Work in Progress: Vintner’s Joy

I had pears. I had many pears. I made pear pies, pear butter, pear jam, pear cordial, pear-pepper relish. I peeled and I cored and I poached, and still I had pears. Well, thought I, clearing the fruit-fly billows around the pears in the garage, I shall now make wine, and thereby have an end to these pears.
And I did this thing. I stemmed and tossed, not without a certain fondness, each pear (and, yes some fruit flies) into the blender, where my decree — “Puree!” — was met with pear-flavored baby food. This, a quart of blackberries (giving a lovely grapefruit hue to the mix) and three gallons of water, and three pounds of sugar I poured into the carboy.
And yeast. Oh, my, yes, and yeast. Bakers use yeast, use it by the spoonful, sometimes the several spoonful. Brewers, too, in at least 14 gram portions. Wine yeast, inexplicably, comes in portions of 5 grams so, to meet my expectations of portion and propriety, I threw in 3 packages.
And to bed.
This morning I rose at 5, the light of wonder of a new day shining from my eyes, for the sight that met them was a carboy full of pureed fruit and sugar experiencing Carnival in a carboy. The yeast was partying heavily, tipping back the sugars and going for more, and if I had a microscope with me I’m sure I’d have seen them decked out with parade floats, rosaries, and bare-breasted yeast women.
They had partied as well in the small chunks of fruit that remained corporate. The chunks held the gas and alchohol rather better than the fluid portions of the mixture, so the fruit chunks all rose to the top of the carboy and clogged the airlock that normally allows the CO2 to escape. Well (I thought), that is easily remedied, and cast an innocent hand forward to loosen the airlock.
I expected a certain, sudden expansion and flow of fruit chunks to rise, tsunami like, implacable and sweet, and that I’d have to clean up a certain amount of pooled mess from the floor. No such thing. Removing the airlock, I saw no movement whatsoever, merely a pad of fruit resting gently at the top of the flow showing colors one sometimes sees just at sunrise when the air turns flame and electric pink.
I was admiring it and beginning to feel somewhat troubled that the fermentation had stopped somehow, when the pad trembled.
I had a bare moment, half a bare moment, actually, one of those short moments that one only recognizes in retrospect from having a memory of it, not enough time for even the beginnings of adrenaline. Then, without transition, the pad and much of the fruit below it let go the carboy and described an inverted cone above the carboy’s mouth, degenerating some six feet off the ground into parabolic arcs that eventually intersected with counters, walls, the living room carpet, the stove, the family room. Sudden geometry inscribed in air through the healthful medium of an apparent vomit volcano.
There was a Scott-shaped blast shadow, somewhat warped for
translation to two dimensions but recognizable, inscribed on the floor behind me.
I…I looked like a hard night at the fraternity.
There was exactly enough time to clean all the faux-vomit from the house before work. Stephanie helped until the obvious similarity struck her, and she had to leave, shuddering.
This better be f***ing good wine, that’s all I have to say.