Real Food

Savor the flavors of everyday real food, fresh from the garden or stored on your pantry shelves.

Add to My MSN

Wine Sensitivities: Am I Allergic to Sulfites?

5/18/2011 2:49:06 PM

Tags: allergies, sulfites, wine

Wine 5Sulfur dioxide preservatives, or sulfites, are one of the classes of chemicals widely used in winemaking. The reason you’ve probably heard about sulfites but no other chemical wine additive is that a small percentage of the population has sulfite sensitivities, and for those that do, drinking wine can cause rashes and other allergic reactions.

Wine naturally contains some sulfites, but winemakers must label that a product “contains sulfites” if the proportion exceeds 10 parts per million (ppm). Many other products contain sulfites — dried fruit can have up to 1,000 ppm. It’s more likely that your wine headache is related to other compounds in the wine — namely, tannins, histamines and, of course, alcohol.

Organic winemakers cannot add sulfur dioxide or other unnatural chemicals, so the best way to avoid sulfur dioxide is to opt for organic wines. Also, red wines contain fewer sulfites than white wines do because the tannins in red wine act as a natural preservative. White dessert wines generally have the most sulfites, followed closely by blush and semisweet wines. 

See also:  

Identify Wines by Body
50 Ways to Pair Wines With Herbs
Herb and Wine Pairing Chart
Home Brewing: How to Make Beer, Wine, Cider, Soda and More
Good Libations

Photo by iStockphoto/Liza McCorkle



Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.

(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here