Being Wrong About Gout

Ernest Hemingay had gout - "grace under pressure."
Ernest Hemingay had gout - "grace under pressure."

Last week I visited the beautiful Cape town of Montagu, a place not know for abstinence. With hordes of kids running around the streets, there is not a lot of celibacy going on. This is obvious.
,And when it comes to the pleasure of imbibing good wine, they don’t hold back either. My host was Alwyn Liebenberg, the livewire cellarmaster at Montagu’s Uitvlucht winery as well as being a legendary deep-sea fisherman. I was in town to discuss a business proposition with Alwyn concerning some classic Port, and ended-up staying for dinner with him, his charming wive Beulah and their whizzkid daughter, Olivia.
After a bottle of Champagne, we had a delicious fillet poached in red wine accompanied by two bottles of red wine, of which one was Priorat. Then followed a cheeseboard in tandem with a bottle of Malmsey Madeira (Blandy’s) and one bottle of the secret Port we were there to discuss. As Alwyn said the following morning clearing the bottles: “Thank heavens it was only a week night, otherwise we might really have got stuck in.”
Business done, I headed back to Cape Town and ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ sure as hell ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ my gout started tightening its iron grip on my heel.
Now, for those who have not experienced gout, think of a red-hot steel skewer being inserted slowly into an ankle, toe or heel joint by the person you love who is also emptying a bottle of Cheval Blanc 1962 into a kitchen sink in front of you and listening to the minutes of a KWV board-meeting. It is that painful.
By the time I got to Cape Town I could hardly exert pressure on the accelerator the pain was so intense. I stopped at a pharmacy, hobbled over to the counter and got a packet of Cataflan pills.
Relief was slow in coming, but it came.
Talking to Alwyn later that evening, I mentioned the gout and told him that the Madeira and Port had obviously taken up sides with my gout to descend the lances of pain on me. Fortified wines are traditionally known gout-causers.
Being a Port lover of the knowledgeable kind, he defended his beloved elixir like a father defending the reputation of a favourite child. “What about the cheese you had? And the meat?” he asked. “Did you think about that?”
Upon further research, I discovered that Alwyn was, indeed, correct. And while those partaking in the odd bit of liquid refreshment do succumb to the dreaded “G”, beer is known to be the major contributor. More so than wine ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ fortified or not.
I thus quickly did some reminiscing. Port on Tuesday. But five pints of lager on the Monday before.
No wonder those guys in the Castle advertisements keep shrieking all the time.
Of course, a fact about gout that could have caused South African Breweries much of a headache is the fact that people of African origin are far less likely to suffer from gout than whiteys. And if you are of English origin, you are five times more likely to go down from this painful affliction.
It could not happen to a nicer bunch.

E Louw Joubert

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