Most the wine in any store is being made from juice from the same gigantic 4200 acre Delicato vineyard, so there's not a dimes worth of difference between most of the Cali wines with cutesy brand names and funny stories on the label. 99 Pedophiles, Toking Loons, 16 Hand Jobs are all pretty much just 1 transvestite wearing different outfits on the shelf. Pick your poison and don't expect it to taste much different than your friends toxin. Unlike Kevin Bacon, with Chris Indelicato there's only about 2 degrees of separation between your favorite plonk and his wallet.

Legless in Burgundy said...

Harsh, but fair. Makes me take a good hard look at myself. And 'm makin' no predictions, except one; the Bordelais will get it all wrong again and waste a golden opportunity. Fuck wits (with too many helipads).

Wine Project Management said...

Gosh and golly Hose...does this mean what I read in The Wine Spectator isn't really all the truth about the wine business? More illusions shattered!

Anonymous said...

I think you just wrote about all the things you're not supposed to write about. Brilliantly meta!

Unknown said...

Jeeze Hoser, as a Canadian we can handle Ted Cruz, we will dispatch him to the back pages of our history books like we did his up here look-alike. Now I can't blame you Yanks for trying to export your better known turds up our way. After all, we managed to foist Celine Dion down your way.............

Unknown said...

Awright you moron, Canada has a Prime Minister not a President and it will serve you right if Ted Cruz becomes you're next President, another thing that Canada inflicted on the U.S. hahahaahah!!! If I could send you some Vancouver Island wines that are so bad I would!!! Unfortunately we can't ship wines across the border without a lot of hassle, so you'll just have to quiver in fear of my sneak attack. And by the way, the NY Times in their last Sat style section declared Canada hip, so there!!! If you want a good laugh.. check out the Canadian Conspiracy on youtube.. a fake doc with the FBI sweating Eugene Levy about how the Canadian gov engineered a conspiracy to take over U.S. entertainment and news with Canadians.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Common Taters,
When I don't feel like coming up with a premise that is actually clever, I fall back on my old standbys. "What Not to Publish..." is a premise I've used for several Januarys now, and I find that it is quite satisfying to just let rip a full-blown rant. Though, to be truthful, I'm not especially proud of the whole thing, but I've got 50 pieces a year to be funny--they can't all be classics. I'm lucky if one is.

I am heartened that lately everyone seems to be of the opinion wine blogs are dying. Tom Wark went from declaring this the Golden Age of Wine Writing a couple of years ago, an age where consumers will turn their backs on established wine critics and get their advice from wine blogs, to recently writing that wine blogs may have died and he wasn't invited to the funeral. Well, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds and all. But it's always nice to be so wrong, and have the God-given ability to forget.

Oh, now I'm just babbling.

Amy, you got it. Brava!

Thanks, everyone, for the kind words. Now that wine blogs are officially dead, I'm energized. I like to think I'm the prime suspect in their murder.

Jet Fuel said...

Another brilliant piece!

Like when I walked into a coffee shop and ordered a cup. The waitress asked how I like it. I said, "I like my coffee like my women, but I don't imagine you have any 12-year old coffee do you...?" I don't guess that joke would work for wine....too bad. Maybe you can figure out some way to apply to the blog writers and self proclaimed 'critics'. Cheers!

Unknown said...

You didn't include my favorite topic, wine blogs about something another wine blogger said about wine blogging

Unknown said...

Oooooh! I would be very surprised if you drink and like 14.9 ABV + wines. Therefore I am assuming this is your usual satire. However if you do I'm guessing you fill your Riedel stemware to the rim. And if you do drink that syrup and fill your glass to the room that's OK...

Lord High Steward

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
You forgot my favorite too, those asinine and utterly wrong/cartoonish wine and snack food,, cookie, cereal or junk food pairings. Got in my first Twitter fight about that stupidity just the other day...I'm so proud. I don't care if people drink wine with their KitKat bars, let's just not muck up our credibility by inferring that there is a perfect wine match for it. Funny part is I keep getting accused of being snooty for mocking the "pairings" when I believe that the fact that you insist on pairing wine with ALL your foods if the epitome of snobbery. I did ask the "influential" wine blogger if they had actually tried any of the pairings she was suggesting, strangely enough, she has yet to get back to me. Shocker.

I don't mind the prediction lists, just wish they would do one at the end of the year letting us know how many they got right....but I guess that requires integrity and we are talking about people that write up pretty much anything in order to get free shit so, well I guess we get what we pay for.

You've given me lots to chew on here Love, my blog needs a little mouth to mouth so I'll take all the advice I can get!
I love you!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,
I have my favorite annoying wine blogger topics, you and Gabe have yours.

Pairing wine with junk food, or movies, or music, or poems, is classic wine blog masturbatory practice. Oh, they always say, it's just meant to be fun! For whom? For the one jerking off, yeah, for everyone else, it's embarrassing. The opposite of taking wine too seriously is NOT treating wine like a party game. It's not journalism, it's not helpful, it's not even funny or entertaining. Stupid is just that. Stupid. I'd no more try to match wine with Reese's pieces than I'd try to ask for ketchup at Slanted Door. Idiots.

We all hope you finally decide to take up writing again, Samantha. It's discouraging that you don't. Tempus fugit. So, fug it, just start writing. Start with your Twitter war. Start with your busted leg trials. Start with Champagne and Necco wafers. Just start.

Thomas said...

This entry made me spit my peanut brittle and Chateau Rayas all over the keyboard.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Were you laughing, or just spitting contemptuously?

And peanut brittle is better with Long Island Riesling. Rayas goes with donut holes.

Thomas said...

"Were you laughing, or just spitting contemptuously?"


Winebroad said...

Thanks for the hearty cackle, Ron. Good fun all around!

enobytes said...

You are da bomb, love you man.

Tom Riley said...

Now what the hell am I going to write about? Damn it!

For the record, I had at least two Powerball numbers on three tickets.



ps Looking forward to saying hello in person at Meadowood. Thanks for the painfully accurate laughs!

Bob Henry said...


Were you thinking:

"If there is anything in life that I love, it is a WEAKly wine blog."


"... consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." You left off the all-important "foolish" part.


William Safire in his New York Times "On Language" column was famous for tallying up at year's end how many of his predictions he got right and wrong. More recently, Dan Neil (automotive reviewer for The Wall Street Journal) continues that tradition:

Bob Henry said...

As four me, I have whey two many comment misteaks too chronicle.

Hence my middle "pen name": ERRATUM.

Anonymous said...

Damn it is right, Tom. I may as well chuck my latest Vivino "Predictions for 2016" article.

Unknown said...

Where can I get a bumper sticker that says "You don't know shit from Sassicaia"? That one I would buy.

Tom said...

"Tom Wark went from declaring this the Golden Age of Wine Writing a couple of years ago, an age where consumers will turn their backs on established wine critics and get their advice from wine blogs, to recently writing that wine blogs may have died and he wasn't invited to the funeral."

God damn it, Hosey!!! You've misquoted me again. I NEVER capitalized "Wine Writing". Furthermore, I WAS invited to the funeral. Just look at my readership stats!!!!

I have a mind to sue you for....for....well, fuck!!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Tina and Pam,
Ah, shucks, thank you! I'm just a lonely ol' recovering sommelier with nothing better to do than hurl turds at the public. Funny thing is, they like it.

Smooch to you both!

Yup, I'll see you at Meadowood. Prepare to be wildly disappointed. Though I am trying to get my eyebrows as bushy as Hugh Johnson's.

Mistakes are what wine blogs are all about! You need your own. I'm thinking the name could be "Bob-o-Links." OK, that was stupid.

It's hard to be wrong about predictions like "Large distributors are going to keep gobbling up smaller ones and control more of the business." You could have written that every year for the past 20 and been right. It's like predicting, "Once again, pigs won't fly in 2016." Brilliant.

A newbie! Yes, please, scrap your predictions for 2016. Or be bold and say something interesting. Nah, that never works.

Thanks for being a common tater. Become a regular!

I'm pretty fond of that myself, and I made it up! And, man, there are a lot of wine bloggers who don't know shit from Sassicaia.

So the corpse gets an invite to the funeral? I'll expect mine soon. And, besides, that's what you get for looking at your stats. Who does that? No one. You just lie about your stats. All the kids are doing it. It's the new dick size! Look at me, I finally have more readers than inches.

Five readers.

David Larsen said...

The measure of this blog is all the funny comments generated by your common taters. Mondays are better because of your blog Hose. Thanks for today's chuckles.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Hosemaster, Sir! Much appreciated your voicing what most of the Common Taters here have been thinking. Thank you.


Ron Washam, HMW said...

I think I've always had the best common taters in the wine blog world. Which is a low bar to get over, but true nevertheless. Maybe your Mondays are better, mine are sort of weird.

Anonymous 1,
Yeah, I am almost always just preachin' to the choir. The folks I wish would read this sort of rant are too busy checking their Instagram accounts and reading Wine Folly for wine education. Sad. But, then again, somebody's got to do this.

Bob Henry said...

Worth reading (the book review and the book) . . .

Excerpt from Fortune Magazine
(February 6, 2006, Page 44)

“Ditch the 'Experts';
Grading pundits and prognosticators: More famous = less accurate.”


By Geoffrey Colvin
“Value Driven” Columnist

You have been a world-class sap for years. Why? For listening to the economic and political forecasts of experts. We in the media have been irresponsible fools for reporting those forecasts. And the experts themselves? Delusional egomaniacs -- and maybe even con artists.

I didn't always think this way. But I've been reading a book that marshals powerful evidence to make this case. For all of us in the world of business, economics, and capital markets -- a world that often turns on the judgments of experts -- the question is whether we're brave enough to face these uncomfortable facts.

The book is "Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?" by Philip E. Tetlock, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. ...

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for what needed to be said...and i love all of the DAILY wine blogs that don't publish for weeks and when they finally do, you missed the by-gone days before the update..i always get a laugh when i click on here and often when i need it most.. thanks for being a sarcastic voice of reason......

WineKnurd said...

Ron I have to disagree with you on the label abv being meaningless. You say that number means nothing, but I find the greater the value, the more handsome and intelligent I become. Oh and hilarious. That is a direct correlation and therefore science. And you know you can't argue with science. Or with your wife. Or with Samantha, especially after 2 glasses of 15% CdP.


Joe Roberts said...

I'm trying to think of one wine prediction that actually came to fruition...


Still thinking.....

Thomas said...


Technically, wine is fruition.

Joe Roberts said...

Thomas - well played, sir!

Unknown said...

The 'Wine Advocate' endorsement of this 'Ho' was the Kiss Of Death! Ho's now been relegated to the sameness of all other offerings that've been 'Parkerized': i.e, too forward, too aggressive, intentionally flaunting accepted good taste to prove his (delusions of) greatness, screaming loudly -when indoor decibels would suffice, quite fruity, needlessly dense, inconsistent in delivery, and with a finish longer, and more high-pitched, than a Rand Paul/Bernie Sanders rant. And, anyway, impossible to find. But Ho prolly anticipated that and it wouldn't be a surprise if he was selling Amway on the side.

(OOPS! Need to apologize for sounding so mean. About...Amway. They're OK, my bad.)