Wine and the Supreme Court Health Care Ruling

Categories: Wine Time

red wine white wine.jpg
Photo by Jeremy Parzen.
In Europe, wine is viewed not as a luxury product but rather a nutrient and an essential component of a healthy meal. Health care in Europe is considered a fundamental human right.
When I was a student in Italy in my early twenties, I ate twice a day in a university cafeteria, where 3,000 lire (roughly $2) got you a pasta or rice first course (usually topped with tomato sauce or tomato and meat sauce), a second course of fish or meat with a side of vegetables, a piece of bread, a small dessert, and one small glass of wine -- white or red.

Like any red-blooded American college student, I had done my share of drinking. At that age, wine and (mostly) beer were a sine qua non component of adolescent socialization. And their sole purpose was inebriation: I can't remember an instance when my companions or I stopped to say, wow, this beer is really hoppy! or this Chardonnay is really well balanced! (you get the picture and if you're reading this, you've probably been there yourself).

And so when I first started eating at the university cafeteria, I was impressed by the fact that wine was served at lunch and dinner. Of course, the quantity wasn't sufficient to "catch a buzz" or "get your drink on." The serving size was just enough to allow the gentle alcohol in the wine to stimulate the acids in your stomach and the acidity to give you a jump start in digesting your food.

If you've ever traveled to Europe, you know that wine is served at every meal. Some Europeans prefer to go hungry if no wine is served (I've seen this numerous times when accompanying Europeans to dinner here in the U.S.). In Europe, wine -- which often costs less than water, as the old adage goes -- is viewed not as a luxury product but rather an essential nutrient that provides sustenance and aids in digestion (in other words, it helps you to poop better).

So what does any of this have to do with yesterday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court wherein the justices upheld the Affordable Care Act?

Until yesterday, the United States remained the only rich western country that had not embraced universal coverage for its citizens -- a basic and fundamental human right. And today, like yesterday, we remain the only rich western country where wine is still served like a cocktail -- without food -- and is viewed as a luxury product and a privilege of the one percent. Ours is also the only country where high-alcohol and low-acidity wine is considered the model for fine wine.

Now that the justices have ruled that Obamacare is constitutional, what's next? Federally sanctioned gay marriage? Abolition of the death penalty? Those lofty goals and ideals are in sight and within grasp. But in the meantime, I'll settle for some low-alcohol and high-acidity wine with dinner tonight.



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12 comments
integrated medicine
integrated medicine

Thank you and I agree with you.  Social media is a powerful platform and if health care organizations and doctors (and other health care professionals) adopt it, possibly it can benefit patients and health care consumers.  I'd love to learn more about your company---how it is embracing this idea.  Thanks again.

integrated medicine
integrated medicine

Medical care change has been a top goals for the Democratic celebration since the Truman Management. The change was approved almost completely by Dems in party-line ballots and oppositions of the change contact it "Obamacare." Since the midterm elections, Conservatives now keep most in the Home and vow to turned around or seriously restrict the change law.

integrated medicine
integrated medicine

Wow.....What a nice post!!....Your post is an excellent example of why I keep coming back to read your excellent quality content that is forever updated.I would like to read newer posts and to share my thoughts with you.Thanks a lot....

Nbucking
Nbucking

Maybe that is true from some americans and some europeans but certainly not a majority of either. I always grew up with some wine at dinner and my polish wife never drank wine for any meal. In fact, drinking in poland is a lot like how you describe it in the US. Maybe this wine theory is true for those who live near wine country, Napa valley or the Rhineland-phalz, but not for the millions that drink beer at every meal or vodka like my father-in-law. Im in Romania now and they drink lots of beer like the germans, polish, french, english, slovenians, austrians, swiss. While in the countries of Georgia and Italy I enjoyed lots of good wine with the meal. Also in medieval europe wine was drank like water, that might be the europe you are refering to....

Antiqua Tours
Antiqua Tours

This was a great article and thanks for posting!  Shared!

Jeremy Parzen
Jeremy Parzen

It took me a little while longer than my 22 years... but I got there, too! :) thanks for reading... :)

Jeremy Parzen
Jeremy Parzen

 "Any recommendations to pass along in the "high acidity, low alcohol" category?" Just follow along! :) thanks for taking time to read the post...

Antiqua Tours
Antiqua Tours

I teach a wine class to American students between the ages of 19-22 and I am proud to say that though they might have drinking in mind when they start, by the end of the semester they are making comments like the one above, "this Chardonnay is really well balanced!"  It is all a matter of education!

Kyle M
Kyle M

I suppose a stream of political backbiting was inevitable on an internet post that included references to political activity... but we're missing the point: wine! Jeremy, thanks for sharing the cultural observations. Any recommendations to pass along in the "high acidity, low alcohol" category? Since it's under appreciated that makes me think there's some affordable high quality stuff out there.

Me
Me

abolition of unborn human persons being murdered

Katie M. Nelson
Katie M. Nelson

I'm sure you would agree that nationalized medicine is better than no service at all?..FoxGetPositionWork.blogspot.com

Matthew
Matthew

tell me more about these people in america that receive no medical care because they can't afford it. i'd like to know why we spent $835 billion on healthcare for the poor and the elderly in 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:U.S._Federal_Spending_-_FY_2011.png assuming 100,000,000 people are on medicare and/or medicaid, that's $8350 per person. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_people_receive_medicare_and_medicaid that's more per person than is spent on average, from bill's link.

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