In the innocent days of late 2019, I ordered a box of wines of Pynchonian pedigree. We’ve since knocked off the Constantia, the Pouilly Fuisse, the Tignanello, and the Zeltinger. But the bottle of Chablis has had to bide its time. It was destined to become punch, and opportunities to break out the punch bowl turned out to be pretty limited for a while there.
The moment finally came last weekend. I realised that a single bottle of Chablis wasn’t going to make a very convincing impression on a punch bowl, and supplemented the pretty nice bottle of Joseph Drouhin Vaudon I’d started with with a couple of cheaper Simonnet-Febvre Petit Chablis. On top of that went what was left of the cloudberry liqueur, orange juice, grapefruit tonic water, mint, and a whole bunch of fruit.
In V.‘s third chapter, we meet Yusef, anarchist bartender tasked with working the punch table. Yusef is keeping a close eye on one particular patron:
The Englishman smiled, turned, picked up his five cups of punch and started down the stairs. At the second step he tripped and fell; proceeded whirling and bouncing, followed by the sounds of breaking glass and a spray of Chablis punch, to the bottom. Yusef noted that he knew how to take falls.V., p. 69.
Happily my own punch was a smashing success, but not like that.