Sulfites are a food preservative widely used in winemaking, thanks to their ability to maintain the flavor and freshness of wine. While they’re found in many foods and beverages, they’re particularly associated with a long list of side effects related to wine consumption, including the dreaded wine-induced headache.
What are sulfites, and why are they in my wine?
- Sulfites are generally used as a preservative. They keep harmful bacterial or fungal organisms from growing in food products. They also act as antioxidants in dried fruit and wine to prevent the product from turning to a brownish color.
- 1 What are the side effects of sulfites in wine?
- 2 Are sulphites bad for you?
- 3 What wines do not contain sulfites?
- 4 How do you remove sulfites from wine?
- 5 What alcohol is high in sulfites?
- 6 Are sulfites bad for kidneys?
- 7 How do I know if I’m allergic to sulphites?
- 8 Are sulfites cancerous?
- 9 Do organic wines have sulfites?
- 10 Is there a red wine without sulfites?
- 11 Which alcohol does not have sulfites?
- 12 Do more expensive wines have less sulfites?
- 13 Are eggs high in sulfites?
- 14 What foods are high in sulfites?
- 15 What is the difference between sulfites and sulfates?
- 16 Sulfites in Wine: Uses and Side Effects
- 17 What to Know About Sulfites in Wine
- 18 What Are Sulfites?
- 19 Why Does Wine Contain Sulfites?
- 20 Effects of Sulfites
- 21 Do Sulfites Cause Wine Headaches?
- 22 Wines With Minimal Sulfites
- 23 Are Wine Sulfites to Blame for Your Post-Wine Hangovers?
- 24 What Are Sulfites and Where Do They Come From?
- 25 What’s in a Label?
- 26 Which Wines Have the Lowest Sulfite Levels
- 27 The Connection Between Sulfites and Headaches
- 28 Wine Sulfites Are Fine, But Here’s How to Remove Them Anyway
- 29 What’s the difference between sulfates and sulfites in wine?
- 30 The Truth About Sulfites in Wine & the Myths of Red Wine Headaches
- 31 The Facts About Sulfites in Wine
- 32 4 Myths About Sulfites in Wine
- 33 Why Sulfites Are Often Necessary in Wine
- 34 What Are Sulphites? Are Sulphites In Wine Dangerous?
- 35 Understandingsulphites in alcohol
- 36 The biggest health risk is an allergic reaction
- 37 Do sulphites in wine cause headaches?
- 38 What is sulphite sensitivity?
- 39 How do I tell how much sulphur is in a bottle of wine?
- 40 The Truth About Sulfites in Wine — A Matter of Taste
- 41 What do high sulfite levels in wine mean?
- 42 If Sulfites Are Safe, Why Avoid Them?
- 43 Sulfites in Natural Wine
- 44 Is Wine Without Sulfites Better for You?
- 45 What Are Sulfites?
- 46 How Do Sulfites Affect Wine?
- 47 How Much Sulfur Dioxide Does Wine Have?
- 48 Sulfites in Wine: Red Wine vs. White Wine
- 49 The Truth About Sulfites and Your Health
- 50 Choose Wine Without Sulfites (Added Sulfites, That Is)
- 51 It’s Time to Enjoy a Sulfite-Free Sip
- 52 What Are Sulfites? Learn If Wine Is Causing Your Headaches
- 53 What Are Sulfites?
- 54 Are There Sulfites in Wine?
- 55 Sulfites in Processed Foods
- 56 Understanding Sulfite Sensitivity and Sulfite Allergy
- 57 How To Avoid Sulfites in Wine
- 58 Busting Sulfite Myths Once and for All
What are the side effects of sulfites in wine?
Sulfite reactions normally affect breathing, but some people with sensitivity have skin reactions, such as hives, or digestive problems, such as abdominal pain or diarrhea. Some individuals experience a mixture of symptoms, including respiratory, skin, and digestive reactions.
Are sulphites bad for you?
Sulphites can trigger asthma and symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction. Many people who have asthma may also have a sulphite sensitivity. An allergist can confirm sulphite sensitivity. In this case, sulphites need to be avoided.
What wines do not contain sulfites?
Top 5: Wines Without Sulfites
- Frey Vineyards Natural Red NV, California ($9)
- Cascina Degli Ulivi Filagnotti 2009, Piedmont ($22)
- Domaine Valentin Zusslin Crémant Brut Zéro, Alsace ($25)
- Donkey & Goat The Prospector Mourvèdre 2010 ($30), California.
- Château Le Puy Côtes de Francs 2006, Bordeaux ($42)
How do you remove sulfites from wine?
In theory, you can remove sulfites by adding hydrogen peroxide to your wine.
What alcohol is high in sulfites?
Beer, brown liquor, and ciders are high in histamines and sulfites, so stick to natural wines and clear liquors.
Are sulfites bad for kidneys?
Administration of metabisulfite has also been shown to damage kidney cells.
How do I know if I’m allergic to sulphites?
In very rare cases it is possible that sulfites may have caused anaphylaxis, the most severe type of allergic reaction. Symptoms include flushing, fast heartbeat, wheezing, hives, dizziness, stomach upset and diarrhoea, collapse, tingling or difficulty swallowing.
Are sulfites cancerous?
Other Safety Concerns and Regulations. Sulfiting agents are not teratogenic, mutagenic, or carcinogenic in laboratory animals, however there is a fraction of the public that is sulfite sensitive and susceptible to a wide range of effects due to acute allergic reactions (FDA 1988).
Do organic wines have sulfites?
Organic Wine is wine without added sulfites. Under the USDA National Organic Program, sulfites are a synthetic food additive. They are not allowed in organic wine or any other certified organic food products, such as dried fruits, jams, salad dressings or juices.
Is there a red wine without sulfites?
Sulfite-free wines do not exist. It is literally literally impossible. Sulfites are also a preservative, but the fermentation process doesn’t produce enough sulfites to create the legendary cellar wines rich people love bragging about.
Which alcohol does not have sulfites?
Zero Sulfites Or Tannins: Sake.
Do more expensive wines have less sulfites?
Wines with lower acidity need more sulfites than higher acidity wines. Wines with more color (i.e., red wines) tend to need less sulfites than clear wines (i.e., white wines). A typical dry white wine may have around 100 mg/L whereas a typical dry red wine will have around 50–75 mg/L.
Are eggs high in sulfites?
Naturally Occurring Sulfites Peanuts, eggs, black tea, vinegar and other fermented foods contain natural sulfites. So do some otherwise healthy vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, garlic, onions, chives and leeks.
What foods are high in sulfites?
Examples of foods that may contain sulfites include:
- Baked goods.
- Soup mixes.
- Canned vegetables.
- Pickled foods.
- Dried fruit.
- Potato chips.
What is the difference between sulfites and sulfates?
Both sulfates and sulfites are sulfur-based compounds. Sulfates are salts of sulfuric acid, and you probably encounter them on a daily basis. Sulfites are naturally occurring compounds found in all wines; they act as a preservative by inhibiting microbial growth.
Sulfites in Wine: Uses and Side Effects
Sulfites are a type of food preservative that is commonly employed in the winemaking industry because of its ability to keep the flavor and freshness of the finished product. While they may be found in a wide variety of foods and beverages, they are notably connected with a broad number of negative effects associated with wine drinking, including the dreaded wine-induced headache, which is a common occurrence. According to research, some persons may be more sensitive to the effects of certain substances than others.
This article examines the benefits and drawbacks of sulfites in wine, as well as some simple strategies for reducing your sulfite consumption.
Black tea, peanuts, eggs, and fermented foods are just a few of the items that contain them in their natural state.
In reality, these chemicals are frequently used in the production of soft drinks, juices, jams, jellies, sausages, dried or pickled fruits and vegetables, and other foods to retard deterioration and avoid discolouration ( 1 ).
- Because of their antibacterial qualities, these chemicals can also help to inhibit bacterial development, which can help to extend the shelf life of wines and other foods ( 2 ).
- They are also frequently used to preserve the freshness of wine by preventing oxidation and reducing oxidation.
- They are particularly significant in the winemaking process, where they are employed to improve the flavor, appearance, and shelf life of the finished product (3).
- Some study has also revealed that these chemicals can aid to inhibit the growth of germs, hence reducing the risk of contamination and spoiling ( 2 ).
- SummarySulfites can aid in the prevention of bacterial development, the prevention of browning, and the sanitization of wine-making equipment.
- According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), around 1 percent of the population is sensitive to sulfites, with approximately 5 percent of those persons also suffering from asthma (7).
- Those who are susceptible to these substances may also have headaches as a result of exposure.
Many other substances found in wine, including alcohol, histamine, tyramine, and flavonoids, may also have a role in the development of these symptoms ( 9 ).
Sulfites are irritating to a tiny fraction of the population, which can result in headaches, hives and swelling, stomach discomfort and diarrhea in certain individuals.
If you suspect that you may be sensitive to sulfites, minimizing your intake is essential for avoiding negative health consequences.
In addition, you can choose red wine, which contains much lower quantities of alcohol than other kinds, such as white wine or dessert wine ( 9 ).
Reading food labels can assist you in determining which foods you should include in your diet and which items you should avoid.
The presence of these compounds in foods and drinks that contain more than 10 parts per million (ppm) sulfur dioxide is required to be labeled by law ( 10 ).
Checking ingredient labels thoroughly and avoiding other items that have high quantities of these substances will help you keep your consumption under control.
The majority of people are able to take sulfites without experiencing any side effects, however others may have stomach pain, headaches, itching, edema, and diarrhea.
To assist restrict your intake and avoid unwanted side effects if you’re sensitive to these chemicals, choose red wine or wine manufactured without added sulfites to help limit your consumption.
What to Know About Sulfites in Wine
Many individuals love drinking wine with a meal, on special occasions, or just as a pleasure on a regular basis. Some suffer headaches or other unpleasant side effects as a result of their actions. We frequently hear that sulfites are to blame for wine responses, but the truth is a little more convoluted. What you need to know about sulfites in wine is outlined here.
What Are Sulfites?
Sulfites, which are often written “sulphites,” are naturally occurring compounds found in a variety of foods and beverages. People have been using them as food preservation for hundreds of years. Nowadays, they are used to prevent shrimp and lobster from turning black, to bleach certain starches, and to inhibit bacterial development in wine. During the 1970s and 1980s, the usage of sulfite increased dramatically. Restaurant owners rely on them, among other things, to keep their salad bars looking fresh and appealing.
Why Does Wine Contain Sulfites?
Due to the fact that wine is fermented using yeast, which results in the production of sulfites, practically all wine includes sulfites. Since the 1800s, winemakers have been using sulfur dioxide into their blends. It has a variety of affects on the winemaking process, including the following:
- Defending against oxidation, which can have an adverse effect on the color and flavor of wine
- Preventing the proliferation of undesirable microbes is important. It is important to keep the desired hue. Increasing the development of yeast in order to improve fermentation
- The release of beneficial chemicals from the skin and seeds of the grapes is improved by this process.
Using electricity, microwaves, and ultraviolet light, among other approaches, winemakers have been experimenting with physical methods of wine preservation, as well as testing with other chemicals. Some have had success with resveratrol, a beneficial chemical found in grape skins, while others have had mixed outcomes. Resveratrol is present naturally in wine, but scientists have not yet discovered a simple technique to enhance the quantity of the compound.
Effects of Sulfites
Sulfites are safe for the majority of individuals to consume, however they can have detrimental effects on two categories of people. Those who suffer from sulfite-sensitive asthma may have severe respiratory symptoms if they consume an excessive amount of sulfite. The enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is required for the breakdown of sulfites, is absent in certain people, and this can cause catastrophic responses. It is unclear what proportion of the population is susceptible to sulfites. According to one source, around 1 percent of the population, as well as approximately 5 percent of people suffering from asthma, are sensitive to sulfites.
While most sulfite reactions impact breathing, some people with sensitivity have skin reactions such as ashives or digestive issues such as stomach discomfort and diarrhea.
Do Sulfites Cause Wine Headaches?
Patients with headaches after drinking wine frequently attribute their symptoms to sulfites, however it is uncertain if these compounds are truly to blame. A hangoverheadache can occur after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol of any sort, but people who suffer from migraines can acquire a headache after consuming as little as one glass of wine. Those who suffer from wine headaches frequently report that they occur after consuming red wine. It seems doubtful that sulfites are the cause of the problem because white wine has more of them than red wine.
If the sulfites in wine produce headaches, it is reasonable to expect that these items will have a similar effect.
Such wines frequently include chemicals that can interfere with the generation of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood regulation.
It’s conceivable that various people have distinct headache triggers for different reasons. If you get wine headaches or other adverse reactions to wine, see your doctor to determine whether you should refrain from drinking it.
Wines With Minimal Sulfites
If you want to restrict your consumption of sulfites to a minimum, read the labels of the wines you consume before you drink them. It is mandatory in the United States for wines that contain 10 parts per million (ppm) or more of sulfites to disclose on their label that they do contain sulfites. Wines from both outside and domestically are subject to this restriction. If their wines have been subjected to official examination and have been shown to have fewer than 10 parts per million of sulfites, wineries in the United States can opt to remove the label warning.
It is possible that the label does not state “no sulfites” or “sulfite free.” In the United States, wines designated as organic are not permitted to include sulfites introduced during the production process.
Sulfites may be added to these wines at a later stage in the winemaking process.
It is possible that the wine you consume in other countries contains sulfites; however, it may not be labeled as such.
Are Wine Sulfites to Blame for Your Post-Wine Hangovers?
A naturally occurring chemical by-product of the fermentation process, sulfites may be found in low concentrations in all wines. Sulfites are one of the millions of chemical by-products produced during the fermentation process. Sulfites, on the other hand, are added by the winemaker in order to preserve and protect the wine against bacterial and yeast-laden infiltrations. Some people get headaches and clogged sinuses after drinking a glass or two of wine, which they attribute to sulfur allergies.
What Are Sulfites and Where Do They Come From?
When wine is fermented at low levels, the chemical component sulfur dioxide (SO2), or sulfites as they are more often known in the wine industry, is produced naturally. Sulfites are produced at high quantities when wine is fermented at high levels. Many winemakers also use it throughout the fermentation stage of the winemaking process to safeguard and maintain the wine’s character, taste, and color, among other things. Sulfur dioxide has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, making it one of the most valuable allies available to vintners.
When it comes to housekeeping, sulfur dioxide is frequently used in vineyards.
What’s in a Label?
Current FDA laws in the United States mandate that all wines, both domestic and imported, that contain more than 10 parts per million of sulfur dioxide be labeled with the words “Contains sulfites.” This label indication was meant to safeguard those who may be allergic to sulfites (an estimated 1 percent of the population in the United States), with asthmatics being the most vulnerable group. Nasal congestion, headaches, skin flushing, bronchoconstriction, nausea, stomach discomfort, and dizziness are all symptoms of sulfite sensitivity, among other things.
The legal maximum sulfite level for wines in the United States is 350 parts per million (ppm), with most wines averaging approximately 125 parts per million (ppm).
The naturally occurring quantities of sulfur dioxide in a glass of wine, without the use of chemical additions, would be in the range of 10-20 parts per million (ppm).
Which Wines Have the Lowest Sulfite Levels
Because all wines contain naturally occurring sulfites, organic wines are your best bet if you’re looking for the lowest possible sulfite content. This is because organic wines are produced from organically grown grapes without the addition of chemicals (such as sulfur dioxide) during the winemaking process, whereas conventional wines are produced from conventionally grown grapes. Sweet white dessert wines contain the highest concentrations of sulfur dioxide, with blush wines and semi-sweet white wines ranking in second and third, respectively, in terms of sulfur dioxide content.
The Connection Between Sulfites and Headaches
It’s important to note that sulfites can be found in a variety of different foods than wine. Dried goods, jams, and canned or pre-cut vegetables are frequently fortified with sulfites to keep them from oxidizing and becoming brown when sitting on the shelf for an extended period of time. Dried fruits are known to have significantly higher levels of sulfites than a regular bottle of wine. There is still controversy about sulfites and their relationship to wine headaches, with many in the wine business pointing to histamines, tannins, and, of course, alcohol as the true culprits.
Wine Sulfites Are Fine, But Here’s How to Remove Them Anyway
Having said that, many people report experiencing headaches after consuming red wine, to the point where the term “Red Wine Headache” (RWH) has been coined. While the chemistry behind it is still a mystery, significant candidates include histamine and tyramine, two natural compounds that may cause high blood pressure and headaches when consumed in large quantities. (Fun fact: Red wines have more histamine than white wines, while white wines contain significantly more sulfite.) Another uncomfortable point is that wine includes a lot of alcohol, which has a substantial dehydrating—and hence causing a headache—effect on the body.
- Alternatively, you may still believe that sulfites are causing your headache.
- As it turns out, there is a technique, and it is considerably less high-tech than you might expect.
- A chemical reaction occurs between hydrogen peroxide and sulfur dioxide, converting sulfur dioxide into hydrogen sulfate, which does not create the issues associated with sulfites.
- Sulfites are present in wine in small amounts, and a variety of treatments on the market claim to remove them.
- An alternative version, meant to desulfitize a whole bottle, is also available in a single-use package format.
- Despite the fancy terminology that surrounds these treatments, it doesn’t take long to figure out what their active ingredients are: water and hydrogen peroxide, to be precise.
- I experimented with ancient and young wines, native and imported wines, and reds and whites of various ages.
- However, while these strips employ different shades of pink to estimate sulfites and cannot provide an exact figure, I discovered that untreated wines had sulfite levels between 50 and 100 mg/L, which is precisely what the majority of wine industry professionals state.
- Two sprays of SO 2 GO were advised, which reduced sulfites by approximately one-third, but another couple of sprays brought it closer to parity with Just the Wine.
- Pouring roughly a half-ounce of normal drugstore hydrogen peroxide into a glass of wine was enough to practically eradicate the sulfites entirely, just for fun, and it worked perfectly.
Although the custom products were made from the same ingredients as the bulk peroxide, it was far easier to control their application and they were arguably safer than using bulk peroxide because both claim to use “food grade” hydrogen peroxide in their formulation and are intended for small-scale use.
TL;DR version of this is that sulfites are not likely to cause headaches-at least, they are not likely to cause your headaches-but if you are concerned about sulfites, you can scale them back a bit (but not totally) by using some basic hydrogen peroxide drops.
Alternatively, you could simply stock up on Advil.
What’s the difference between sulfates and sulfites in wine?
Greetings, everyone! My name is Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny if you like. Ask me your most difficult wine questions, ranging from the nuances of etiquette to the complexities of winemaking science. Not to worry, I’m no wine connoisseur; you can also come to me with those “stupid questions” that you’re too embarrassed to ask your wine geek buddies. Hope you find my responses to be instructive, empowering, and perhaps humorous in some way. Please remember to visit my frequently asked questions page as well as my whole archive for all of my Q A masterpieces.
- —Fred from Boca Raton, Florida Greetings, Fred Inorganic sulfates and sulfites are both sulfur-containing chemicals.
- In everything from dish soap and floor cleaners to body washes and shampoo, sodium lauryl sulfate, a powerful detergent that aids in the removal of grease by binding oil to water, is present.
- Sulfates are not used in the making of wine, but some beer producers utilize calcium sulfate (also known as brewers’ gypsum) to remedy mineral deficiencies in the water used in the brewing process to make beer.
- They serve as a preservative by suppressing microbial development and so prolong the shelf life of the wine.
- However, certain people, particularly asthmatics, can have an allergic reaction to sulfites, which is why the label on wine states that it contains sulfites in order to prevent this.
- It leads to a great deal of ambiguity.
- —Vinny, the doctor
The Truth About Sulfites in Wine & the Myths of Red Wine Headaches
We independently choose these items, and if you make a purchase after clicking on one of our links, we may receive a commission. (Photo courtesy of Jayme Burrows/Stocksy.com) “This product contains Sulfites.” These are the words that may be found on nearly every bottle of wine. Even though they are only two short words, they are commonly misconstrued! What exactly are sulfites? Is it true that they are that bad? Do they create wine headaches or other symptoms associated with alcohol consumption?
The Facts About Sulfites in Wine
So let’s start by talking about what sulfur dioxide (or sulfites) is and what it is not. For the purposes of this article, the word “sulfites” refers to sulfur dioxide (SO2), a preservative that is commonly employed in winemaking (as well as most other food industries) because of its antioxidant and antibacterial qualities. SO2 is critical in the prevention of oxidation and the preservation of the freshness of a wine’s flavor and aroma. Consumption of sulfites is generally considered to be safe, unless you have severe asthma or do not have the specific enzymes required to break down sulfites in your body.
When it comes to allergies, it is more probable that they will manifest themselves through anything other than wine if you do have one (which can develop throughout the course of your life). The truth is that many foods contain higher quantities of sulfites than wine.
How Much Sulfites Are in Wine?
The quantity of sulfites that can be found in a glass of wine is strictly regulated all around the world. In the United States, any wine with more than 10 parts per million (ppm) sulfur dioxide must be labeled with the phrase “contains sulfites.”
4 Myths About Sulfites in Wine
Globally, the amount of sulfites that are allowed to be present in wine is strictly regulated. ‘Contains sulfites’ must be printed on the label of any wine having more than 10 parts per million (ppm) sulfur dioxide.
Myth1: Sulfites in Wine Cause Headaches
The amount of sulfites that can be found in a bottle of wine is strictly regulated all around the world. In the United States, any wine with more than 10 parts per million (ppm) sulfur dioxide must be labeled with the words “contains sulfites.”
Myth2: Red Wine Has Extra Sulfites, Thus It Causes Headaches
In the European Union, the maximum quantities of sulfur dioxide that a wine can contain are 210 parts per million (ppm) for white wine, 400 parts per million (ppm) for sweet wines — and 160 parts per million (ppm) for red wine. In the United States, Australia, and other parts of the world, very comparable amounts are seen. Factual statement: Red wines often have lower levels of sulfites than white wines. Why do red wines contain less sulfites than white wines? Almost all red wines undergo malolactic fermentation, which serves as a stabilizing factor due to the presence of tannin in the wine.
Myth3: Wine Should Be Avoided Because It Contains Sulfites
The fact that wine has around ten times less sulfite than most dried fruits, which can contain amounts of up to 1000 parts per million (ppm), is another startling information to learn. As a result, if you consume dried fruit on a daily basis and do not have any negative reactions, you are most likely not sensitive to sulfites. Fact: Dried fruits contain approximately ten times the sulfites found in wine. While the values I’ve provided represent the maximum SO2 levels allowed by law, interactions with several winemakers over the years have led me to conclude that, in fact, sulfite levels are typically substantially below the maximum authorized limits.
Myth4: Sulfites Are Inherently Unnatural
Aside from the possibility of an allergic response, many individuals are opposed to sulfites because they believe they are an unnatural addition to the process of winemaking. While that point of view is correct, it is vital to realize that sulfites are also a natural by-product of the yeast metabolism that occurs throughout the fermentation procedure. Consequently, even if you do not add any extra SO2, your wine will still contain sulfite compounds. Succinctly, a better understanding of how sulfur dioxide breaks down and binds with other components of the winemaking process, improved winery hygiene, and more careful grape-growing practices to ensure healthy grapes (i.e., no rot) have all contributed to a significant reduction in the need for SO2 additions during the winemaking process.
There are many winemakers nowadays who prefer not to add any SO2 until after the fermentation process has been completed completely.
Why Sulfites Are Often Necessary in Wine
There are extremely few wines that are produced without the addition of sulfur dioxide (SO2). This is due to the fact that wine is perishable, susceptible to oxidation, and susceptible to the production of aldehyde off-odors. The presence of SO2, particularly in white wines, is critical for freshness. Wines that do not contain SO2 have a shorter shelf life – around six months – and must be stored in ideal conditions to maintain their quality. It’s no surprise that SO2 is so widely used to help ensure that the bottle of wine you open will be fresh and clean, and will taste exactly as the winemaker intended, given that a winemaker has very little control over the wine’s storage conditions from the time the wine leaves the winery until it’s consumed.
Avoiding Sulfites? Some Thoughts on Sulfur-Free Wines.
There are relatively few wines that are produced without the usage of some form of SO2 in the production process. As a result of the fact that wine is perishable, prone to oxidation, and prone to the creation of off-odors due to aldehydes, this is the case. It is essential for the freshness of white wines, in particular. Vinegar-free wines have a shorter shelf life – around six months – and must be stored in ideal conditions to maintain their quality. It’s no surprise that SO2 is so widely used to help ensure that the bottle of wine you open will be fresh and clean, and will taste exactly as the winemaker intended, given that a winemaker has very little control over the wine’s storage conditions from the time the wine leaves the winery until it’s consumed.
- CatherinePierre Breton is a native of the Loire Valley. They create a single wine without adding any SO2 throughout the winemaking process. 2006 A 100% Cabernet Franc blend, CatherinePierre Breton Bourgueil Nuits d’Ivresse ($26) is produced by CatherinePierre Breton. It is created from grapes that have been farmed naturally and has not been sulfured or filtered. A clear statement on the label warns that the wine “doit être stocké en dessous de 14oC,” indicating that the wine should be stored at a temperature lower than 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees F). Note: A trace quantity of stabilizer is added before bottling in order to keep the wine stable throughout transportation, but the amount is so little that it is undetectable in testing
- Pierre Frick from Alsace produces a line of wines known as’sans souffre’ (without suffering). The’sans souffre’ Riesling and Pinot Noir wines from 2007 are available at Chambers Street Wines in New York City (for around $22 to $24). Frey Vineyards, Mendocino– One of California’s earliest organic and biodynamic vineyards, and one of the state’s most prestigious. Their product line includes wines that have been produced without the use of sulfur dioxide. Only $8 may be spent on organic Natural Red, NV from Mendocino, which is a combination of Carignane, Zinfandel, and Syrah grapes. Their whiteness is unadulterated by sulfur. It costs $8 for an organic natural white wine, which is a combination of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. The Languedoc region’s Domaine des Deux nes is another organic wine maker that uses extremely low sulfites. In my piece last week on the wines of the Languedoc Roussillon, I highlighted one of their wines, which was a red blend. Excellent value for money, great wines, and readily available
So Why Do I Get a Headache When I Drink Red Wine?
Sulfites, on the other hand, are not the likely cause of the well-known phenomena of red wine headaches, as evidenced by all of the scientific evidence to the contrary. Histamines, the amount of alcohol in the drink itself, and tannins are all other possibilities, as I already said. According to the most recent evidence, the latter is true: What is your opinion on the presence of sulfites in wine? Do you suffer the dreaded red wine headaches? Do you know what they are? Mary Gorman-McAdams is a writer and actress.
As a result of this recognition, she was named Dame Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in 2012.
What Are Sulphites? Are Sulphites In Wine Dangerous?
All varieties of wine include naturally occurring sulphites (sulfur dioxide, or SO2) that are present in varied amounts and at different levels throughout the process of fermentation. Sulphites are used as both a preservative and an enhancer in winemaking.
Many vintners purposely add sulphites at critical points in the winemaking process in order to quickly stop ongoing fermentation or to help protect the wine against potential oxidation or bacterial exposure that may occur at various stages of the winemaking process.
- Sulfur dioxide is present in all wines at a concentration of around 10 milligrams per litre. However, commercially produced wines have ten to twenty times the quantity of alcohol.
Understandingsulphites in alcohol
What exactly do you need to know? Wine sulphites are found in the highest concentrations in sweet wines; they are found in the highest concentrations in sweet wines because sugar interacts with and binds a large proportion of any SO2 that is added.
Sulphites in white wine and rose wines
White wines and rose wines are less likely to contain natural antioxidants than red wines and white wines because they are less likely to be left in contact with their skins after crushing. As a result, they are more susceptible to oxidation and get higher dosages of sulphur dioxide as a result of their exposure.
Sulphites in red wine
Sulfite levels are lowest in dry red wines, which do not often require the addition of sulphur dioxide since they naturally contain anti-oxidants, which are obtained from the skins and stems of the grapes during fermentation.
Sulphites in orange wine
Similar to red wine, which contains less sulphites than white wine, orange wine is produced utilizing skin contact procedures, which allow them to remain protected (hence the name “skin contact wines”) and do not necessitate the addition of additional sulphur dioxide. This is one of the reasons why natural wines are becoming increasingly popular. Browse our wine shop to find top sulphite-free orange wine for sale and to purchase wine online quickly and conveniently!
The biggest health risk is an allergic reaction
Are sulphites harmful to your health? In spite of the fact that they are classified as a food allergen, a real allergic reaction in the form of anaphylaxis is a rather rare occurrence. Some people get headaches only when they drink red wine, while others get them only when they drink, instance, a very inexpensive Chilean wine. It has everything to do with histamines and a slew of other complicated scientific concepts. It is advisable to begin by raising the quality of your wine while decreasing the quantity consumed – simply enjoy the entire experience a bit more, or, if that is not possible, consult with a health care specialist.
Do sulphites in wine cause headaches?
While they have the potential to exacerbate asthmatic symptoms, they are not known to be a cause of headaches. Keep an eye out for the tannins, however. Tannins are naturally occurring substances found in grape skins, seeds, and stems. Tannins are a kind of polyphenol that may be found in many foods. Also, make sure you get your recommended daily water intake; this will assist a great deal! Sulphites are frequently advised to be avoided by those who suffer from migraines since they may function as a trigger.
- It should be noted that dried fruits have a high sulphite concentration, thus avoiding them should be your first port of call. You should also avoid items that have the words “may contain” or “may contain traces” of sulphites on the packaging
What is sulphite sensitivity?
Sulphite sensitivity occurs when the body responds to the consumption of sulphites, and sensitive persons may have symptoms that are similar to those associated with food allergies.
Sulfite exposure can cause asthma symptoms as well as the signs of an anaphylactic response. Many persons who suffer from asthma may also have a sensitivity to sulphites. Sulphite sensitivity can be confirmed by an allergist. Sulfite compounds should be avoided in this situation.
How do I tell how much sulphur is in a bottle of wine?
According to tight EU regulations, vineyards are required to label the amount of sulphur dioxide contained on their grapes. Wine labeled as organic or biodynamic by organizations such as Demeter is sometimes subject to additional regulations imposed by the organization. For example, a good natural wine will contain levels that are less than half of those required by the most stringent organic organizations. When in doubt about whether a product includes sulphur dioxide, don’t take any chances and avoid using it.
For those of you who believe you may be sensitive to sulphites, I recommend that you speak with your doctor about it, stick to sulphite-free wines, and consider trying some of our natural and organic wine selections.
The Truth About Sulfites in Wine — A Matter of Taste
Sulfites are frequently held responsible for the development of wine hangovers. However, they have not been proved to cause headaches or any other health problems in 99 percent of the people who have tried them. Sulfite sensitivity affects around one percent of the population. It is possible that you are among the 1 percent who will get headaches, stomach troubles, rashes, and even heart problems after eating sulfites. Having said that, sulfites may be found in a variety of common foods, and in many cases, in far higher concentrations than the sulfites found in wine.
- A variety of dried fruits, pickled foods, jams and jellies, potato chips, French fries, shrimp, scallops, parmesan cheese, mushrooms, and other foods are available.
If you are able to consume the items listed above, it is likely that you do not have a sulfite sensitivity. What is the point of labeling wine bottles with the words “contains sulfites” if sulfites are completely harmless? To protect the 1 percent of the population who are sensitive to sulfite, sulfite labeling is required. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified sulfite sensitivity in the 1980s and began mandating a “contains sulfites” label on foods in 1988 in order to protect the few people who were affected.
What do high sulfite levels in wine mean?
The amount of sulfite in a wine varies from bottle to bottle. Currently, wines in the United States are permitted to include sulfites in amounts up to 350 parts per million (ppm); nevertheless, any wine containing more than 10 ppm must be labeled. Sulfites are found in higher concentrations in white wines than in red wines. The color of red wines is obtained by prolonged contact with the grape skins during the fermentation process. Because grape skins contain tannins, polyphenols, and a variety of other antioxidants that prevent wine from rotting, red wines often do not require as much additional sulfites to maintain their freshness as white wines do.
Therefore, during early fermentation, they contain less natural antioxidants than they should, making them more susceptible to spoiling.
When it comes to wine, sulfites are typically considered harmless, and any reactions are more likely due to other factors such as excessive alcohol concentration, excessive residual sugar content, histamines, or a mix of unlabeled wine additives, rather than sulfites.
However, this does not imply that you should avoid drinking wines with high sulfite content.
If Sulfites Are Safe, Why Avoid Them?
Sulfites are generally considered to be safe from a health standpoint for the majority of individuals. Sulfites, on the other hand, are extremely important in the winemaking process. Isabelle Legeron is one of 369 persons in the world to earn the title of Master of Wine, which is the highest winemaking accreditation available. A low sulfite content in wine is one of Isabelle’s primary criteria for Natural Wine, and this is one of the most important criterion she has established. Low-sulfite wine is an absolute must-have for her.
- Isabelle isn’t the only one who feels this way.
- While touring their vineyards, we hear the same complaint again and over: excessive sulfites damage the taste of their wine.
- They eliminate germs and yeasts, which makes the process of creating wine much simpler and faster.
- They keep things simple and shockingly predictable.
- Winemakers must achieve the proper balance in their wines, which necessitates a degree of patience, knowledge (and love) that is lacking in many commercial wine enterprises.
- Natural wines offer an authenticity of flavor that most modern wines have lost in the process of modernization.
- They burst forth from the glass with a vivacity that is all too unusual in today’s world of wine production.
- This is only achievable in low-sulfite wines, which are rare.
Sulfites in Natural Wine
Sulfites are generally considered to be safe from a health standpoint for the majority of individuals. However, sulfites are quite important in the winemaking process. It is only 369 persons in the world who possess the title of Master of Wine, the highest winemaking accreditation available. Isabelle Legeron is one of these 369 individuals. A low sulfite content in wine is one of Isabelle’s primary requirements for Natural Wine, and this is one of the most important criterion for her movement.
- You can’t get away from it.
- Natural winemakers from across the world collaborate with us, and every single one of them is committed to making low-sulfite wines.
- Strong sterilizers, sulfite is one among them.
- Sulfites, on the other hand, cause the wine to lose its vitality during the sterilizing process.
- Making wine with reduced sulfites requires extraordinary expertise.
- Winemakers must have a high degree of patience and understanding (as well as love).
- Naturally produced wines offer an authenticity of flavor that most modern wines have lost in the process of modernization.
It is with a vivacity that they spring out of the glass that is all too unusual in today’s world of winemaking. It is possible to taste the origin of the wine, its terroir, and the intricacies that distinguish each bottle of natural wine. In low-sulfite wines, however, this is not feasible.
Is Wine Without Sulfites Better for You?
Regardless of how much or how little you know about wine, the odds are good that you’ve heard of sulfites. Sulfites are molecules that exist naturally in the human body, certain foods, and wine, and are blamed for anything from allergies to hangovers. Sulfites are compounds that cause everything from allergies to hangovers. They can also be synthesized and used as preservatives in the food industry. Thus, there is an ongoing dispute concerning whether or not these substances are harmful to one’s health in any way.
Is this sort of wine healthier for your health than others?
What Are Sulfites?
Sulfites are inorganic salts that contain the sulfite ion and can be used as preservatives and antioxidants in a variety of applications, including food and beverage preservation. Sulfites contain a variety of compounds such as sulfur dioxide, sodium bisulfites, and metabisulfites. They can help to decrease browning on fruits and vegetables, limit the growth of yeast and bacteria in wine, and even help to sustain the efficacy of pharmaceuticals by reducing their oxidative stress. Many foods (for example, dried fruit, canned soups, and prepared deli meats) include sulfites that have been added, while others (for example, chocolate, black tea, eggs, and fermented foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi) contain sulfites that are naturally occurring.
Sulfur dioxide is created as a natural byproduct of the fermentation process throughout the winemaking process, hence it is impossible to make a wine that is fully devoid of sulfite compounds.
How Do Sulfites Affect Wine?
For example, sulfites are inorganic salts that contain the sulfite ion and can be used as preservatives and antioxidants in food and beverages, among other applications. Sulfites contain a variety of compounds such as sulfur dioxide, sodium bisulfites, and metabisulfites, amongst other things. In addition, they can help to minimize the browning of fruits and vegetables, limit the growth of yeast and bacteria in wine, and even help to regulate the strength of prescription prescriptions. Many foods (for example, dried fruit, canned soups, and prepared deli meats) include sulfites that have been added, while others (for example, chocolate, black tea, eggs, and fermented foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi) contain sulfites that have naturally occurred in the item itself.
Sulfur dioxide is produced as a natural byproduct of the fermentation process throughout the winemaking process, hence it is difficult to produce a wine that is fully devoid of sulfite compounds.
It should be noted that wine manufactured without the addition of sulfites can be found (aka lab-created, synthetic sulfites).
How Much Sulfur Dioxide Does Wine Have?
The amount of sulfite in the air is measured in parts per million, or ppm. Conventional wines in the United States can have up to 350 parts per million of sulfites. Organic wines, on the other hand, have sulfite levels that are no more than 10ppm, and they must be naturally occurring. Winemakers are required to include the statement “contains sulfites” on wine labels when sulfites are present in excess of 10 parts per million (ppm). If you encounter a wine labeled as “sulfite-free,” keep in mind that this simply implies that there are no added sulfites in the wine.
Sulfites in Wine: Red Wine vs. White Wine
Despite the fact that all wines contain some degree of sulfites, the widely held belief has been that red wine has far more sulfites than white wine. However, the scientific evidence is inconclusive. The amount of sulfite in a wine is determined by how it is created and how much sugar it contains. When making red wine, the liquid comes into touch with the skins and seeds of the grapes. Tannins are produced in greater quantities as a result of this process, and they work as a natural antioxidant, protecting the wine from bacterial contamination.
White wine, on the other hand, ferments for a shorter period of time than red wine, and the juice does not come into touch with the grape skins.
And you already know what that means: additional sulfites are required to prevent these germs from reproducing and contaminating the wine supply.
The issue of sulfites is more complicated than a simple case of red vs white.
The Truth About Sulfites and Your Health
Despite the fact that sulfites are classified as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA, many people believe that these chemicals can cause devastating side effects such as headaches, hangovers, and rashes. It’s simply the H’s that are a problem. The red wine headache is a typical ailment that is ascribed to the presence of sulfites in the wine. Recent study suggests that the sulfite content in wine might trigger headaches, while other studies suggest that histamine is more likely to be the culprit.
One additional common adverse effect associated with sulfites is the dreaded hangover, which is characterized by a pounding headache, body pains, exhaustion, nausea, and dehydration, among other symptoms.
However, although the judgment is still out on the impact of sulfites on headaches and other wine-drinking side effects, it appears that sulfites play a substantial role in the onset of asthma symptoms.
In certain studies, there is a relationship between wine drinking and asthma. According to the findings, 3-10 percent of asthmatic individuals have unfavorable responses to sulfites, which can include potentially life-threatening reactions.
Sulfites in Wine Are Just Part of the Equation
Despite the fact that sulfites have a terrible reputation for producing headaches, hangovers, and a variety of other unpleasant symptoms, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims that just one percent of the population in the United States is allergic to sulfites. The presence of alcohol, histamine, and tannins are the most likely causes in this case. Alternatively, it might be one (or a mix of) of the more than 60 substances that traditional winemakers are permitted to use without stating them on the wine label.
Choose Wine Without Sulfites (Added Sulfites, That Is)
A natural wine, organic wine, or biodynamic wine is one that has been produced with the least amount of intervention and chemicals as possible. According to research, these varieties of wine can provide better health advantages while also causing less adverse effects than commercially made wines. It’s also a good idea to choose low-sugar wines that don’t require the addition of sulfites. Usual Wines, for example, are created the Old-World manner, in small batches from sustainably cultivated grapes, with no additives or extra sugar, and are a good example of this.
It’s Time to Enjoy a Sulfite-Free Sip
While it would be misleading to state that it is possible to locate wine that has no sulfites at all, it is possible to get wine that contains minimal sulfite levels that are naturally occurring rather than artificially produced. Sulfites have long been employed to retain the freshness of wine while also enhancing its color and flavor, which isn’t necessarily a negative thing in and of itself. Because commercial wines contain hundreds of other unknown additives (in addition to manufacturing modifications), it’s no surprise that a bottle of wine might unleash a Pandora’s box of health problems.
Fortunately, whether you’re a wine enthusiast who prefers red, white, orrosé, there are a variety of low-sulfite wines available to suit your preferences and budget.
When it comes to sulfites in wine, less is more when it comes to a good thing.
What Are Sulfites? Learn If Wine Is Causing Your Headaches
We’ve all been in that situation. We have a wonderful night out, we go out to dinner, we talk, we open a bottle of wine, and then the next day we feel awful. We run a fast search on Google and, before we know it, we’ve been swamped with articles claiming that we may have a sulfite allergy of some sort. However, what exactly are sulfites? And why is it that they are being held responsible for our hangovers? While you may have spotted the words “contains sulfites” on the labels of certain wine bottles, do we really have something to be concerned about?
Sulfites in wine are a controversial topic, and we will address the facts in this post.
We’ll dispel several myths about food additives, including what they are and why they are so widespread in the food business. Hint: It’s unlikely that sulfites are to blame for your headaches after drinking red wine.
What Are Sulfites?
Sulfites are used as food and beverage additives. They are used to help preserve the flavor and color of food, allowing it to remain fresher for extended periods of time. Even while sulfites are naturally prevalent in some foods, they are more commonly found in processed meals. In part, this is due to the antibacterial and antioxidant qualities of these plants, which assist to prevent food and drink oxidization. It is necessary to use these preservatives in some foods, beverages, and sauces in order to extend their shelf life.
However, if you are attempting to avoid sulfites for any reason, they may also be labeled in various ways, so keep an eye out for the following:
- Sulfur dioxide is not technically a sulfite, although it is a chemical oxide that is closely linked to sulfite
- And Potassium bisulfite or potassium metabisulfite are both chemical compounds. Sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, or sodium sulfite are all types of sulfite.
Are There Sulfites in Wine?
Sulfite addition to wines became popular in the 1970s, and many winemakers continue to use this method today. Sulfites are used to avoid spoiling, to inhibit oxidation, and to prematurely stop fermentation in its tracks. The majority of the time, they are added during the fermentation phase of wine making. While sulfites are regularly discovered in wine due to the presence of naturally occurring sulfites in grapes, the actual percentage of sulfites in wine is relatively modest. The presence of sulfites in wine is strictly controlled across the world, and any wine containing more than 10 parts per million (ppm) must be labeled “contains sulfites” to comply with the law.
Sulfites in Processed Foods
When it comes to sulfites, wine has had a poor name over the years. While sulfites are present in all wines, whether they are produced naturally or by human hands, the amount present is minute. Processed foods, particularly those meant to have an extended shelf life, have significantly greater amounts of sulfites than fresh foods. Wine contains sulfites in a concentration that is ten times higher than that of dried fruits, such as apricots, cherries, raisins, and other supposedly “healthy” fruit snacks.
Furthermore, sulfites are frequently used to preserve perishable fresh items such as shrimp and other shellfish, which are very perishable.
However, while it might be impossible to avoid sulfites entirely, the FDA declared it unlawful in 1986 to add sulfite to any fruits or vegetables that are regularly consumed raw in the United States.
Understanding Sulfite Sensitivity and Sulfite Allergy
Unfortunately, a small number of unfortunate individuals are affected with sulfite allergies. This means that ingesting sulfites may result in an allergic response in certain people. While the side effects may be as little as a rash, they can be quite dangerous. Some people may have bodily edema, while others may experience severe stomach ache. Some sulfite allergies are potentially life-threatening in some cases. According to the Food and Drug Administration, barely one percent of the population in the United States is sensitive to sulfite.
A frequent fallacy that persists in the wine world is that sulfites are responsible for the dreaded wine headaches (which can occur even while drinking the greatest red wines!).
In actuality, red wines contain less sulfite than white orrosé wines.
Other wine constituents, such as histamine, tyramine, and flavonoids, may also contribute to a hurting head the next morning after drinking.
These are naturally occurring elements that are inescapable when it comes to the consumption of red wine. A gentle reminder: if you have any reason to believe you may be allergic to sulfites, you should consult your doctor or a professional allergy specialist immediately.
How To Avoid Sulfites in Wine
As previously noted, the percentage of sulfites found in wine is rather modest, especially when compared to dried fruit and other processed foods, as is the case with beer and spirits. The good news is that there are several options available if you are one of the 1 percent of the population who is sensitive to sulfur compounds and are seeking for strategies to limit your sulfur consumption. First and foremost, if you have asthma or have any cause to fear that your allergy might be life-threatening, you must be careful in avoiding processed foods, and you should probably avoid drinking alcohol.
However, if you fear that wine is producing mild symptoms, such as a rash or diarrhea, and you believe that you may tolerate a very little level of sulfites, check for organic wines.
As previously stated, red wines have a lower concentration of sulfites.
Because each glass will contain a little quantity of sulfites, consuming two large glasses rather than one may result in greater levels of sulfites in the bloodstream than drinking one small glass.
Check out our range of small-batch wines that are produced using sustainable farming methods.
Busting Sulfite Myths Once and for All
Despite the fact that wine contains sulfites, it is doubtful that your nightly glass of wine is causing any harm to your health. The fact that sulfite sensitivity is so rare means that any red wine headaches are more likely to be caused by excessive alcohol consumption. If you do feel you have a sensitivity, it is important to note that you would be better suited reducing your intake of dried fruits, sauces, and other preserved foods rather than completely eliminating wine. Despite the fact that wine contains just ten parts per million of sulfites, drinking a bottle of wine with friends is beneficial for the soul.