• We left Ahsan talking with those strange members of a rogue communist party. He was just talking money.

    *side note: I have all manner of love for Karl Marx’s idea of communism, but I feel he, like Ayn Rand and others, base their ideal world on themselves. We currently don’t have 3 billion Karl Marx clones (unless we recruit Ahsan) in the world. So because of that we get silly communist wannabes that I get to poke fun of.

    “So lemme get this straight. You want me to clone a miniature giraffe-crocodile, and you have the funds to pay my ridiculous fee?”, Ahsan asked incredulously.

     

     

    “Jyes” A different group member spoke up.

    “You with the funny accent. I want 20 million. Two million up front for lab fees and equipment and I also need you to buy me a new Ferrari. The hybrid ‘La Ferrari’ because its insanely fast, has a 6.3-liter V-12 engine, a seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box, 963 horsepower, a top speed of 230 mph and I will look ungodly hot in it.”

    “But but.. zat ees limited production wehicle oond all of zem are bought.” The funny accent dude stammered.

    “Hey you want me to build you a frickin’ mutant baby giraffe thingy. I don’t care if you have to pry the keys from someone’s dead hand! Do we have a deal?”

    The group huddled together speaking in another language. One (of fifteen) that Ahsan just happened to know.

    [This is a very high ticket price for the animal.}

    {Yes, but we will make far more from the sale of these graffocs. Besides we will more than likely be asked to kill him after we get what we want.}

    Ahsan smiled and thought “Oh these silly little inferior humans.”, and then as a sort of afterthought “graffocs? really?”

    The accent guy turned back to Ahsan and said “Jyes, we vill do dees for you.”

    Ahsan supplied them with a Cayman Islands bank account number and was rather quickly two million dollars wealthy.

    As the communists left the lab at CalTech Ahsan immediately got to work on the project. One might wonder why Ahsan wouldn’t just take the money and run knowing that they mean to kill him, but Ahsan loved something more than money. He loved playing god. Now he had the funds to do just that. If he played his cards right he could get the other 18 million and have a pet graffoc to boot.

    CalTech leased the old lab to Ahsan, but if they knew what he was about to get up to they would shut him down in a heart beat.

    He made a call to an old assistant of his. “Frank. I’m going to need a few things. If things go according to plan there’ll be a million in it for you this time.”

    Frank chuckled, “I could use the scratch. Whatd’ya need?”

    “Secure lines, all my old cloning gear, and some giraffe and crocodile DNA to start. Actually, throw in some tiger shark DNA too. I’ll wire you a couple hundred thousand to get you started. I’m at the old lab at CalTech.”

    “Just like old times. I’ll get right on it.”

    As Frank hung up the phone Ahsan’s working memory had just finished his brilliant plan..

     

    While the intrigue is high I will step away from the story..

     

    I had a question posed me the other day.

     

    What are some options for organic, fair trade, Eco-friendly, and possibly sulfite-free wine?

    Wow that is quite a request largely because I’m assuming these wine choices should be tasty as well.

    Lemme start with this. Organic wine can’t have any added sulfites by law in California (some sulfites are naturally occurring in wine). Sulfites help preserve the wine, keeping it from getting ‘funky’. So one way producers get around this conundrum is by saying ‘made with organic grapes’ on the bottle. This infers the use of sulfites, but it could also be the wine maker just didn’t want to pay the fees involved in putting ‘Organic’ on the label.

    One of the best options that fulfills this laundry list of desires is Domaine Lapierre.

    They call their wine ‘Natural Wine’.

    A genuine expression of a ‘terroir’, natural wine is a 100% pure grape wine, from the vineyard to the cellar it has been guided and developed without any chemical additives. Compared with so called ‘technological’ wines, natural wines are more alive with subtle characters and aromas.

    More than organic wine, that only certifies that the grapes have been grown organically, a natural wine is the guarantee that the vines have been grown organically and the juice has been elaborated free synthetic products.

    They use compost and plough their vines for healthy soil. They use natural yeast when fermenting. They don’t add sugar, and use little to no sulfites.

    $29.99 at K&L wines this wine fits the bill.

    2011 Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon

    91 points Wine Spectator

    “A polished style, offering well-knit tannins and layered flavors of black cherry coulis, licorice snap, macerated plum, fragrant leather and ground star anise. Very refined, this is juicy and focused through to the finish, which shows accents of smoky mineral and garrigue. Drink now through 2020.”

    A second winner is a California producer called Coturri

    At their estate vineyard they employ very Earth friendly practices:


    Environmentally sound farming practices: Only the best agricultural practices are employed at the Estate Vineyard and it receives special handling to ensure that something is growing in the soils all year round. Tony Coturri personally attends to the vines at the Estate vineyards.

    Weeds are controlled by disking, and the resulting mulch captures important moisture for the dry farmed vines. The open head pruned vines or “monkey claw” controls mildew problems.

    Like all of the vineyards grown and maintained by the Coturri’s, no pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides are ever used on the Estate vineyard, and it is certified by the CCOF. In 1996, Tony and Phil Coturri earned top honors from the Sonoma Valley Ecology Center for Environmentally Friendly Business Practices with their viticultural farming and winemaking practices.

    They have quite a selection of wines one can order online, but the Estate Zinfandel is perhaps their most esteemed.

     

     

    2006 Coturri Zinfandel Sonoma Mountain

    We planted our Estate Zinfandel in 1975. Our vineyard is 5 acres. It’s dry farmed meaning there isn’t any irrigation. The only water the vines receive is the winter and spring rains. The yield is quite small, usually around 3 tons. The concentration of flavors and taste is astounding. This wine has black fruit in the nose, a very sweet mid-palate and good balancing acidity in the finish.

    Another fabulous find is the

    2009 Puzelat-Bonhomme KO In Côt We Trust

    I found a wine store in Vermont that sells it for $18 a bottle (dunno if they will ship everywhere, but I’m sure you can find it elsewhere as well). I really liked Abby’s review (from the wine shop):

    The Puzelat Côt, more commonly known as Malbec, comes from the Touraine appellation in the Loire and isn’t anything like the Argentinian version. The KO is a “natural wine” – vineyards are organically farmed, fermentation is accomplished using yeasts on the grapes and in the cellar, and there are no further manipulations to the juice. This wine is alive, juicy and fresh. Flavors of black raspberry, cherry and currants fill the mouth. It’s medium-bodied and delivers a nice balance of juicy acidity, fresh fruit and delicate tannin.

    That was just a few wines, but I will also give you two tools to find more..

    The Natural Wine company

    and

    Organic Wine Find

    Do not let these tools fall into the wrong hands. It could be the end of civilization as we know it!

    Oh wait wrong story

    Drink well and be happy!

    -Jonathan Hood