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Friday Fishwrap
Who Said There Is No Humor In Wine Country

By Charles Olken

Please consider the following. Clearly some folks are chuckling as they make up these stories and the headlines to go with them.

My Favorite

Headline: Are Cement Egg Fermentors All They’re Cracked Up To Be?

Pamela Heligson at Enobytes ( came up with this one. At first, I thought it was all an April Fool’s joke. However, the blog was published on April 4 so clearly she is either having calendar issues or she is pulling our leg. I vote for pulling our leg with one of the best puns seen in the wine blogosphere for a serious article this year.

After all, cement eggs are the new hot thing in some circles, even when they are dressed up as this one which I have pinched from Pamela’s blog. Thanks, Pam.

The Runner Up

OK, it took the headline writer three tries to make a funny, but read them all together, and these headlines for what are basically public relations releases made me laugh out loud. I hope whoever put them together like this knew what he or she was doing.

Item: Constellation Brands Inc : Reports Fiscal 2012 Results
“Positive results and strong marketplace momentum positions us well for the upcoming year." said Rob Sands."

Item: Constellation Brands forecast weak; shares slump

Item: Constellation Brands intends to launch more than 50 new wine brands and line extensions this year.

OK, at least they are fighting back, but you have to love a company that reports can report “strong marketplace momentum” leading to a weak forecast.

Look Folks, It’s Real Comedy

Louisville Juice ( does not get published often enough for my funny bone. It has been a few weeks, but I laughed out loud at:

Top Five Reasons the White House is No Longer Disclosing Wine Lists

March 14th, 2012 by Tom Johnson

The White House recently announced it will not release wine lists for state dinners. Here are the Top 5 reasons why the White House wine list is now a state secret:

1. President’s bias toward Illinois wine threatens electoral prospects in neighboring Indiana.
2. Plot to distract Republican base from forged birth certificate.
3. Fred Franzia was a huge campaign contributor, would be pissed to know White House opted for Black Box.
4. Doesn’t want to cause a run on Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay before they get the cellar re-filled.
5. Sprinkler system went off in the White House cellar, all the labels soaked off and it’s pretty much pot luck on the wine.

The Granddaddy Of Wine Comedy

The Hosemaster of Wine is published from time to time by comedian turned sommelier turned comedian, Ron Washam, who in his short life working in a winery became the master of the hoses and thus was awarded the title of Hosemaster of Wine.

Unless you are the squeamish type, and if you enjoy a good laugh out loud column a couple of times a week, you must bookmark His current writings enjoy the title: The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Spit Bucket.

Here are few of the many reactions this scathingly funny blog has rightfully and proudly earned:

"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

"...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"

"You're lucky I have a sense of humor."
--Steve Heimoff

"I must say you are an idiot. I've never liked you. I have no idea why people find you funny."
--Reign of Terroir

The CGCW Experience - Take the Tour

Meet the New CGCW

For thirty-five years, Connoisseurs’ Guide has been the authoritative voice of the California wine consumer. With readers in all fifty states and twenty foreign countries, the Guide is valued by wine lovers everywhere for its honesty and for it strong adherence to the principles of transparency, unbiased, hard-hitting opinions. Now, it is becoming the California winelover’s most powerful online voice as well. And, our new features provide an unmatched array of advice and information for aficionados of every stripe.


But What About
by Samantha Dugan
Posted on:4/6/2012 10:09:28 AM

Cannot believe you left off Tom's "I've often thought about the virtues of being a vampire, as well as the pitfalls". Nearly horked my coffee on that one. Nice to see some praise for my beloved HoseMaster, cannot think of anyone that deserves it more.

by Ron Washam, HMW
Posted on:4/6/2012 11:03:42 AM

Charlie, thank you very much for the kind words and the plug. My goal over at HoseMaster of Wine is to have some fun with what otherwise can be a self-righteous and dull business. It has always amazed me that wine can be so wonderful, so inspirational, so pleasurable, yet most of what is written about it is so ponderous and joyless and lifeless. I write to make myself laugh. Which I rarely do. So I keep trying. If I make other people laugh, that's a lovely fringe benefit.

You'd have to be pretty damned squeamish to be offended by what I write. In my experience, people who love wine are not usually the squeamish type. But satire, when done right, can make one uncomfortable. Truth has a way of doing that.

I'm lucky enough to have met an amazing group of folks who follow my stupid blog. You are at the top of that list, my friend. Thank you.

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