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08.21.2006

The Benefits of Socialized Medicine

I really enjoyed the time I spent in England as an exchange student during college. I fit pretty well into the culture there despite my extreme aversion to Black and Tans and the occasional pair of white socks which marked me as a clear Yank. I have fond memories of lots of things, including my only run-in with the British medical system, which made treatment for a set of infected, recently removed wisdom teeth both literally and figuratively painless. Not to mention, completely free.

While I know all sorts of problems exist with the current system, including many people having to wait ages for treatments that come sometimes too little too late, it's a pretty great thing that everyone gets healthcare.

And now, even if they are sitting around in a hospital room, waiting for a treatment, at least they can do it with a nice glass of wine. No, hospitals aren't instituting a corkage policy. They're actually stocking wine.

I tell you. America really has some things to learn from the British. First, they start letting retirees invest their pensions in wine, and now they're letting you sip fine Bordeaux while you're in traction with a colostomy bag.

This recent turn of events was announced today as a partnership between the King Edward VII Hospital and UK wine merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd.

You've heard of medical vacations? Some people are going to Thailand for plastic surgery. I'm going to England for any hospital stay longer than 24 hours. Recovery is so much faster with a bottle of bubbly in an ice bucket next to your IV.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud