Sunday, March 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Wineaux: A sparkling prescription for a new disease

SusanLeonardiWineauxW

By
From page A7 | August 21, 2014 |

In my English professor days, I occasionally gave students a get-acquainted exercise with a couple of requests like, “Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.” Usually the responses were fairly innocuous — ”I’m a licensed pilot,” “My brother calls me ‘Toofer,’ ” “I have a pit bull named Killer,” “My mother’s an embalmer.” That sort of thing.

I suspect this ploy would no longer work; since the advent of Facebook everybody knows everything about everybody else. But I’m not on Facebook, so I thought readers might be interested (why?) to find out something heretofore unknown about me: I’m a hypochondriac.
It’s a burden. Probably a fatal one.

I can’t go to one of those ask-the-doc websites because I’d immediately develop a bad case of that “very rare” but fatal condition of which my rash or headache might be a symptom. I avoid in-the-flesh doctors for the same reason: They always want to do a test just to rule out Sudden Blindness Syndrome, antibiotic-resistant pneumonia or flesh-eating staph. Just hearing the words would bring on the symptoms.

Recently I contracted a nasty little case of pinkeye. Sounds harmless enough, even cute, but the name failed to describe my malady. I didn’t have one pink eye but two very swollen, goopy, angry-red eyes. You can imagine (well, only if you’re a fellow hypochondriac) the worries that ensued.

An eye infection? Very close to the brain. What if it spreads? A swollen, goopy brain sounds ominous. And even if the infection stays localized, Sudden Blindness Syndrome looms. By the time I’ve gone through these possibilities, the heart palpitations have geared up — a sign that the virus has spread to my vital organs and will soon do me in?

Of course, this may not be pinkeye at all, I thought, but the presenting symptoms of BBVS, Broken Blood Vessel Syndrome, in which every blood vessel in your body just explodes. And, like the old woman who swallowed a horse, you die, of course. (Note to hypochondriacs: I made BBVS up. Still, could happen.)

I contemplated death. After which my head started aching and my stomach rebelling. In fact, my whole body-mind-spirit succumbed to serious lethargy. “I just don’t feel well,” I thought.

That’s exactly what my grandmother said right before she died.

This experience, unsettling as it was, gave me an insight. A whole new disease in fact. I’m calling it HIM — Hypochondria-Induced Malaise.

(And such a handy acronym: “What’s wrong?” “Oh, nothing, just HIM.”)

I know this disease has no permanent cure, but there are effective palliatives, which I can, fortunately for HIM sufferers everywhere, enumerate. Even more fortunately, you can buy them over-the-counter at 417 G St. (that would be Valley Wine Company) and they’re much less expensive than prescription drugs (as I discovered when I bought my antibiotic eye drops).

The first is a Prosecco called Sommariva. While Proseccos have in the past few years become ubiquitous and most are quite pleasant, it’s a real pleasure to come across one like this that’s actually elegant. The best Prosecco-making area is Conegliano, where Caterino and Urbana Sommariva have been growing glera — the old name for Prosecco, now back in use — since the 1970s and have now been joined in this project by their daughter Cinzia.

The Sommarivas harvest the grapes by hand from their sustainable 35-acre vineyard, mineral rich and rocky. This DOCG Brut is, like all Proseccos, vinified in stainless steel. There are two glera clones permitted in Prosecco — the harder to grow is balby, which has a sparser yield but makes a superior wine — and Sommariva is made exclusively of balby grapes.

Citrus-y, herby, yeasty, this light gold sparkler — imported by Kermit Lynch — has a nice peach and melon aroma and fine, firm bubbles. It’s the most food-friendly wine imaginable, excellent with everything from summer vegetables to salmon, from chicken or pork to sushi. That malaise will disappear in no time.

For more desperate cases of HIM, try a bottle of Il Disperato. Yes, that really is the name (apparently the winemaker was desperately trying to find a good one) of this lovely Northern Italian (Verona) white. It’s 100-percent  garganega, a grape commonly used to make Soave (which is, by the way, making a comeback) and sweet wines.

If Italian whites make you think “thin and sour,” you really should try this intense, round, savory beauty. Besides some bracing lime, it has floral and tropical fruit, plum and spice notes and good acidity with a tangy finish. Only 2,500 cases were made, so get it while you can. Like the Sommariva, it’s around $15.

Though this wine tastes delicious on its own, it’s even better with food and pairs perfectly with all manner of appetizers from cheese to fresh sardines, from salumi to hummus, from salad to crostini. And if you’re looking, as I always am, for a good hot-weather pasta partner, look no further.

A bottle of Il Disperato with a generous plate of linguini (covered, say, by a simple sauce of garlic, fresh basil and roasted fresh tomatoes, topped with some freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano) equals the perfect summer dinner. Just the thought of it relieves my symptoms.

Alas, HIM is quite contagious. My partner asks, “Susan, could you take a look at this freckle on my foot?”

“What about it?”

“Do you think it might be a melanoma?”

“Not really. You know, it’s August, the month for half-priced bottles of wine at Seasons.” (Her relief is palpable.)

Good wines have, I can testify, powerful prophylactic as well as palliative properties, so don’t wait until HIM symptoms hit. Get your Sommariva and Il Disperato today.

A salute!

— Reach Susan Leonardi at [email protected] Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Comments

comments

Susan Leonardi

.

News

Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Child abduction case in jury’s hands

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

MU Games closing in late March

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Still no parole in toddler case

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

City offers wetlands tour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Young patients bond with special stuffies

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Radio talk show moves to Mondays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Assault awareness campaign kicks off

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Forum

Milt Priggee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

 
Rowing: PE as well as life skills

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Police complaint procedures drafted

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Clarifying energy update letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Weekly claw pickup necessary

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

City may get charged up over energy choices

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
Design innovation centers for the 21st century

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

 
A new perspective on life

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

By Evan Ream | From Page: B10

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8