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Time For The World's Best Prison Wine

pruno.jpgInmates in federal prisons across the nation rejoiced today in anticipation of the possibility for improvements to their lot in life (without parole). Their celebrations were not the result of the implementation of new prison overcrowding reforms, which are due to take effect in the near future. Instead, prisoners everywhere trembled with the giddy excitement of Junior Prom queens at the possibility that they might soon share a cell block with Rudi Kurniawan, who was sentenced today to 10 years in federal prison.

Kurniawan was found guilty in December of counterfeiting some of the world's most expensive wines for fun and profit, at the expense of auction buyers around the world. His deft mixing of an odd assortment of wines to concoct plausible-tasting fakes in old bottles with doctored labels and corks fooled wine experts and collectors alike for more than a decade.

Now, Kurniawan is expected to be in high demand at whichever federal prison he arrives. Not for his baby face, though that will doubtless win him some admirers, but for his ability to make the best damn prison wine anyone has ever seen.

Insiders at several detention facilities report that Kurniawan has already become a subject of speculative gang activity, as various factions lay advance claim on his services, some valuing his services as high as forty cartons of cigarettes per month.

Pruno has historically been made from just about anything from sauerkraut to ketchup to raisins, and usually ferments in plastic bags hidden behind toilets. The resulting wine often contains far too much residual sugar, and sits hollow on the mid-palate without much of a finish.

Inmates hope Kurniawan's sensitive palate and inventive knack for blending may be able to help them consistently produce higher alcohol wines with better balance.

Goodbye Dr. Conti. Hello Dr. Pruno. And good riddance.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.