If Sulfites Are Safe Why Avoid Them
From a health perspective, sulfites are fine for most people. But from a winemaking perspective, sulfites matter a great deal.
Isabelle Legeron is one of the 369 people who hold a Master of Wine, the highest winemaking qualification in the world. Isabelle founded the Natural Wine movement, and at the top of her criteria for Natural Wine is that a wine must be low in sulfites. To her, low-sulfite wine is non-negotiable. Its a necessity.
Isabelle is not alone. We work with hundreds of Natural Winemakers across the world, and every single one of them insists on producing low-sulfite wine. When we visit their vineyards, we hear the same thing over and over: high sulfites ruin wine.
Sulfites are strong sterilizers. They kill off bacteria and yeasts, which makes winemaking considerably easier. But in the sterilization process, sulfites also rob wine of its life. They leave it flat and predictable.
It takes exceptional skill to make wine with low sulfites. Winemakers must balance their wine perfectly, which requires a level of patience and understanding that many commercial wine companies lack.
Spanish Beso Del Sol Sangria
Calories per 5-ounce glass: 74
If youre into sweeter wines or, better yet, wine cocktails like sangria, youll be glad to know that it is possible to score one that tastes great for half the calories. This sangria is made from 100 percent Tempranillo wine from Valdepeñas and offers hints of Spanish lemon, orange, and a touch of cinnamon. Its also all-natural, vegan, gluten-free, lower alcohol at 8.5 percent, and it does not contain any artificial sweeteners. Pretty sweet, right?
Are Sulfites In Wine Bad For You
It is important to highlight that sulfites have been used in foods and beverages for over 2000 years and are generally considered very safe when consumed in small amounts. But for some people, sulfur containing compounds, such as sulfites and sulpha drugs, can cause severe allergic reactions and even cause death. This is why it is compulsory to add Contains Sulfites on the label of all wine bottles that have sulfite levels higher than 10 ppm..However, more typically for people who have milder sensitivities to sulfites, the side effects experienced are usually headache, nasal congestion, sneezing and skin rashes. The intensity of these reactions is often more severe for wines containing high levels of sulfites such as sweet white wines and champagnes.
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Why Add Preservatives To Wine
Sulphur dioxide is a good thing in winemaking it helps the wine get to your palate in the best condition possible. It defends the grapes & wine against nasty bacterias and oxidisation. Just like we consume vitamins to keep us healthier for longer, we add SO2 to wine for longevity. I will touch on this more below, however, unless you suffer a reaction from sulphur dioxide there is really no health benefits to drinking only preservative free tipples.
This brings me to the point mentioned above having the best quality grapes in pristine condition means a lot less sulphur dioxide needs to be added. Just prior to vintage and during vintage, you may drive past vineyards which have netting covering their vines these nets are to help stop birds and pests damaging the grapes. The more damaged the grapes are at harvest, the more sulphur dioxide will be needed to produce an enjoyable and drinkable wine.
As you may also know, oxygen isnt a good friend to wine as soon as the wine has a large exposure to oxygen it will slowly start to deteriorate. The sulphur dioxide during the winemaking stage will help neutralise any oxygen that may get near the wine so it can be bottled and sealed up for your delicious consumption.
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Choosing Low Sulfite Wine
If you prefer to err on the side of caution, you could opt for low sulfite wines.
A great low sulfite wine option is red wine. Because red wine has more tannins than white wine, it naturally has more antioxidants present. These antioxidants help to preserve the wine, keeping the wine tasty, bright in color, and bacteria-free, with minimal intervention from the winemakers.
While winemakers may still choose to add sulfites to red wine because of their natural hardiness against bacteria. So in the battle of red wine vs. white wine, a nice bottle of Tempranillo or Syrah should be lower in sulfites than a Pinot Grigio.
However, if you cant face even the best red wine, dont worry. There are high tannin white wines on the market. Chardonnay has a higher level of tannins than your average white wine due to the way it’s matured in oak barrels.
Its also a good option to check your wine bottles wherever possible. Because the FDA insists bottles must be labeled if sulfites surpass the recommended 10 ppm, if your bottle is free from warning, its safe to assume it’s a low sulfite wine.
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Which Wine Has The Least Sugar
Not surprisingly, sugar is the demon for all dieters. And for good reason. Sugars empty calories wreak havoc on insulin levels, may aggravate health issues, and can play a part in sleepless nights, let alone aid in the accumulation of extra pounds. So when a wine lover decides to monitor sugar intake, its only natural to want to figure out which wines contain the least amount of residual sugar.
Does Italian Wine Have Less Sulfites
Italian wines carry the same average amount as any other wine from anywhere else in the world. However, it is important to note that any white wine will carry more sulfite than your average red wine. Wines that have low acid content require more sulfites to assist in preservation.
If you want to find an Italian wine with fewer sulfites, consuming red wine over white wine is recommended. Conditionally, and smells of sulfur in the wines can be diluted by chilling your wine. This will bring out not only aromas but flavors in your wine.
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How To Pick Keto
If youre following the keto diet and sourcing only about five percent of your daily calories from carbs, even 5 grams per glass can add up quicklyso stick to low-sugar wines that are bone dry and come from a cooler region. A cooler-region wine minimizes the potential due to the lack of sugar evolved inside the grape, says Sweders. By fermenting it dry, you remove all residual sugar, cut total carbs and sugar.
Consuming alcohol is generally discouraged if youre on the keto diet because it slows fat burning and ketone production. However, there are ways to enjoy it very moderately , provided you eat a keto-friendly meal beforehand and choose the right type of alcohol.
When choosing to have wine, it is best to have some fat at that sitting so you dont get an isolated blood sugar spike or reactive hypoglycemia from the processing in your liver, says Ali Miller, R.D., L.D., C.D.E., a registered dietitian who runs a virtual ketosis program. Lucky for you, that means a charcuterie board is just the thing to nosh on while you sip some good low-carb wine.
With that in mind, heres a guide to five delicious, low-carb wines with the least amount of sugar that wont leave you feeling deprived.
Organic Wine Contains Less Sulfites
Sulfur dioxide , also called sulfites, possess antibacterial and antioxidant properties, because of which it is often used as a preservative in the manufacturing of wine. Generally, sulfites are not harmful to your health unless you are allergic to it. People with severe asthma or those who are intolerant to sulfites because of an enzyme deficiency can be in a lot of trouble if they consume contaminated wine. People allergic to sulfites may have reaction symptoms that include patchy skin, rash, cramps, and hives. This is why it is compulsory for wine bottles that have a higher than ten parts per million sulfites to label on a bottle that it contains sulfite. The amount of sulfite in wines is highly regulated, with a maximum limit of 350 ppm in America and 210 ppm in European countries.
Its important to know that sulfites are also a natural bi-product of the fermentation process, which is the process that transforms the grape juice into wine. All wine has at least some sulfites but its simply a question of how much. Certified Organic wines in the United States have no additional sulfur added in the winemaking process whereas wines made with organic grapes and international organic wines allow an extremely limited amount, well below the toxic limit, to ensure the wines stay fresh and unspoiled.
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Sulfites In Wine Often Necessary For White Wine Production
- Wines with higher sugar content tend to need added sulfur to prevent secondary fermentation of the remaining sugar.
- Red wine grapes contain additional natural preservatives-such as tannins from the grape skins-so red wine is more stable. Red wine tannins contain high levels of polyphenols, which act as natural antioxidants.
- Because the white organic wines are less stable, importing and handling requires extra care and their shelf-life is limited.
- The exception is sparkling wine as the natural CO2 in the bubbly helps to stabilize the wine. One of our most popular NSA wines is Pizzolato NSA Prosecco, a delightful Prosecco featuring stone fruit and citrus, with good acidity. The dragonfly on the label reflects the extensive eco-effort made in the vineyard, as the insects presence indicates an environment with a chemical-free water source.
Cos Cerasuolo Di Vittoria
This certified-organic Sicilian beauty is a blend of 60 percent nero davola and 40 percent frappatothe nero providing dark fruit and spice, the frappato offering floral lift. Fermented in concrete with indigenous yeast and aged in large Slovenian oak, this is a balanced, versatile wine that coaxes considerable depth and energy from its medium body. Founded by Giusto Occhipinti and his two buddies around 40 years ago, COS long ago adopted biodynamic principlestheyve never used chemicals or synthetics in their vineyardsand Occhipinti believes in only a minimal addition of SO2 at the time of bottling.
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No Sulfite Wine Doesn’t Exist
Sulfites are the natural byproduct of all fermentation process that occur when making bread, cheese, yoghurt, beer, aged meats, sauerkraut and of course, wine. However, the concentration is usually negligible. But for foods and beverages that need long self-lives or are prone to spoilage, high levels of sulfites are often used. For example, sweet wines like sauternes can have as much as 350 ppm sulfites added. In short, all wines naturally contain sulfites, but a new movement in wine making is focused on making certain types of wine without adding sulfites. These are commonly called no or low sulfite wines.
Avoiding Sulfites Some Thoughts On Sulfur
All that said, we are beginning to see a number of natural wines on the market, where little or no SO2 is added. This is a great development for the small part of the population that has an allergy to sulfites, and the biodynamic wine movement is also fascinating and positive for reasons that go far beyond the exclusion of sulfites.
As indicated earlier, leaving out sulfites is easier with red wines, because the tannin acts as a natural antioxidant. It also helps if natural wines are sold locally and not shipped. This local aspect of natural wines is part of what makes them so interesting theyre often best discovered close to their place of origin.
Sulfur-Free Wines to Try
Some sulfur-free wines to look for include:
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Is There A Way To Remove Sulphites From Wine
This article was published more than 8 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.
Is there a way to remove sulphites from wine?
There are two ways, though I would only recommend one.
Iâll mention the first and most effective way merely for triviaâs sake you probably donât want to try it at home. It involves adding a drop or two of hydrogen peroxide the stuff sold in drugstores for disinfecting wounds to a glass of wine.
As you may know, sulphites are commonly used in making wine to curb microbial growth and guard against spoilage due to oxidation. People who are sensitive to the compounds may experience respiratory distress in the form of coughing or wheezing , though this affects a small minority of the population. Sulphites react quickly to oxygen when exposed to air and tend to dissipate over time.
Hydrogen peroxide, a strong oxidizing agent, quickly reacts with sulphites to neutralize them. There was a time when some wine producers actually added hydrogen peroxide to their juice to reduce sulphite levels, but itâs now frowned upon, if not illegal in many jurisdictions. Hydrogen peroxide solutions sold for medical use are very low in concentration, but theyâre not meant to be ingested. At high concentrations, the substance can be corrosive.
What Wines Have No Added Sulfites
6 Wines We Love That Have No Added Sulfites
- Mouth.com. Coturri Winery Carignane Red Wine 2015.
- Plum Market. 2016 Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon Beaujolais.
- Triton Wines. 2013 Stellar Organics Chardonnay.
- The Organic Wine Company. Badger Mountain NSA Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.
- Frey Vineyards. Frey Vineyards 2015 Organic Pinot Grigio.
- Organic Wine Exchange.
. Keeping this in consideration, does all wine contain sulfites?
All wine, beer and cheese contain some natural sulfites. The presence of natural sulfites is so small that it normally does not present a problem to anyone but the most sulfite-sensitive. Most wines with added sulfites contain only 25-150 ppm, although the legal limit in wine is 350 ppm.
are all organic wines sulfite free? Organic Wine is wine without added sulfites. Under the USDA National Organic Program, sulfites are a synthetic food additive. They are not allowed in organic wine or any other certified organic food products, such as dried fruits, jams, salad dressings or juices.
Beside this, can you make wine without sulfites?
As a final note, there is no such thing as making a wine without any sulfites at all. In part, because sulfite is actually produced during the fermentation. Its a natural byproduct of the fermentation. As you can see, making wine wine without sulfites can be easily done.
Which white wine has least sulfites?
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How To Reduce Sulfites In Wine
If you are sensitive to sulfites and want to enjoy your favorite wine without the suffering that often comes after a couple of glasses, there are several options out there. These products help you reduce the sulfites to a level that will prevent these negative effects.
The Wand wine purifier from PureWine, is a product designed for use with a single glass of wine. It rapidly removes the sulfites and histamines without changing the natural taste of wine. It is non-reusable, and it is the ideal solution when you are on-the-go and want to enjoy your wine by the glass.
The Wave® is a single-use purifier and aerator, perfect for when sharing a whole bottle. It will remove the histamines and sulfites as you pour to maximize your enjoyment of the wine.
The Phoenix® is a state-of-the-art reusable purifier and aerator, that utilized a disposable Bio-pod.
All of the PureWine products are made in the USA, FDA approved, BPA free and guaranteed.
Is Brut Wine A Good Low
Brut is the French word for dry, so its no surprise that sparkling brut or extra brut are bubbly wines that feel dry on the palate.
While sweeter styles of sparkling wine add sugar after aging, brut is left as is.
Due to its high acidity, brut pairs easily with a variety of dishes. It cuts through rich, fatty foods like a knife. Try it with smoked salmon, artisanal cheeses, or sushi.
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Chivite Gran Feudo Rose
Amount Of Sugar: 2 g/L
This is a great rose option if youre looking for something cheap that has one of the lowest sugar contents on this list. This wine comes from Spain and has a 13% alcohol content. It also has the flavour of fresh berries with an acidity to give you a good contrast.
Is Natural Wine Always Fizzy
Carbon dioxide is a natural by-product of fermentation, but conventional winemakers de-gas their wines to remove any fizziness, explains Feiring. Natural winemakers, on the other hand, bottle the wine as is. Any fizziness will go away on its own, but you can decant natural wine and give it a good swirl to dissipate the gas.
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What Causes Bad Reactions To Sulfite
Sulfites dont cause problems for the vast majority of people, but about one in every hundred people is sensitive or allergic to them. If you have asthma, your chances of sulfite sensitivity are quite a bit higher, about one in ten.
The most common reaction to sulfites is no reaction at all, but for those who are sensitive to them, consuming sulfites can cause breathing difficulties.
The most common reaction to sulfites is something like an asthma attack. Well, actually the most common reaction to sulfites is no reaction at all. But for those who are sensitive to them, consuming sulfites can cause breathing difficulties and, less commonly, hives or other allergy-like symptoms. These reactions can range from so mild you might not even notice them to quite severe.