Questions About Sulfites In Wine

Many wine consumers are nervous when they read labels that indicate wines contain sulfites. The U.S government mandates wines sold in the U.S. carry the warning although many other countries don’t have the same requirement. Sulfites are found naturally in wine although some winemakers add additional amounts to wine as a preservative. Sulfites are found in most fermented products: beer, cheese, bacon, olives, and dried fruit to list just a few.  About 1% of the population who suffer from asthma, allergies, or sensitivity to sulfites develop wheezing, hives, or swelling in the throat.

Wine drinkers often blame sulfites for their headaches. There is no scientific proof for the claim, although many people avoid red wine in particular, citing sulfites as the culprit. It’s very possible histamines are the real cause, although tannins may have to take their share of the blame. Tannins are found in grape skins and seeds, and oak barrels in which wines are aged. Alcohol is also a trigger, so look for wines that have low percentages of alcohol always marked somewhere on the front of back label in small print. Avoid wine with alcohol levels above 14%. This big wine bombs with 16%+alcohol are hazardous to your health. They are hot on the tongue, making them poor matches with food.


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