Claire, if you asked her, would say that she is Long Suffering. She has to put up with wine bottles in every room, fruit in the freezer and demijohns in the bath. All because one year she bought me a wine-making kit for Christmas. On Saturday, 19th March, Claire proved that, despite all this, she does actually love me. She asked whether I had yet ticked 'Y' off my wine alphabet (I haven't) and told me that she had seen something called 'Ya Ya Pears' for sale at Noshis. Now, I have made pear wine before, and that was disgusting, but I was really struggling for the letter Y. Apparently there is an edible plant called Yarrow, but I don't know where to find that, and Yam Wine sounds fraught with peril. So Ya-Ya Pears fit the bill nicely (though when I have looked them up on Wikipedia it calls them 'Ya Pears').
I hot-footed it to Noshis and found the pears selling at five for a pound. Fifteen came to about 5 lbs in weight, so that is what I bought. They are pale - a yellowy-greeny-white skin that is speckled with faded brown dots, and rounder than European pears.
On Sunday morning I cut each pear into small pieces and put these in the bucket. I tried a piece and the overall taste was bland with a hint of pear, so I don't hold out too much hope for the resulting wine. I added 2 lbs 12 oz sugar and seven pints of boiling water.
The afternoon and evening were spent in Ilkley practising and then performing Brahms' Tragic Overture, Elgar's Cello Concerto and Dvorak's Seventh Symphony. On my return the liquid had cooled sufficiently to add the yeast and a teaspoon each of pectolase and nutrient.
I left this until Friday evening, 25th March, though stirred it once or twice a day. Putting the liquid into its demijohn was a quick job, and mostly done during a traumatic episode of The Archers, where the domestic abuse storyline with Helen and Rob must surely be coming to a denoument. The wine has an undead look to it, as if made by ghosts.
I racked this on 4 June, which is a bit later than I would ordinarily rack it, and I tried to video myself doing this, to show how the racking works. Unfortunately, for some unfathomable reason, the video decided to stop after a minute and sixteen seconds. I have no idea why, and it remains a tale half told. Anyway, here is the video.
If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here