Articles Tagged hosemaster of wine
Last week Riedel, the Austrian glassware company that seems tailor-made for the anally-retentive (the company produces glasses designed specifically for different wine styles and individual varietal wines, and even for different types of water), threatened wine blogger (and friend of 1WD) Ron Washam, better known within the wine biz as The Hosemaster of Wine.
Apparently, Georg Riedel didn’t take kindly to Washam’s satirical take on the company, published recently on MW Tim Atkin’s website. While Atkin was probably more vulnerable (due to the archaic UK laws regarding publishing), Washam was likely relatively “safe,” though of course subject to fast-mounting – and surely unwanted – legal bills in his defense.
From Atkin’s standpoint, the matter has been settled. Presumably in relation to the settlement, Atkin added the following preamble to the original article:
In this piece, US-based wine writer Ron Washam pokes fun at Riedel, the wine glass company, a brand that I respect and use personally. This is a piece of satirical writing. No offence is meant to be caused either to Georg Riedel or to his business. Please note that no interview with Georg Riedel took place in the creation of this article and that all quotes are fictitious and do not represent the personal views or business practices of Georg Riedel or his company. Tim Atkin
But as a company Riedel has, as of the time of this writing, not answered for what I would consider its blatantly asinine public behavior relating to this matter. Not only did they level the threat of legal action on Washam, but Riedel also removed complaints about / references to the incident posted by visitors to their Facebook page (I know this to be the case, because at least one of mine was removed).
[ Insert plaintive, exacerbated sigh here. ]
There are so many problems with this, it’s difficult for me to calm down long enough to know where to begin. Let’s start here: Riedel is way off base in challenging Hosemaster’s satire. From their letter to Washam, as reprinted on his website:
“… there is nothing satirical or funny about the Article…”
[ Insert incredulous What. The. HELL?!?? here ]…
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Almost four (holy crap!) years ago, I wrote on these virtual pages a response (ok, rebuttal) to a claim by the thought-provoking PR maven Tom Wark that we were in a “golden age” of wine writing.
Fast-forward to last week, and we have Tom taking umbrage with a satirical piece by Ron Washam, a.k.a. The Hosemaster of Wine, in which wine writer Karen MacNeil delivers a keynote address to the Wine Bloggers Conference in which she offers the helpful advice that most wine bloggers ought to hang it up: “Your prose is like box wine—a collapsing plastic sack of crap.” Steve Heimoff, formerly of Wine Enthusiast, also got in on the discussion, essentially wondering aloud if wine writing is doomed.
With me so far?
Tom’s rebuttal essentially restates his position from 2011; that we are in a golden age of wine writing, particularly online: “The list of very good writers who are or have started as wine bloggers is long and undeniable.”
At first blush (see what I did there?), it would seem that we have moved not one iota in the nearly four years since we first aired this friendly debate across our respective corners of the Global Interwebs. And while that may actually be the case, I am not here to offer a rebuttal to Tom’s rebuttal (despite the fact that, while I love the wine blogging community, I largely agree with Ron’s position and would extend it to include the vast majority of wine writing found in print).
No, I am here to tell you that asking (or debating) if we are in a golden age of wine writing is effectively asking the wrong question…
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Just a very quick tidbit today, to point you over to the house of the venerable king of wine blogging satirical musings, the HoseMaster of Wine (a.k.a. comedian and former sommelier Ron Washam) where last week 1WD was masterfully roasted in effigy. Consider me as charred as the inside of a heavily toasted American oak barrel, but equally honored to have been playfully lambasted by the master!
Oddly enough, I have a slight fear of puppets and clowns so I find his choice of graphic a bit haunting (see inset pic), though Ron couldn’t have known that at the time he posted it. Spooky…
Now, for those of you who might read the HMW piece on 1WD and not find yourself nearly peeing from intense laughter as I almost did: you need to understand that I consider Ron a very talented writer and I’ve long been an admirer of his scathing wit, and you should know that I don’t take myself so seriously that I couldn’t enjoy his bursting of my ego’s Champagne bubbles. I loved the article and I’m hoping that you will too.
In fact, I’m planning on sharing a bottle or two with Ron when I’m next in Napa – I just hope that I don’t give him too much more material for that laser-focused satirical pen of his (Ron, if you’re reading this, I have a long list of others who need bubble bursting, and I may toss the list in one direction when we meet and run away in the opposite direction, not unlike offering a sacrificial slab of chuck to a fierce guard dog as a distraction…).