Sulfites in Wine: You Need to Know That

Wine – that’s why there are sulfites in it

Sulfites are the salts of sulfurous acid, also known as dihydrogen sulfite. The antimicrobial effect of sulfites has been known for well over a hundred years and since then sulfur has also been used in wine processing.

  • The sulfites mean that the wine has a significantly longer shelf life. However, the content of natural sulfites is not particularly high and artificial sulfites are therefore added to almost all products.
  • As a rule, the naturally occurring sulfites in wine are not problematic for health, as the amount is negligible. With the added sulfites, however, things are a little different.
  • Particularly sensitive people can get health problems from the consumption of wine. You don’t even have to drink a lot for that. A glass of wine is often enough.


Sulfites – this is the effect you can have on your health

Sulfites are not only found in wine, they are used relatively frequently as preservatives, for example in ready meals. They have been subject to labeling for some time and must therefore also be indicated on wine bottles. After all, many of them contain up to 160 milligrams of sulfur dioxide.

  • The labeling requirement was also ordered because sulfites are among the food additives that most frequently trigger allergies.
  • If you are particularly sensitive, just enjoying a glass of wine can make your heart race. Other symptoms that can be caused by sulfites include red skin and/or itching, stomach and intestinal cramps, diarrhea, or a stuffy nose.
  • Switching to organic wine will not necessarily help in this case, since sulfites are usually added to it too. But rescue is at hand: Since the EU naturally also thinks of wine lovers, there has been a corresponding research project for some time.
  • In the “SO2SAY” project, scientists from some European countries are trying to produce wine without sulfur dioxide. The researchers have already been able to achieve quite good results and assume that it is quite possible to produce wine with almost no sulfites.

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