"Clean-Crafted Health" (Why Scout & Cellar Part 1)

by Edward Traub

Wendell Berry wrote, "The concept of health is rooted in the concept of wholeness.  To be healthy is to whole."  Berry continues to point out that the word also brings a family of words with it: heal, whole, wholesome, hale, hallow, holy.  To isolate any "part" from other "parts" creates un-health.  This carries over into all the diverse ways we live as humans.  We cannot be fully human without wholeness.  Scout & Cellar is seeking to guide those of us who enjoy wine to a healthier way to be.  It's one way, of course, yet it also points us to other places we can grow.

For several years we have been on a search for wine's that don't create headaches and allergic reactions for Heather...and we're not talking about the "hangover" types of headaches or side-effects...that's another problem altogether!  What we're talking about are the negative side-effects of having just one glass of wine with a meal or in a social setting, and that one glass causing physical reactions.

We haven't had a lot of what most call "disposable" income, so we have kept our wine purchases infrequent and we have become highly selective with our choices.  I would stand and stare at the hundreds of wines available at the store, paralyzed first by all the options...some of them very good.  First we would try "oaked" vs. "un-oaked," then South American (especially those from Chile or Argentina) instead of California wines.  Later we would try some wines from France or Italy to see what differences might not create the troubling results.  Theories float around about the use or presence of sulfites as well.

Now, being picky is a good thing.  We have for many years cared deeply about what we're putting into our bodies (I'll write more specifically about farming next time).  I've learned over the years now that some of the things I thought were normal came part and parcel with eating food weren't necessarily necessary.  We could actually enjoy good food without those types of after-effects.

I remember that my grandparents on my mom's side always had a "dry" home.  They sought to keep alcohol out of the home.  I'm not exactly sure why, but they had their reasons.  It was no big deal to me growing up.  I'm pretty sure my uncles enjoyed beer on occasion and it was no secret, but as a general rule, it was a "dry" home.  That is until their doctor recommended much later in life that they ought to drink some red wine with their evening meals on occasion.  To my memory, they did try it, and it sticks in my memory because I had never heard that there were health benefits to wine!

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Last year, I was encouraged to work on my own heart health by my doctor.  He told me to drink some red wine and eat more avocados (and oatmeal, of course...and regular exercise, to be clear), and what a delight to think that things I enjoy can contribute to my overall health!  Bring on the guacamole!  Not sure about pairing red wine with guac, but you get the idea.

Charles Eames is well-known for having admonished us to "take your pleasure seriously."  By this he means that things and experiences that bring delight are vital.  Pleasure and joy aren't superfluous to the "usefulness" of things but instead that pleasure is essential for human's to live healthfully.  The physical health benefits of wine are well-documented and the emotional/spiritual health, although difficult to measure, are equally important.  Joy (more about that in another post) is not subservient to our physical needs.

Scout & Cellar is committed to sharing clean-crafted wine with the world and that chemically altered wines are not the norm!  Your health does not need to be sacrificed for delight, the two are meant to co-exist.