Sulfites in Wine: A vital ingredient - Thewinedrops

Sulfites in Wine: A vital ingredient

Sulphites (or sulfites as referred to in the USA) in Wine: What You Need to Know for a Happier Sipping Experience.

Are you a wine lover who sometimes experiences those pesky wine-induced headaches? Well, it could very well be a sulphite sensitivity… and we're here to shed some light on sulphites and help you enjoy your favourite beverage without the unwelcome side effects.

Sulphites are actually food preservatives commonly used in winemaking to maintain the delicious flavour and freshness we all love. Now, before we dive in, let's clarify what sulphites really are. Their chemical compounds, often referred to as sulfur dioxide, contain the sulphite ion. You can find them naturally in various food sources like black tea, peanuts, eggs, and fermented foods. But they also work their magic as preservatives in many other foods and drinks, such as soft drinks, juices, jams, jellies, sausages, and dried or pickled fruits and vegetables.

Winemakers use sulphites to minimize oxidation and keep the wine fresh, thanks to their antimicrobial properties that prevent bacterial growth and extend shelf life. Let's talk about their uses in the winemaking process. Sulphites play a vital role in enhancing the taste, appearance, and shelf life of wine. They help prevent your precious vino from turning brown, which could alter its delightful colour and flavour. Plus, they're excellent at blocking bacteria growth, ensuring your wine remains uncontaminated and avoids spoilage. Fun fact: Certain types of sulphites, like potassium metabisulphite, even sanitise the barrels and equipment used in winemaking. Cheers to that! Now, let's address the big question: Do sulphites have any side effects? According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about 1% of the population is sensitive to sulphites. Among those individuals, about 5% have full blown asthma. If you fall into this group, consuming sulphites might irritate your respiratory tract, causing discomfort - thus are sensitive to sulphites. In some cases, sulphites can trigger headaches, especially for those who are sensitive to them.

Research suggests that higher concentrations of sulphites in wine can increase the risk of headaches. However, it's worth noting that other compounds in wine, such as alcohol, histamine, tyramine, and flavonoids, may also contribute to these symptoms. In some instances, people have reported hives, swelling, stomach pain and diarrhoea.

So, what can you do if you suspect sulphites are causing you trouble? Here are some tips to minimize your sulphite intake and keep the good times rolling.
Consider trying wines without added sulphites. If you're a red wine enthusiast, you're in luck! Red wine generally has significantly lower sulphite concentrations compared to white wine or dessert wine. Additionally, be mindful of other sulphite-containing foods in your diet, such as dried apricots, pickles, soft drinks, jams, jellies, and juices. Reading food labels will be your superhero here. Keep an eye out for ingredients like sodium sulphite, sodium bisulphite, sulfur dioxide, potassium bisulphite, and potassium metabisulphite. These names indicate that a product contains added Sulphites. Remember, foods and beverages with more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur dioxide must be labelled accordingly.

Then there is also the lastest mirracle additive that you can add to your wine, specially formulated to reduce the sulphites without affecting the aroma or taste of your wine - The Wine Drops!

There is no denying that sulphites are a handy chemical compound used to improve the appearance, taste, and shelf life of wine and other products. Most people can enjoy sulphite-containing wine without any major issues. However, if you find yourself sensitive to sulphites, there are steps you can take to ensure a happier sipping experience. Opting for red wine can help reduce your sulphite intake while still allowing you to enjoy a glass of your favourite beverage. Checking ingredient labels carefully is another smart move. The key is to listen to your body and make choices that work best for you. By being aware of sulphite content and taking steps to limit your consumption, you can continue to indulge in your love for wine without the unwanted side effects.

  1. - What to Know About Sulfites in Wine
  2. - Sulfites in Wine
  3. - What to know about sulfites in Wine


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.