One of my favorite places to visit with my family is the Napa Valley. We love touring the vineyards and going to the different wineries and learning the subtle differences between the wines. It's relaxing, it's beautiful, and it's fun.

One of our favorite wineries to visit is Domaine Carneros which is on the border of Napa and Sonoma. They specialize in sparkling wine (you can't call it champagne unless it's made in France). They do use the traditional champagne method in order to create their sparkling wine. With the traditional champagne method, you get the bubbles into the wine through the natural fermentation and aging of the wine. That is in contrast to other sparkling wine which takes wine and inject carbon dioxide into it to get the bubbles in that way.

There's a big difference.

One thing we learned on our last tour of the winery is "tiny bubbles, tiny troubles...big bubbles, big troubles." When you make sparkling wine in the traditional method, you get tiny bubbles and they say it won't cause a hangover. When you have big bubbles, because of the soda method, it can be a problem.

Why is a podiatrist talking about sparkling wine?

The questions has to be asked, why would a winery even use the soda method? Why wouldn't you use the method that creates a better product? There are two answers:

  1. It's faster
  2. It's cheaper

We see this in podiatry with people making custom orthotics. There are a lot of ways to evaluate people for a custom orthotic. I use a traditional plaster cast of the foot, but other people use a foam box that you step in, or a digital scanner, or a scanner that you walk over. To me, the traditional method where I take about 45 minutes and do a true biomechanical exam, looking at you from your lower back down, being able to see the intricacies of how your feet, and your ankle, and your legs work together to carry you from Point A to Point B allows me to design the perfect orthotic for you.

Sure, I could use a digital scanner which would take a fraction of the time, but I wouldn't have this valuable information. And that's why I see people from all over the city and even beyond who come to me for their custom orthotics.

If you've had a pair of custom orthotics that you feel haven't worked for you, maybe it's time to try the traditional method.

Give us a call and we'll be happy to schedule an immediate appointment for you.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.