“…any food product that feels compelled to tell you it’s natural in all likelihood is not.”—-Michael Pollan
Monday, April 29, 2013
Lo Hai Qu on What Marsupials Want From Wine
Lo Hai Qu has been bugging me to let her write another post on HoseMaster of Wine™. Three days a week, she’s here at Clos du Hose cataloging the pallets of wine I receive as samples, answering my fan mail (you can’t believe how much ricin I go through), and organizing my panty drawer. Qu does this simply to sit at my feet and absorb my wine wisdom. I think of her as Human Depends. But every now and then I give in and allow her to voice her opinion in this prestigious space. Qu is representative of the generation known as Millennials, so named because they grew up around the year 2000. I’m part of the generation known as the Boomers, so named for the hot, fetid gas we explosively propel from our butts, which we refer to as “wisdom.”
So here is Lo Hai Qu on What Millennials Want From Wine.
I think about wine, like, a lot. Me and my friends think it’s the coolest way to get drunk. Other people my age (I hate that “Millennials” tag, it sounds like we’re insects) like to get buzzed on craft beer. Fucking craft beer! Isn’t that some kind of oxymoron? This guy I know, he’s one of my Friends with Benefits, though I’m thinking of upping his co-pay, is all proud that he knows a lot about beer. Who cares? It’s beer. Like he’s some kind of beermelier, all snobby and shit about beer. Beer is lame. I mean, horses drink it, what does that tell you? That beer only tastes good with fucking hay.
The HoseMaster wanted me to write about what Millipedes want when it comes to wine. He’s an asshole. Thinks he’s all funny and smart, but, actually, he’s old and boring and smells like he drank Ann Coulter’s leg bag. But he lets me taste the wines, and I’ve learned a lot. Mostly that there’s a lot of crappy-ass wine out there, and a lot of it is expensive.
OK, first of all, so what my friends and me want is wine that’s authentic. You know what they say about authentic, right? That if you have to say you’re authentic, you’re probably not. So it’s like saying you’re sober. Which you never are. So it’s the same with wine, it’s almost never authentic. But that’s what we want anyway. See, I think about this, like, a lot. And what we Monarchs actually want is to be convinced that a wine is authentic. It doesn’t really have to be. Duh. We just need to think it’s authentic, and then it is. This is how we roll. We have 578 Friends on FaceBook, and 2500 Followers on Twitter. We don’t care if they are actually our friends or followers. “Friends” is a meaningless concept to us. Our only real friend is our iPhone. It actually talks to you, and not all judgmental like your parents do.
Wine experts, and they’re all dead to me, like every time I see that awesome show “ The Walking Dead” I think it’s all James Laube and Robert Parker and Steve Heimoff come to suck my brains out and I’d like to kill them but they just won’t die (which is what wineries think too), anyway, wine experts like to think they know authentic wines. As if knowledge is the only way to know stuff. We don’t need knowledge, we have Google. Besides, me and my Mealybug friends can tell from the label. If it’s got some fancy looking chateau on the label, or if the label is kind of boring and just has a bunch of fancy script-type writing on it, no pictures, or if it’s from some place that our parents buy a lot of wine from, it’s not authentic. Authentic wine has cool names. And it’s not stacked up in Safeway. It has to be stacked up in Whole Foods. Or one of our friends put a picture of the label on their FaceBook page and it has like 120 likes. Then it’s probably authentic.
Anyway, we can take our best friend out of our pants and look it up. Because one of the other things we Mantises want is a story. We buy wines with good stories. Like the winemaker really cares about the land. That’s a good story. We know it's just a bogus story, but it's real. I read that story a lot when I read about wine. Or another good one is, the winery makes the best wine they can that expresses the place it’s from. See, that’s what I want. I want wine to express where it’s from, though I haven’t the faintest fucking idea what that means unless I look the appellation up on Wikipedia. If a wine expresses where it’s from and the winemaker cares about the Earth, and he doesn’t do all this chemical, modern, technical manipulation of it, it’s going to be real and authentic. And that’s what I want; and I’ll use my iPhone to Google it and get GPS to the nearest Whole Foods that sells it. I want it to be natural. I mean, really, how hard is that to understand?
And I guess we have to talk about price. Marsupials (those are insects, right?) don’t have a lot of money, mostly. I mean, I went to a good college, so I’m in debt up to my blowhole. The minute I read about a wine I want to try and it costs more than $20 my eyes glaze over like I’m watching porn with my dog. I see the prices on all these samples that overflow at Clos du Hose and I’m wondering, like, who buys this shit? First of all, how can “real” wine be expensive? Look at food. OK, so how much does an organically grown peach cost? Like two bucks tops? But Peach Melba at some stupid restaurant? Like $15. Which is more authentic? Millennials (those are insects, right?) aren’t really asking for much. What’s all the fuss?
Millennials want wines that are authentic, that are unique expressions of interesting varieties grown by dedicated vintners who spare no labor or expense, who love the land and cherish the Earth and all its resources, who never, they swear to God, never manipulate the wines, who we feel a connection to because of their story so we want to support them, and, finally, the wines are also delicious and compelling, get you drunk, and don’t cost more than $15. Fucking simple.
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
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--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."
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--Reign of Terroir
Robert (Joseph) was/is funny unlike HoseMaster who wasn't/isn't.