December has been an absolute blur ~ from Christmas parties to last minute shopping (I know, it comes the same time every year) to spending a wonderful visit with friends who live far away ~ I now find myself on New Year’s Eve with a nasty cold. Bah! As I write this, I’m bundled up sipping tea with lemon. Am I pairing it with any beautiful vintages? Sadly, no. Any wine I try to sip (with or without mulling spices) makes my symptoms just that much worse, and me just that much more fun to be around. I see how HubbyDoug and my girl are looking sideways at me ~ I now know what it must be like to be a harbinger of viral doom.
So why does wine, with all of its health benefits, create such havoc in some people? According to MayoClinic.com, it is due to a sensitivity to histamine and an intolerance to the alcohol content in the wine. Wine and beer are high in histamine ~ a chemical also produced by the body to aid in the immune response. The body does this as a way to protect itself from any incoming pathogens or irritants. If you have an intolerance to alcohol, your body is not as well equipped to efficiently break down the alcohol you consume, which leads to the histamine response and… I think you see where this is going. And when you have a cold and your sinuses are already inflamed, it’s just like putting out a fire with gasoline.
I like to believe that I’m very tolerant of most alcohol, especially wine. But with this cold, I don’t think I’m going to tempt fate. So I’m taking the night off. But that doesn’t mean you should. Especially tonight of all nights! So go, enjoy! I don’t mind.
Even though my cold has me sidelined tonight, I didn’t want to let the old year slip away without sending some warm wishes your way. And I hope you’ll be toasting with some fabulous wines that start your 2014 off on a high note.