[Scotty] Ah, that’s the warp core Captain. We had to vent a wee bit of drive plasma.
[Mr. Spock] It seems that after Earth’s New Year celebration of 2024, everyone in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, Australia flushed at the same time and that completely submerged the Zealandia continent.
[Scotty] We lost a lot of good sheep that day, Mr. Spock.
[Captain Kirk] What was that sound, Ensign!?
[Ensign] I said “Oh Shit!” Captain.
[Bones] It looks like he meant it.
[Captain Kirk] Red Alert! Battle Stations! Spock, have they entered the Neutral Zone!?
[Mr. Spock] They have not, Captain.
[Captain Kirk] On Screen! Lt. Uhura, hailing frequencies open.
Star Trek into Wine Country - Australians and Romulans
[Mr. Chekov] Approaching the Cab-Franc sector, Keptin.
[Lt.Uhura] Captain, the gas cloud is dissipating. It seems to have a distance limitation.
[Captain Kirk] Out of gas, are they? Well then, let’s give them a proper send off. Fire phasers!
[Mr. Spock] How curious Captain. The people of Earth were using wine for meditation in their libraries.
[Captain Kirk] Not exactly Mr. Spock. Alright, let’s get out of here. Full Astern! Emergency warp speed!
[Scotty] Well that should do it Captain. I have beamed a case of Satisfaction aboard the Australian vessel. I mean Romulan vessel.
[Bones under his breath] Jim! He’s an Australian!
[Captain Kirk] I know Bones. Once the Australians figured out the warp core design the New Zealanders had developed, they built a ship and filled it with their deplorables and sent it off into space. They landed on a planet similar to Uranus and called it Romulus. Where the Ale comes from is still a mystery.
Commander, we might be passing by Earth in a few days time. What interest does this hold for you?
[Romulan Commander] Captain Kirk, as you are very well aware, Earth is the only planet in this or any other galaxy that grows wine. That is why we have spared it from any attack and even protected it from the Ferengi, but that is a future episode so don’t spoil the plot. May I call you Jim?
[Mr. Checkov] What is that, Keptin?
[Mr. Spock] I suspect the Romulans have just discovered that the Satisfaction they have received has been kidney filtered.
[Captain Kirk] Yes, Mr. Spock it would seem, they “can’t get no Satisfaction!”
[Scotty] Captain, we’ve got to dodge that gas cloud. I just got the air cleaned up in here!
[Captain Kirk] Mr. Chekov, take us up to the edge of the Napa-Sonoma Nebula, but do not enter. There is a pretty steep tariff just for going in. With all of the reduction in there, no one will notice this gas cloud.
[Captain Kirk] Yes, it is Bones. It reminds me of the Aurora Australis. The Southern Lights of Earth most visible from the southern continent of Australia.
[Scotty] There was a wee couple of islands off the southern coast of Australia. Were they part of the Australian continent as well Captain?
[Captain Kirk] No, those North and South islands were called New Zealand and they were part of a separate and submerged continent called Zealandia. Not to be confused with Portlandia. What is that smell?
[Captain Kirk] This is Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Federation Starship Enterprise. State your purpose.
[Romulan Commander] Earth vessel Enterprise. We have been following your warp engine signature for some time. It seems to be highly correlated to a noxious gas that is emanating from your life support diffusers.
[Captain Kirk] Thank you for pointing that out Commander. Yes, we picked up some bad dilithium crystals at our last stop on starship base Berengaria VII. I believe you know of it.
[Romulan Commander] Yes. It seems to be going around. We were never able to domesticate the dragons there. I see you have made them an endangered species. Your wisdom in this matter escapes me. In monitoring your subspace communications Captain, we have ascertained that you are planning to make a maximum warp speed run back to Earth.
[Captain Kirk] Commander, I have said no such thing. We are observing the Napa-Sonoma Nebula from our side of the Neutral Zone and perfectly within our rights of the agreed treaty to do so.
[Romulan Commander] Quite. So am I to understand you will not be acquiring any Shiraz or Viognier from Amalie Robert Estate?
[Captain Kirk] New Zealand reminds me of Farpoint station in relation to the Napa-Sonoma Nebula. They were such a small colony in a far away corner of the planet bordered by a much larger Australian continent. They also grew some of the same wines. It was called Syrah in New Zealand and the rest of Earth’s wine growing regions, but it was called Shiraz in Australia. Sometimes co-grown and co-fermented with Viognier, as we see in this picture from Amalie Robert Estate. Lt. Uhura, can you get that on the main viewer?
[Captain Kirk] Commander, yes, I am aware we have the only wine terrorr in all of the known, and by definition, unknown galaxies. Jim is fine. What’s your name?
[Romulan Commander] Jim, my name is unpronounceable in your language, unless you have a mouthful of marbles and even then only your Chief Engineer would be so gifted as to even attempt it. You may address me as “My Buddy the Romulan Commander” if it pleases you.
[Captain Kirk] Alright Buddy, what is your interest in wine from Earth?
[Romulan Commander] Dear Jim, you must understand, we have nothing even close to wine to placate our palates during meals, or for meditational purposes. That’s what I meant Jim, meditational purposes. You see on our home world, we seek enlightenment through meditation. We can meditate for hours, and often do. Without wine, it is a sparse and meager existence, but one we are forced to embrace. We have also very recently lost our poppy fields.
[Captain Kirk] But you have Romulan Ale. Romulan Ale is coveted throughout all the galaxies.
[Romulan Commander] Yes Jim, this is true. Have you ever tasted Romulan Ale? Sure, we make an ocean of it and it is virtually all exported. It is like the wines from the Napa-Sonoma Nebula - highly allocated, but never consumed. It is often bought and then resold on winebid.com. It is not for us. We seek the holy grail of wine. We seek Shiraz.
[Captain Kirk] Well listen here, buddy. What if I told you to go pound sand?
[Captain Kirk] Welcome Aboard, Ensign.
Mr. Scott, you seem a bit more irritable than usual these last few days.
[Scotty] I just can’t get the balance right, Captain!
[Scotty] Oh, that was, ah, a squeak in these boots, Captain. I just had them resoled.
[Mr. Spock] That seems to be a recurring phenomenon across all decks Captain. Logically, it would seem all of the resoled boots are in some way… defective.
[Captain Kirk] Captains log, Stardate 1709.2. We have just completed our mission to resupply the outpost at Farpoint station and are making our way to Earth. We will be passing by the Napa-Sonoma Nebula, which is quite a beautiful phenomenon to witness – from a safe distance. Those that enter seldom return. And those that do return are irreparably harmed. The Neutral zone will be off our port side. The threat of Romulan intrusion into Federation space is always a real and unwelcomed possibility.
[Background discussion] “Live long and prosper. Before I met Mr. Spock, I always thought that was a punch line to a wiener dog joke.”
[Captain Kirk] Mr. Scott, I am beaming down to Amalie Robert Estate to get some Satisfaction. I want the food replicators rebalanced and the diluthium crystals changed out before I get back. I can’t seem to stop my eyes from watering.
[Scotty] Will do Captain, even if I have to take the Enterprise apart piece by piece.
[Captain Kirk] Keep that to yourself helmsman. Mr. Spock does not have much of a sense of humor.
[Mr Chekov] Approaching the Napa-Sonoma Nebula, Keptin.
[Captain Kirk] Steady as she goes.
[Bones] It’s quite a sight to behold, Jim.
[Mr. Spock] Highly illogical. Why did the Australians choose to ostracize themselves by calling the wine Shiraz? And why would you grow white grapes right next to black grapes?
[Bones] That is a matter of speculation Mr. Spock. It seems that many of the vine cuttings made their way from Hermitage in France to Australia via the penal colony boats coming out of England. Quality control was not really a French “spécialité” at the time and the vine cuttings got mixed together. Anyway, the English solution to crime, sickness and “deplorables” was to simply ship them off to penal colonies in Australia like Port Aurthur in Tasmania. Better than ending up in Perth, I guess.
[Mr. Spock] Australia was a relatively new and undiscovered continent. And it is worth pointing out that those vine cuttings were not about to plant and tend themselves. They needed labor, deplorable or not.
[Scotty] It was rumored that before the Australians flushed them, the New Zealanders had developed warp drive capability. The Australians got wind of this technology and they were able to make it work.
[Bones] There seems to be some breaking wind here on the bridge.
[Captain Kirk] You know, Amalie Robert Estate grows and produces some of the finest Syrah in the galaxy and they are going to be open this weekend. They will be pouring a vertical of their Satisfaction Syrah. I received the communication via subspace just a few days ago.
[Mr. Spock] The timing of this open house and the recent intergalactic publication of Wine & Spirits Magazine seems highly correlated.
[Captain Kirk] Strike while the iron is hot, Mr. Spock.
[Mr. Chekov] Keptin, Amalie Robert Estate is a long ways away from our present course.
[Captain Kirk] Mr. Checkov, could you be more vague?
[Mr. Chekov] Probably not, Sir. But, I could try.
[Lt.Uhura] Captain, Romulan warbid decloaking off the port side!
[Captain Kirk] Is there a problem with the matter anti-matter balance in the warp core?
[Scotty] No, Captain, the warp core is purring like a kitten. It’s the food replicators. Ever since we brought on supplies at the starship base on Berengaria VII, the protein to starch ratio has been way off. It’s like we are all getting an extra portion of beans with every meal. Our supplies might be showing some residual effects of when the Romulans took over the planet.
[Bones] The routine physicals over the past few weeks have shown elevated blood pressure and slight weight gain.
[Captain Kirk] Hmm. Yes, I have noticed my belt has expanded out a notch or so. Well Mr. Scott, you are not going to get the food replicators balanced up here on the bridge.
[Scotty] Aye Captain, I’ll get right on it.
[Captain Kirk] What was that sound?
[Captain Kirk] Yes. And what a vintage… Earth 2010. They had to retrieve this from their “library.”
[Mr. Spock] Captain, I believe you have made a “Fau-PAUX!” That is Klingon, but roughly translated it means to soil in your own mess kit.
[Romulan Commander] Well Jim, we would not care to “go pound sand.” How would you like us to substitute all the liquids aboard your vessel with Romulan Ale? You would remember us often, but I assure you, not fondly.
[Captain Kirk] I see your point. We could be going past Amalie Robert Estate and they have a very compelling cool climate Syrah. And it has a very appropriate name, “Satisfaction.” Would that be of interest to you? Would you like to get some Satisfaction, buddy?
[Romulan Commander] Oh Jim, yes. We would be very pleased to get some Satisfaction. And I have seen that you are on the “A-List” with Amalie Robert Estate which affords you discounts and other benefits and privileges. Would you be so gracious as to extend your A-List discount to me, your buddy the Romulan Commander? As you know, we are unable to cross to Neutral zone to sign up for the A-List.
[Mr. Spock] Jim, this could go a very long way in advancing interstellar relations between Earth and the Australians, I mean Romulans.
[Captain Kirk] It hasn’t stopped them before. But it confirms one thing, Mr. Spock. They are not A-List material.
Very well then. We shall return to these exact coordinates in one week’s time.