Yesterday, I was busy wandering in wineshops. I was visiting Le Decanter at ABC place and I had a fun time. We were talking about sulfites in wine. This conversation stirred up a heated debate and I decided to research on the topic. Have you ever had a glass of wine and shortly after you get a headache?

I have. There was a Saturday afternoon when I was busy working on my computer. It was one of those boring days when all my friends were out of town and I had nowhere to be. I had a bottle of red wine and I decided to down it slowly as I worked on a project. It was 8.5% ABV and I thought it would keep me company while my fingers tirelessly punched on the keyboard. Soon after I felt ‘headachey’ and I thought I was working too much.

So, when I visited Le Decanter, I met Teresia, a lady who was telling me that people argue that Sulfites in wine cause these headaches. Wine should not give you a hangover/headache.  Every time you shop for wine, make sure they you check for ‘contains Sulfites’ on the label.

‘Sulfites’ is a term used when referring to (so2). If I remember correctly, my high school chemistry teacher pointed out that sulfites are used in winemaking and in making fruit jams and juices. Sulfites maintain the freshness of these products. They also have antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Sulfites are measured in ppm (parts per million). Any wine with a ppm of 10 has the label’ contains sulfites’.


When you consume sulfites, it is not harmful to your body unless you have asthma but this is a debatable point. Some people claim that sulfites don’t harm the body while others say that they are harmful but why gamble? I am still researching on what causes the headaches. Maybe I should ask a sommelier on my ‘Ask a sommelier’ section.

‘Do sulfites really cause the red wine headaches’?

What do you think?

Published July 25, 2014.


*Header Image from Winefolly*