Wines And Headaches

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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There was a time, in the not too recent past, where sulfites were blamed for all those headaches people got from drinking red wine. We're not talking about hangovers, here. Those are caused by the ingestion of too much alcohol, period. Wine headaches, on the other hand, can actually be triggered nearly immediately, after drinking less than two ounces of wine. However, after numerous studies by prestigious, credible sources, sulfites have now been cleared. So what's causing the problem?

Contemporary theories suggest that some people may be "allergic" (for lack of a better term) to chemicals found in the soil of some growing areas. There are studies which suggest that some people are allergic to naturally occurring organisms, like yeast and other "good" fungi necessary to the production of wine. Others suggest the problem is with one's weakness to tannins. There are yet other studies which suggest that people are instead allergic to the polluting pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers used by the majority of commercial wine producers. These liquid substances have been shown to permeate vine roots within the earth, and the flesh of the grape itself.

Organic Grapes: Pesticide, Fungicide Free

Though no definitive causal relationship between pesticides and headaches has been completed, more and more people are turning to wines made from organic grapes to solve their wine headache problems. Many who traditionally get a migraine-like headache after just a few sips of "regular" red, find they can enjoy multiple glasses of organic reds without suffering from those "inexplicable" wine headaches.

Wines made with organic grapes are becoming increasingly available. Many wine merchants, around the corner and online, have entire sections devoted to wines made from organic grapes. For the best taste, look for those marked "low in sulfites," rather than those marked "sulfites-free."

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