Sulfites in wine could be causing your headache


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sulfites are preservatives and antioxidants that prevent bacteria from spoiling wine and all wine contains sulfites. Since 1987 the FDA has required all domestic wines, beers and spirits that contain more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulfites to have a warning label saying "contains sulfites."

It is a myth that wine in Europe doesn't contain sulfites. They do, and haven't had to give a warning until recently. It's also a myth that Europeans add sulfites to wine when exported to America due to our laws.

When it comes to an actual allergy to sulfites, it is very rare. Only about 1% of Americans suffer from sulfite sensitivity and reactions are usually shortness of breath and not headaches.

Dried fruits, chips, shrimp and lemon juice all contain much higher amounts of sulfites, but don't have a warning.

Cheap wines often have added sugars which boost the alcohol content and are what can cause a headache. So drinking too much is the most probable cause of your headache the next day and not the sulfites.

There is a small assortment of wines with no added sulfites called NSA's. However they can look and taste slightly different because of the oxidation process. A few NSA wines include the 2013 Badger Mountain Chardonnay, the 2013 Mother's Choice Organic California Red and the Frey Vineyards Organic Natural White Table Wine.