Why does wine give me a headache?

“Between us, I don’t drink white wine because it gives me a headache”

It’s true and there is no shame. The reasons are different, let’s try together to check them.

It often happens that I am told that wine, usually white or rosé, gives you a headache. Let’s try to understand why.

Generally the most pointed are the “cheep” wines, the ones you find on offer at the supermarket.

This is not always the case, but there is an underlying reason.

Good wines are made in the vineyard: if the grapes arrive in the cellar healthy, intact and at the right temperature, there is no need to intervene to remedy or avoid problems during the winemaking process.

The sulphites: they are not the only fault

About 1% of the population is allergic to sulphites, this was declared by the Food and Drug Administration in the 1980s.

For this reason, wines above 10 mg / l must bear the wording “contains sulphites” on the label.

Attention, sulphites are naturally formed during fermentation process: the yeasts feed on the sugars contained in the must, transforming them into alcohol and, during this process, produce slight quantities of sulphites. A slight amount.

You know that there are foods we usually consume that contain much more sulphites than a glass of good wine? Do you need some examples? Cold cuts and cheeses, fruit juices, tomato purees, dried fruit, preserved vegetables, canned foods and much more.

It’s not the sulphite itself that hurts, but the abuse.

When and why are sulphites added?

In the case of wine, sulphites are added to ensure the maintenance of the organoleptic qualities of the grapes first, the must and finally the wine.

The amount of added sulphites varies depending on the quality of the grapes and the type of wine produced.

White and rosé wines are much more exposed to oxidation than red wines which are naturally “protected” by the tannins present in red berried grapes.

In Europe the maximum limit allowed for sulphites is 160 mg / l for white wines and 210 mg / l for white and rosé wines.

Sulphites are added in greater quantities when the quality of the grapes is doubtful, when the presence of rot or the beginning of any spontaneous uncontrolled fermentations is noted. In this case the sulphites block the deterioration process and perform their function as preservatives.

Therefore, it’s not the white wine or the rosé wine that hurts, it’s the quality of the raw material with which it was produced.

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