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Letting wine breathe? <> Sulfites in wine. <> Wine serving and storage temperatures.
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Sulfites

Friend Or Foe?

You may have noticed that all wine bottles in the United States have the words "contains sulfites" or "sulfites added" written on the label somewhere. What are sulfites? Are they bad for you? Sulfites are a product that naturally occurs in wine that is required for the fermentation process. The law of the land says that if you add anything to a product, you must make mention of it on the label. In this case, it's a silly redundancy because sulfites are already in the wine. It's like saying "water added" on a bottle of water in the store.

The reason that sulfites are added is this. Controlling the wine making process is very difficult. Grape juice wants to continue to evolve past the wine stage and become vinegar but the wine maker wants to make a stable product to bottle and put in on the grocery store shelves. (By the way, wine is a produce food item and should be sold in the grocery stores in or near the produce section. Not just in a liquor store.) Sulfites are added during the wine making process to regulate and control a number of different things so that you can have a shelf stable, uniformed, reliable and pleasant product to purchase. Like I said, sulfites occur naturally in the wine already and are absolutely no cause for alarm. The actual amount of sulfites added to the wine are something like one teaspoon per 10,000 gallons or less. No big deal.

I ran across a lady in one of the grocery stores that told me that she didn't like the brand of wine that I was selling because it had sulfites in it. She also said that sulfites gave her a headache and pointed to my wine label where it said "contains sulfites". I explained that all wine had sulfites and that they were on big deal. She insisted on a different brand of wine and departed for the checkout counter. After she left, I examined another bottle of the same brand that she had selected. After some close scrutiny, I found where it had the same "contains sulfites" note printed on the label. It wasn't easy to find but it was there just like I expected.

The most common cause of headaches is when one's body is not properly hydrated. Your body requires water in order to metabolize alcohol. If you get a headache after drinking wine, it is most likely due to you not having enough water in your system. The best way to drink water is to sip it all day long rather than try to drink a whole gallon all at once. Your body wont accept a lot of water all at once. Like my drill sergeant would say a hundred times a day, "drink water, men!".

So back to the question at hand, the answer is no. Sulfites are perfectly harmless.

 

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