The accused were dragged in, charged with a heinous crime. Presiding over the Sunday mornings deliberations was the Very Reverend Judge Stewart McLennan an Australian from a small mining town in the outback called Broken Hill and an expert in kangaroos and their court system. Not content with drinking the goods of the accused for sacramental purposes if nothing else, his attempts at shaming the defendants caused Doug Minnick (right) to closely watch over the three, to prevent them escaping. St. IPOB the Magnificent sent no visiting dignitaries to favor the prosecution, but their shadow could be felt in the hushed room. The crowd, earlier in the morning had been braying for red meat to go with the defendants products, but were forced instead to listen to the plaintiffs excuses. Stillman Brown, Keith Saarloos and Norm Yost marked out by their purple wrist bands, their eyes lowered in contrition before three glasses of each others’ poisonous and heathenistic offerings. How dare they make wine without adding extra water to maximize profits, how dare they
pick their grapes when fully ripe against the laws of common marketing sense to Sommeliers, how dare they know when to ferment and for how long, based on the climactic differences of varietals. First up to answer the charges was Stillman. In his own words “A sommelier is just a busboy, who won’t shut the fuck up”, quoting a wine blogger from Detroit. An audible gasp swept the room at such sacrilege. Keith blamed his father and family for forcing him into making wines with balance and richness, whereas Norm blamed his fall from grace on his brainwashed formative years in Oregon.
The evidence, poured forth was a test of character. A SLO pinot coming in at close to 16% alc, Stillman left it to the crowds to decide, another pinot, this time from Yost whose Salisbury vyd designate showed a whopping 14.7% alc and Saarloos with his “Family Tree” GSM an astounding wine just shy of 15% alc. Photobloggers converged to capture their look of shame. Hands were waving from all corners of the room. Gotcha questions flew, the Very Reverend Judge Stewart McLennan slammed on the dais with his Dixie cup more than once to quell the unrest. The jury was having none of it. By an overwhelming majority that would make a 3rd World dictator proud, and with time running out, the defendants were suddenly acquitted. Uproar ensued as family members, friends and well wishers converged to congratulate all three for their successful claims that wine can be balanced regardless of alcohol levels.
News spread throughout the Veteran’s Hall, the Sheriff’s Dept. went back to their offices once they realized that all is well with the world. Winemakers like Workman Ayer felt comfortable enough to come out of the shadows, crowds rushed to celebrate under the flag of the California Republic. Before long the hall was filled with well deserving sounds of slurping and spitting. The respectful attendees from all walks of life, putting Indiana to shame, reveled in the basking glow of Rhone, Burgundian and Bordeaux – style wines with fervour.