Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Emperor of Wine Donald Trump Wins Best Wine Ever Made at San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition!

OK, let me just say this. I’m very proud to announce that my Trump 2014 Blanc de Blanc was named the Greatest Sparkling Wine Ever Made by the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Ever made! That includes Donald Perignon and Vulva Clicquot, a bottle I grabbed last night because I can. This fantastic sparkling wine carries on a proud Trump tradition—it will certainly sell out.

In a previous life, I was a judge at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. It's been several years since I last participated. At the 2019 judging, held a few weeks ago in Sonoma County, the Trump Blanc de Blanc was judged the Sweepstakes Winner for Best Sparkling Wine. I had schadenfreude so bad I had to have the smirk surgically removed from my face.

The result gave me the excuse to drag out the old Trump voice once again in service of lampooning the annoying institution of wine competitions. I'm as guilty as every other wine writer in giving a free pass to what a mockery of wine evaluation wine competitions are. We all probably share the same reason for ignoring their many flaws and hypocrisies--we love being invited to judge! After publication of this piece, those days may be over for me.

To read the rest of POTUS' (Prevaricator of the United States) victory speech you'll have to jump to Tim Atkin's site. You're always welcome to leave your thoughts, reactions, criticisms or car keys there. Or, if you prefer, you may, of course, leave your comments here--that is, if you can make it past the wall.



Unknown said...

One of your best, Hosey. A delicious blend of satire and insight.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Ah, well, I try. I couldn't resist the Trump result at the recent SF Chronicle Competition. I know a lot of the judges, and I've asked quite a few about it. As it turns out, not one of them voted for it! Amazing. Just like Trump, the Blanc de Blanc apparently won without a majority.

Now there's your satire.

Wine-One-One said...

Hey Ron I was there when the wine was unveiled. If you could hear the Boos it was laughable. Many said let's vote again.
Blind tastings mean blind tastings. We only look at quality and do our best with Sensory Evaluation. You can bet and know that Trump had no input on how that wine would taste. He didn't do the hard work as so many winemakers do when they enter a wine Comp. like the SF Chronicle.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

So did you vote for the Trump wine or not?

When the results of the SF Chronicle competition were announced, I received a LOT of emails about it. It's automatically funny when Trump wins anything, so folks decided the HoseMaster should write about it, I guess. I've judged in dozens and dozens of major, and minor, wine competitions, so I know how it works. And I know Trump had nothing to do with the making of his eponymous wine--he doesn't drink, for one thing. Nor have I tasted the winning wine, though I'm pretty sure the same people who judge sparkling wines at every stupid SF Chronicle tasting also judged these wines, so I have a pretty good idea of how it tastes. Unremarkable. At best. Though presumably better than the rest of the absolute sparkling swill that was entered.

My piece isn't about the Trump wine winning a big medal. It's about the competition itself, and maybe all wine competitions. The competition is designed to reward mediocrity, which it does with tremendous success. From 3-person panels that guarantee lots of Gold Medals, to too many very under-qualified judges (don't get me started on some of my SF Chronicle judging stories), to not paying judges (Is there another competition in the world that doesn't pay judges a flat nickel? Most give honorariums of a few hundred bucks, and they have far fewer entries and, so, far less money. Now tell me that doesn't diminish the judges.), it's mediocrity that will inevitably float to the top.

Trump's win was an excuse to lampoon wine competitions, and to get to use his comic voice as an added bonus. The real pity is the backing of the San Francisco Chronicle which gives the competition a legitimacy it doesn't deserve in the least.

I hope I get invited to judge next year!

Marcia Macomber said...

Oh, my, that was greatly! Do the Trump pieces write themselves? Of course, the great irony is that the masses have no idea he doesn't really have anything to do with the wine with his name on it AND he's a teetotaler.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marcia Love,
I wish the pieces wrote themselves. Maybe they sound that way, but I actually have to do the time.

If I only ate junk food, I'd be a teetotaler too.

And, as yet another aside, I sure as hell wouldn't want to be the poor sucker who has to pour Trump wine at the Chronicle public tasting in San Francisco! Yikes. That's hazardous duty. Pouring hazardous doody.

Unknown said...

My first thought was, " is that actually the wine they sell". Perhaps an insult to the folks at the winery. I hope they understand my skepticism of anything involving the name Trump. My apologies to those named Trump before the Drumpfs became Trumps.
I do know that the wine entered in competitions and sent to critics is often a different batch than on the store shelf.
Paul Vandenberg
Because I don't believe in anonymous letters
Paradisos del Sol
Proudly never entering a competition, selling direct to consumers who taste and make their own choice

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thanks for not being an anonymous common tater. I always wonder why people feel the need to be anonymous here, aside from being ashamed they read my crapola.

I'd think it would be hard to dummy up a fake sparkling wine for a competition. I'd assume it is the real Trump Blanc de Blanc. However, having looked at the other wines entered in that category at the SF Chronicle judging, it wasn't much of a win. Sort of like winning Mr. Incontinence at the old folks home--all the other contestants are equally aromatic.

Paul in St. Augustine said...

Or being the skinniest kid at Fat Camp.

Rocky Volcanics said...

Bravo, Hose. I had to judge the Chronicle competition when I was the Chron wine section editor, a looong time ago, and was thrilled to remove the bad taste from my mouth when I quit the job ... the wines didn't taste bad, but the commercialism of the competition was unpalatable -- particularly the verbal pressure to give as many golds as possible, and the multiple price categories that ensured more medals. And to not give quality judges some gas money for four days of work? Equally unprofessional. Maybe the winning Trump bubbly was a shiner from Rack & Riddle?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

It makes it worse that the biggest newspaper in NorCal, the one that sponsors the competition, and the one that employs Esther Mobley, the rare fulltime newspaper columnist in the United States, doesn't seem to care how commercial and misleading the competition with their name on it is. In an era where newspapers battle the perception that their information is "rigged," or that they're the enemy, you'd think they'd be more careful. They don't seem to give a shit. Yes, it's only wine, but they owe their readers some truth. The way the competition is run isn't transparent to anyone.

Now if Esther Mobley wrote an article about it, THAT would be wine journalism. Which has no relationship to the monkeyshines I perform here.

Unknown said...

hey, i hate the donald a lot, but the fact is the wine won in a blind competition [flawed though they are] and it is a credit to those who grew the grapes and made the wine, nothing to do with the bum who has his name on the label.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Unknown,
Of course. You're right, as far as that goes. A Trump wine winning was a satirical excuse to make fun of the SF Wine Competition, and wine competitions in general. Simple premise. Trump speaking in his usual hyperbolic way about a wine with his name on it winning a wine competition, and, in the process, revealing the generally bogus results of said competitions. Formulaic satire, but fun to write.

I have a lot of (former) friends who judge the SF Chronicle Competition. It was a way for me to rattle their Champagne cages, too. Also, I don't know a single wine authority who trusts or uses wine competition results, but the public does. Something of a disconnect there, wouldn't you say?

Unknown said...

ron- i get it, love your satire. and i, too, think wine competitions are bogus, especially those that do not award my wines double golds or sweepstakes awards. i was just feeling sorry for those in the trump winery in virginia who are collateral damage to the donald's asshattery. yr friend, not unknown, larry mawby winegrower in michigan.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thanks, Larry,
I hear your sparkling wines are terrific, though I don't think I've ever tasted one.

Someone at Trump Winery knows how to make wine. I judged a Viognier from Trump in November, and loved it.

No need to feel sorry for people at Trump Winery. I'm sure they have a lot of Yuge fans, too. I can't wait to try their new Alt-Right Bank Red Blend!

Thanks for reading and being a common tater, Larry. You class up the joint.

Unknown said...

"Thanks for reading and being a common tater, Larry. You class up the joint." you forgot the ending, 'when you leave.' :) bye.

Unknown said...

Trump apparently doesn't what does he know.....about anything! That was rhetorical.