Sulfites – Wine Term of the Week

If you look at almost any wine label, you may have seen the imposing words “Contains Sulfites”. This is required on any bottle of wine (or food item) that is sold in the United States and contains 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulfites. This labeling has been in effect since 1987 in the US and 2005 in Europe.Sulfites - Wine Term of the Week

Sulfites are used to preserve wine during the fermentation process. They are compounds present in the yeast and are a natural part of wine making. However sometimes the wine producers will add even more sulfites to aid in preservation and quality control. There are more sulfites present in whites than reds and they are also more common in less expensive wines.

There is a myth that sulfites are the cause of hangovers the day after some overzealous wine consumption. The truth is that the amount of sulfites in wine is very insignificant. Hangovers are most often caused by dehydration from an alcohol/water imbalance.

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2 Responses to Sulfites – Wine Term of the Week

  1. Debbie says:

    Sadly, sulfites are something I’m allergic too. This is the reason I do not drink white wine, and have to be really careful how much red wine I drink. Do you know are there certain types of reds or even brands that have less sulfites than others?

    • joshlikesred says:

      Thanks for your comment Debbie. Unfortunately all wines have sulfites. Organic wines are produced with less so if you want to try a few of those that may be an option. There is normally a section dedicated to organic wine in PA Wine & Spirits stores.

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