Monday, June 4, 2018

A Visit to the Napa Valley Old Wine Critics Home

“You want to know what really drives me nuts?” Sam Euthanasia, World’s Oldest Wine Critic, tells me, “The whole place smells like pee. It’s like spending the day judging goddam supermarket New Zealand sauvignon blanc. And if I wanted to smell Band-Aid, I’d buy wines Neal Martin recommended. I’m old, but I can still smell, for Christ’s sake. I can’t remember what it is I’m smelling, but I can smell it. I’m turning into Laube.”

A peek into the future, and a visit to the Napa Valley Old Wine Critics Home. My old friend Sam Euthanasia gives me some insight into what it's like at the rest home for iconic wine critics. As ever, use the link to read the rest of the piece over at Tim Atkin's site. And, as ever, please feel free to leave a response, a comment, a fond wish that I'd finally really retire. Every little bit helps. Or, of course, your comments are welcome here. Perhaps one day you'll be eligible for the Sonoma County Old Common Taters Home.



Clare Tooley said...

Well, unsurprisingly, I'm a 100 pts on this one. Exceptional piece. Exceptionally uncomfortable. Exceptionally funny. It has made me queasy - it really is that good. Thank you Ron, it has been a while - but this is so well worth the wait. C x

Charlie Olken said...

Having happily joined the ranks of the unemployed now that Steve Eliot allowed me to gracefully exit the stage while he keeps old CGCW going, I was happy to learn that there will be a place for me in a few years. But, I wonder, what do I do for now?

Oh wait, I keep tasting. For fun, of course, because it is what I do other than watch baseball and the Warriors. Hell, I might even drive up to Napa or Sonoma and not even bother to announce myself. Just drink a little for the hell of it.

I have been thinking of going to France or Argentina this summer. They don't know I am more or less retired so I might get one of those old-fashioned welcomes that comes with a walk through the winery (yes, folks, it looks like a winery), lunch and a nice gift on the way out. Sometimes it is another of those crappy corkscrews or a cap, but occasionally someone will send me on my way with a decent bottle of wine. They know that all writers like themselves some good swag.

I wonder what swag we will get in the Old Wine Critics Home? Probably a monogrammed bed pan.

Charlie Olken said...

Oh, and by the way, I am with Clare on the rating for this piece. You have earned you 100 points for such a nice, easy, clear read. Have you thought about taking about blogging again?

PaulG said...

Love this: "we only really care about the number they come up with. Of course, the difference is, if a weatherman’s numbers are way off, we stop listening to him. When a wine critic’s numbers are wrong, we quote him in our marketing material." Not only funny, but absolutely true! Rock on Ron!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Many thanks for the kind words. The entire idea stemmed from a random comment I made to Tim Atkin on Twitter. Suddenly, it became an entire piece. Tim did change one joke from fear of yet another Riedelesque libel suit, but I expected him to. Anyhow, I'm glad it got the response from you it did. Satire is aimed at expressing the discomfort of truth. The jokes just make it go down easier.

Puff Daddy,
I like the monogrammed bedpan idea! I think I can get Constellation to kick in for those. Enjoy your retirement, but stay in touch! And, no, I am not going back to blogging fulltime--though I keep getting requests for pieces from lots of others besides Tim. I guess people love satire. As long as they're not the butt of the jokes.

In fact, I put your name in the piece hoping I'd hear from you here. It's been a while. Thanks for falling for it, Charlie!

Thanks! This was a very challenging piece to write, for no apparent reason. It could have been twice as long. I may have to revisit Sam Euthanasia again soon. Though, damn, the Old Wine Critics Home, smells like 85.