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Wednesday Warblings
The Hosemaster of Wine And The Poodles

By Stephen Eliot

The act of blogging has itself been grist for the already self-possessed world of wine blogging lately with a number of worth-reading pieces starting with Alfonso Cervola’s recent thoughts of why he no longer reads wine blogs 1. While we do check in here and there on what a handful of folks have to say, we confess to having narrowed our roster of regularly-read postings as well. There is one wine blogger, however, whose insights we never miss, and that is the Hosemaster of Wine 2.

We have known the Hosemaster for a number of years and have repeatedly invited him to join our panel of tasters. He has yet to do so but has more than once sent in his place a mild-mannered, articulate and wholly likeable fellow, recovering-sommelier Ron Washam. Ron is a friend of ours, and, until the Hosemaster shows, we know that he has access to the same and will pass our words of appreciation along.

We were pleasantly surprised, maybe “dumbstruck” is closer to the truth, at yesterday’s announcement of the finalists for the 2013 Wine Blogger Awards 3. It seems that Ron, uh, the Hosemaster has been nominated for top honors in not one, but four different catagories, and we could not be more pleased. The irony, of course, is inescapable as Mr. Hosemaster has thrown his very sharpest and best-aimed spears in the direction of the very act of wine blogging and at bloggers whom he regularly refers to as barking poodles in need of attention.

Those of you who have even casually followed our musings in this column are aware of our fondness and respect for the Hosemaster. He can be scathing. He can be downright grouchy, and he can be hilariously funny. His satire compels thinking and usually evokes a spontaneous snort or two, but, more importantly, he knows how to write and can effortlessly carve sacred cows to the bone. Nothing and no one is immune or off limits, and we are relieved that the arrows directed our way have thus far been rubber tipped. It may be that complimenting him now could, in fact, incur some sort of retaliation. You just never quite know.

It will be interesting to see how the Hosemaster responds if it turns out that he wins any of the 2013 awards as we think he should. Will he show up or send a proxy in his place, perhaps Ron Washam, or, then again, he might well take the course of one Mr. Marx who found distaste in joining any club that would have him as a member. We have but a couple of weeks before we find out.

In the meantime, we take comfort in knowing that this just might help defer any thoughts the Hosemaster could have regarding retirement or even a lengthy hiatus. The craft of good writing is not easy, and doing it on demand a couple of times a week or more is harder yet. We know that. But, we also know that we now need our twice-a-week fix of satire and insight as only the Hosemaster can provide. So, keep up the good work—and congratulations of a sort.





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He's got my vote
by 1winedude
Posted on:5/24/2013 7:08:36 AM

...excepting one category, I mean...

Thank You
by Ron Washam,HMW
Posted on:5/24/2013 11:51:07 AM


As a long time fan of CGCW, I've been reading it since Charlie and Earl started it in the late 1880's, I am damned flattered by your tribute to my alter ego, the HoseMaster. Perhaps the best outcome of my five nominations for Poodle Awards has been the outpouring of kind words from friends, strangers and fellow nominees. That's a win for me.

But don't worry about retaliation. The HoseMaster doesn't retaliate. He prefers blindsiding innocent victims. Part of his ineffable charm.

Win or lose, it's been an interesting week. And your tribute to the HoseMaster was certainly the highlight. Thank you.

Pass me a blanket
by Alfonso
Posted on:5/24/2013 4:47:48 PM

Hey Steve (not "the" Steve!)

Two points...

Thanks for the link - the post I wrote noted that other people dont read wine blogs as much (or ever)...Oddly that was one of my most read posts ( oh, the irony).

Secondly, my last name is not spelled with an "r" . that word actually means something that I cannot repeat on these pages ( maybe Urban Dictionary has the meaning?)

I too think it fitting that Hosemaster is getting a concentrated dose of attention from all those folks he lampoons regularly. His writing is so good that the folks he insults are lavishing praise on him. Kind of like bringing blankets to the naked emperors bedroom.

I have no idea what that means...



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