"Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful."--Molly Ivins
Monday, January 25, 2010
I get a kick out of aphorisms, those little nuggets of wisdom that sound smart but deconstruct into simplemindedness upon examination. The reigning master of that form is Michael Pollan. "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Very nice, has the comforting ring of a cheesy Hallmark greeting card. "Eat food. With your mouth. Mostly fart." See, it's kind of easy once you get the hang of it. So I was thinking that I could achieve similar fame and notoriety if I assembled a bunch of wine aphorisms. Kind of do a little Pollan collecting of my own. Hey, I'm simpleminded, I'm a natural. Just hope I don't break out in hives. Here's what I came up with. Feel free to throw them around like your own wisdom at the next wine tasting you attend. They also make wonderful Tweets for all you idiotic Twits out there.
You can judge a winery by its dog and, if you're lucky, by its pussy. There, you see, catchy and true. Rolls off the tongue. The aphorism, I mean.
Wine is proof that God loves us and wants us to be shitfaced all the time and have sex with strangers. Theology is perfect for aphorisms. Here I quote from the Book of Britney 3:18. Testify!
Read blogs. Not too much. Mostly vegetables. A pithy and accurate little assessment of wine blogs makes for a perfect catchphrase. The vast majority of wine blogs are written by vegetables for intellectual vegans.
Think of bubbles in Champagne as you would elegant farts in the bathtub--both delight the senses. OK, it sounds better in French.
Points are like venereal diseases. The people who give them should be shot. See, terse and clever and implies a connection between critics and folks getting screwed by numbers. This is a keeper.
If you want a hug, give her Silver Oak. If you want a kiss, give her Burgundy. If you want a blowjob, give her a spit bucket. Alright, this has drifted off into tasteless exploitation. So it's perfect.
There are no atheists in bungholes. There, six words, deep meaning, ties together the miracle of wine with the mundane tools that create it. Here we have the essence of aphorism writing, haunting and concise word choices. And it sounds dirty. Another winner!
Oak is catnip for humans. Rombauer Chardonnay is catnip for cougars. Vinography is catnip for cretins. Gratuitous insults are the stuff of aphorisms. Aphorisms give the ring of truth to absurd generalizations and glorify the empty opinion. Just not in this case.
Taste in wine is subjective, except mine, which is objective. In a nutshell, what every wine person believes. Except me, I'm objective.
You can put an M.S. after your name, but you're still an asshole. See, simple and true. Feel free to quote me, but, please don't forget to credit the HoseMaster. I don't care what they say about me, as long as they spell my name right. Oh, another jejune nugget. Somebody stop me!
After 19 years as a Sommelier in Los Angeles, twice named Sommelier of the Year by the Southern California Restaurant Writers' Association, I moved to Sonoma County to explore the other aspects of the wine business. I've spent, OK wasted, 35 years learning about and teaching about and swallowing wine. I am also a judge at the Sonoma Harvest Fair, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the San Francisco International Wine Competition--so I can spit like a rabid llama. I know more about wine than David Sedaris and I'm funnier than James Laube. Stay tuned for an informed but jaded view of everything wine and everything else.
I'm living proof that alcohol kills brain cells.
What the Critics Are Saying About HoseMaster of Wine
"If you want a great hoot and howl moment or two...go read the HoseMaster's year-end reflections...that guy is without a doubt the funniest SOB in the blog-world...and thank him for having the brains and balls to target his laser of laughter on anybody...HoseMaster for President...HoseMaster for Blogger of the Year...although he would be the first to say the bar is so damn low for that award, he should win it every year..." --Robert Parker
"...With sometimes crude analogies and occasional droppings of f-bombs, Washam cleverly uses satire to expose the underbelly of the wine business. It's often hilarious stuff as long as you're not the one being lampooned. Washam takes no prisoners in skewering all that is silly, stupid, frustrating and pretentious about wine, and his favorite targets are other bloggers and writers. No one is immune."
--Linda Murphy in "Vineyard and Winery Management"
"No one is immune from California sommelier and wine judge Ron Washam's skewering. He polishes that skewer with boundless enthusiasm and acuity." --JancisRobinson.com
"As serious as the world of wine is, it does allow time for humor. Each Monday and Thursday, Ron Washam customarily posts a commentary on his needling wine blog HoseMaster of Wine. Washam, a former sommelier and comedy writer – he might say they are closely related – is the most opinionated, humorous and ribald observer in the wine world. His body of work is irreverent and remorseless. It’s almost always satire and parody, though he occasionally drifts into straight commentary, sometimes even with tasting notes. This past year, one of his posts was named the best of the year in the Wine Blog Awards. His success has spawned several imitations, which in their awkwardness show just how difficult satire is."
--Mike Dunne, Sacramento Bee
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/21/6089630/dunne-on-wine-wine-blogs-and-bloggers.html#storylink=cpy
"Please let this guy write the scripts for Saturday Night Live which has gotten so lame...his newest "wisdom" is worth an Emmy....I wonder if he is the genius behind all those Hitler/Parker,etc. clips? No one else is remotely as funny or as talented.And the wine world sure needs someone to poke fun at all the nonsense and phoney/baloney unsufferable crap out there."
"Washam uses his own blog, HoseMaster of Wine, to skewer the industry in general and wine blogs in particular. If your mouse scoots to your browser's close box while reading a wine blog, Washam may be the blogger for you."
--San Francisco Chronicle
"Ron Washam, former sommelier, is easily the most bitingly funny blogger/wine writer that we have ever come across. He is an equal opportunity crusader who pillories big wineries and amateur bloggers alike, as well as everything and everyone in between...One needs a sense of humor and a tolerance for earthiness to enjoy reading The Hosemaster. We must have both because this guy deserves a wider audience, in our humble opinion." --Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine
"In my opinion, and that of many others, his blog is one of the best. And in terms of satirical or parodic wine blogs, it has no peer. Ron’s alert eye catches every pretense and skewers it with laugh out loud mercilessness."
"This site should carry a warning label. It's sort of a Dave Barry/George Carlin approach to wine. The Hosemaster (real name Ron Washam) skewers fellow bloggers and industry savants with glee, while offering hilarious wine guides such as his Honest Guide to Grapes..."
--Paul Gregutt, Seattle Times
"Washam is a skilled wine judge (I have judged with him) who is willing to judge wine double blind, in public. To my knowledge, Parker does not do this and never has. So Ron's credentials are in place, and so is his sense of the absurd."
--Dan Berger, VintageExperiences
"...I consider Ron a very talented writer and I’ve long been an admirer of his scathing wit..."
"And if any free sites think they can conquer the world, there’s always the Hosemaster to take ‘em down a notch."
--Tyler Colman "Dr. Vino"
"Those of you who know Ron either love or hate him, because he throws jabs like a punch drunk boxer, and we’re all in the firing line. He’ll throw them if he hates you, and he’ll throw them if he loves you. He’s a satirist of exceptional quality."
--Jo Diaz "Juicy Tales by Jo Diaz"
"I must say you are an idiot. I've never liked you. I have no idea why people find you funny."
--Reign of Terroir
Robert (Joseph) was/is funny unlike HoseMaster who wasn't/isn't.