Monday, December 10, 2018

Please Give This Christmas, So I Don't Have To

What I dread about Christmas are the gifts. For example, I don’t want a Coravin. Coravins are stupid. Somebody is going to give me a goddam Coravin, I just know it, and I don’t want one. I’ll never use it, and it will sit on my kitchen counter and mock me, much like my wife, who I also don’t want to penetrate with a surgical needle. Well, not again. Coravins are the epitome of wine elitism. You display one just to inform guests that you actually own older, very valuable wine that you’re unlikely to share with them. “Oh,” you say, “damn the luck. I’m out of argon. Guess we’ll have to drink something pedestrian.” If you display a Coravin and don’t use it, it’s a big “Fuck you” to your guest. Wait, maybe I do want one. No, I’m going to wait until Riedel and Coravin get together. Then I can have 12 different Coravins lined up on my counter. “Wait!” I’ll exclaim, “I have to get the Burgundy Coravin to open this fake old bottle of DRC. Jesus, I almost used the German Riesling Coravin by mistake. The La Tâche wouldn’t have tasted as good served by a German Riesling Coravin—surely, you can tell the difference.” Oh, you know it’s coming.

In the holiday spirit, I offer my recommendations for Christmas giving, particularly to me. Over at Tim Atkin's site, I'll point you to three of my favorite wine charities, all of which deserve your support. Please give generously, and in my name.

Merry Christmas to all of my loyal readers, all eleven of you, and to my beloved common taters. If you had asked me six months ago, I'd have said I wouldn't be writing here in December. Yet here I am. I'm very thankful for everything writing this crap has brought to my life--wondrous friendships, surprising and gratifying recognition, and death threats. Thank you. In a twisted kind of way, I hope we're all back here again next Christmas. I may get weary of the publishing grind, but the wine business never runs dry of HoseMaster of Wine™ material.

Merry Christmas!
Ron Washam
HoseMaster of Wine™



Paul in St. Augustine said...

I can't speak for everyone, but I'm pretty sure we all want you here again next year. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and Happy New Year, too.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I didn't think I'd still be here this year! And, go ahead, speak for everyone! I like that you're "pretty sure." That made me laugh. Not absolutely certain, no, but pretty sure. Like "I'm pretty sure I wore a condom..."

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well! Thank you for your long service as a common tater!

Unknown said...

Thanks for making me laugh—again! You had me from the very first paragraph! If you stop writing your column, there will be no laughs in the wine industry.

Unknown said...

Your insight is always appreciated and needed HM.

Tom In Real Life said...

Well now you've done it. You know that they who shall remain unnamed are monitoring you for their next lawsuit. But now you've given them something much worse... a useable idea. Not only will there be one for each wine type and region they will come in 17 colors and 18 different materials including moon rock and baby seal skin. And the said part is someone out there will buy one of each.

Unknown said...

If those clowns dare to sue you, I will attempt to reactivate my license and help out pro bono.

Quizicat said...

I'm giving my unspoken for (four?) dollars to The Human Fund. And I'm not afraid to give you a 100 for this article.

Unknown said...

Come on man, some of us are solo sometimes. I am a great fan of gassing wine. We use a simple blow gun in our tasting room after every pour. My tasting room is conviently 20 steps from my kitchen.
Otherwise I would love a coravin. I often only want one glass with a course. Even pedestrian wine deserves saving. I've never had a budget that allowed many purchases over $10. Fortunately in the world today that includes many beautiful wines.
Just think you could have a single pour of Barefoot for cooking and have the remainder sound when you make the dish again in a month. Or, are you one of those writers who gets wine for nothing and lunch for free!
I do appreciate the humor, there are more than eleven. There is always something to laugh at/ about in the wine world.
Paul Vandenberg
Paradisos del Sol
Because I believe anonymous comments are something to spit on.

WV.AVAs said...

"but sincere" - you always catch me with the throw away inserts

Methinks a certain Mr. Wagner may be deserving of your attention.

Am I from Oregon? Why do you ask?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Common Taters,
I had the end of this year as my finish line for HoseMaster of Wine™, but I'm sure I'll keep plugging away. The major reason I keep at it is all the kind words and encouragement I get from all of you. It's no small thing the support and kindness I get from people in the wine business I admire--like Tim Atkin MW, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Karen MacNeil, Terry Theise (recently), and many others. I was a lousy sommelier, by all accounts, but writing satire has brought me nothing but joy and a small amount of fame. Giving it up will be hard, when the time comes.

Riedel isn't going to threaten a lawsuit again. That didn't go so well for them the last time. Though it certainly made my reputation.

I'm most certainly not a writer who gets free wine. I was recently kicking around the idea of writing about wine again, perhaps seeking out really small producers of wine, spending some time with them, and then writing about their wines as honestly as I could. But that never really goes well, I've found. I'd like to put a HoseMaster spin on it, but that doesn't go well either. And, besides, there are literally hundreds of bloggers writing about wine, only a few of whom know both wine and writing, and almost no one writing wine satire.

I'm very grateful for everyone who reads my work, and doubly grateful for those who take the time to read it and chime in. I write for myself, but it's all of your encouragement that keeps me publishing it. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Funny stuff Ron.. funny my gal and I had a tasting at St Michelle in WA and the wine gal was a total pro with her Coravin.. and at a big tasting place like that it makes sense.. but your home.. what kind of pretentious asshole are you? Finish the damn bottle!!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I'm of the opinion that the Coravin is not as effective as everyone thinks. I certainly wouldn't trust it to keep my older wines, or best wines, safe for months, or even weeks. It may be better than nothing, but it's $300, which ain't nothing. No, thanks. But it gives the illusion that the wine you're serving from it is more valuable, more important, especially in a tasting room.

It's show biz. Another example: Whenever I staged a tasting, I knew that whichever wine I made a big show of decanting would be the wine that sold the most--by a lot. Wasn't the best wine, but by fussing over it, it convinced people it was better than the other wines. Coravins serve the same purpose, especially in tasting rooms.

Merry Christmas, David! Thanks for being such a reliable Common Tater.

Jim Caudill said...

All the best Hose, not just for the season but 'fer cryin out loud, always.

Unknown said...

How about adding AI to the Coravin, with a sultry voice that tells one about the wine and if the wine is oxidized give it a eulogy? HOHOHO! Merry Xmas and HNY, I forward some of your material to friends and get comments like “who is this very funny guy?” Love your posts they always, as Dirty Harry says: “make my day.”


Ron Washam, HMW said...

Big Jim,
Cheers, my friend! Have a happy holiday season, and a great 2019. I'm sure our paths will cross again soon.

Many thanks! And thanks for forwarding my crapola and spreading the HoseMaster gospel. Such as it is.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too!

Marcia Macomber said...

Merry Christmas, Ron! Well, that was the perfect solution for my insomnia. ;-P Dorks Sans Frontieres, huh? Perfectimunto! (Oh, dear, I'm mixing my fake French with fake Italian!)

Ziggy said...

Have a Merry Christ-Mas and a Happy New Year, Hose, and please do not think of quitting.
You are the anti-christ to those bland, dull and boring wine writers. We need the your wit and humor during these times of lying, cover-ups and outright bull$hit.


Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marcia Love,
Merriest of Christmases! And, yes, reading HoseMaster is a miracle cure for insomnia. I'm dozing off as I write thissssss.....


Thank you for the kind words. I think of quitting every single time I sit down in front of the accursed blinking cursor.

It's always seemed odd to me that wine writing is so mediocre when the demand for it is so great. Wine lovers can't get enough of wine. We want to drink it, taste it and read about it constantly. We want to read about it so badly, we read the absolute worst writers working in any field with which I'm familiar. Sports writing is better, by far. And I hate sports writing. Book reviewing is better. Hell, stupid advice columns are better written. Why is that? Most wine writing is dreck, and that's being generous. I used to think that it was because the subject is innately dull. Then I remembered Sturgeon's Law, "90% of everything is crud." In wine writing, it's 98%.

Merry Christmas, Ziggy! Thank you for being such a reliable and thoughtful and funny Common Tater.