The HoseMaster of Wine’s™ Cover Letter to The Wine Advocate

Dear Ms. Perrotti-Brown,

I thought I’d save you the trouble of contacting me first. I know with all of the recent defections from The Wine Advocate you must be desperate for help. First, it was Jeb Dunnock thinking he could go it alone. Great decision, Jeb, it sure worked for Art Garfunkel! Next thing you know, Neal Martin goes and takes a new job with Antonio Galloni, which is pretty disarming—in the sense that he’s the new Vinous di Milo. Up on a pedestal, but essentially can’t go anywhere. 

I’m guessing because you didn’t have my contact information, you hired both Joe Czerwinski and William Kelley to be your newest reviewers. I know, you did the best you could, Lisa. There’s not really a lot of reviewer talent to choose from these days. I suppose you could have tried to hire another MW. Hell, most of them aren’t really doing anything that anyone could call a real job. Instead, you raided the Wine Enthusiast roster for Czerwinski. The guy worked there for 18 years, and still no one in the business knew who he was. He was basically wine’s version of the guy inside the Big Bird suit. So I’m hoping you got him cheap. I know you did. You gave him the title “Managing Editor.” That’s not even a real job at The Wine Advocate, but he’ll never figure that out.

Still looking for my email address, you whimsically hired William Kelley. Three years ago, the guy was a blogger, for God’s sake. His credentials make Madeline Puckette look like Hugh Johnson. I mean that in the metaphorical sense, of course. Hugh Johnson doesn’t even look like Hugh Johnson anymore. He looks like Andy Rooney. Never mind that. Kelley is the opposite pole from Czerwinski, who’s also an opposite Pole. Young and rumored to be talented, where Czerwinski is old and rumored to be talented. And you’re giving Burgundy to that kid? That’s sort of like asking Lindsey Lohan to cast Harold Pinter plays. She can do it, but I’m not buying any tickets. Oh well, what’s done is done. 

You do have a bit of luck coming your way. Yes, since you asked, I am available. In fact, I’ve been reading my Roget in preparation for writing wine reviews. I think you’ll be pleased that I am fully capable of using completely inappropriate and mystifying adjectives in my wine descriptions, in keeping with the “Wine Advocate” style. I think you and your “Managing Editor” (wink, wink) will be suitably impressed. Here’s an example, a review I recently wrote of a cult Napa Valley Cabernet:

“The 2014 Prick Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon shows coprophagous qualities of stewed salmonberries, ripe Spandex, and lugnuts. Slightly sanguine, with overtones of perspicacity, it has Coppertone tannins and a wonderfully crapulous finish. 94 pts”

Yeah, I know, makes your mouth water. 

It’s probably completely unnecessary, my reputation being what it is, but I’ll give you a quick rundown of my qualifications for the job of “Wine Advocate” critic. You know better than I that it doesn’t take much. I think your recent hires speak to that.

I have a full understanding of the 100 Point Scale, which was created by the late Robert Parker:
        96-100 pts—Wines of exceptional quality with the potential to age gracefully, and which   are entirely impossible to obtain.

        91-95 pts—Really good white wines, and also red wines that anybody can get. Wonderful to drink, but absolutely no bragging rights. Everything from Austria is in this category.

        86-90 pts—Delicious, well-made wines, including all the wines I was just way too tired to actually taste.

I hold the coveted Level 12 WSET certificate. Well, I passed Level 1 twelve times, which is the same thing. I also passed the M.W. exam when Tim Atkin MW frisked me in an airport. 

I met Michel Rolland once. What a dork.

I think a little bit of Brett adds complexity to a wine, like a little bit of perjury adds complexity to a public official. It’s not a fault, just an honest mistake.

My tongue is insured for 10 million dollars with the discount insurer Floyd’s of London.(Disclaimer: The warranty on my liver has long expired.)

I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

Impressive, I know. You must be thanking your lucky stars right about now. Yes, I can start right away. I know that all the choice wine regions are spoken for, but I’m willing to start at the bottom. I’m already packed for the Jura! As my popularity grows, I think you’ll find that my reputation for integrity and fairness will make me welcome everywhere. Well, maybe not en primeur week, they’re not big on that, but you can dump that on somebody else.

I look forward to becoming a valued member of Wine Advocate’s team. Send me a contract and I’ll begin immediately. Don’t delay. I’ve already had feelers from some of the biggest names in the wine business, which, as a woman, probably happened to you, too. 

Thank you so much for your kind and generous offer, Lisa. However, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept the position. Antonio just called. I accepted. At last, obscurity.

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