No Sulfites In My Wine!

“Sulfites give me headaches.” “I’m allergic to sulfites.” “I just don’t like anything not natural.” Sound familiar?

Those are fairly typical ‘off the cuff’ comments about sulfites from wine drinkers... But here’s the first thing to know- all wine contains sulfites. The transformation of grape juice into wine creates them. 

Now, a winemaker can make a ‘low-sulfite’ wine by adding less sulfites during vinification or at bottling- but this can create other problems- especially with wine that is meant to be aged.

Added sulfites are essentially preservatives and cleansing agents, and an important part of a winemaker’s tool kit. That being said, there is such a large demand for low-sulfite wines that you can even buy sulfite filters for your glass, and a growing number of winemakers have reduced the amount they use.

These bottlings are almost always meant to be drunk young, as they’re not as stable on the shelf, and are often marketed as ‘natural’ wines. The natural wine movement encompasses many aspects of winemaking, but lower added sulfites is one of the cornerstones.

Keep in mind that a typical glass of orange juice has much more sulfites than a glass of wine- but for those of us who are truly allergic to sulfites, remember that white wine usually contains more sulfites than red.

Higher and drier wine regions also tend to use less sulfites, and any bottle proclaiming itself ‘natural’ will probably have less added sulfites as part of that identity. 

learn about wine, one sip at a time >