Do you regularly suffer from that nasty feeling of drowsiness and a heavy head the day after a civilised glass or two of Pinot Grigio in the evening?
Unable to enjoy a quick ‘aperitivo’ at the pub or a nice glass of rose’ with dinner without ending up with a headache (sometimes even before you go to bed)? Chances are its not a problem with how much you are drinking but what is in your favourite tipple…
Exactly what’s in the wine you are drinking?
Most of the time when we’re relaxing after a long day at work or just want to spend some time catching up with friends, we don’t really look at what kind of wine we are buying. But is that cheap bottle we picked up at the local supermarket actually going to cost us much more in terms of health? Do we ever actually think about what’s added to the wine and how it can be produced so cheaply? Many supermarket wines contain more chemicals than grape juice and this would explain the low prices charged averaging at around £5 a bottle, no wonder the UK is known as the ‘Toilet of Europe’ in the wine world!
Pesticides, Additives and Sulphites: a drinker’s worst enemy?
Over the years, studies have proved the winemaking process has become way too unnatural. Using pesticides and additives is a common practice among most industrial winemakers. The use of added sulphites has been around since Roman times and these chemicals are now a part of our modern diet – seen as safe because they have been used for so long. This is despite large numbers of people who are adversely affected by them.
Winemakers use sulfur dioxide at various stages of the winemaking process to stabilize the wine preventing it from turning to vinegar and to safeguard a wine’s flavour. Fermenting grapes naturally produce some of the sulphites in wine so it is easier to find a low sulphite wine than a no-sulphite one.
Red wines do not need any added sulphites because they naturally contain anti-oxidants, acquired from their skins and stems during fermentation. Most winemakers add them anyway to extend the life of the wine.
White wines and rosés generally do not contain natural anti-oxidants. For this reason they are more prone to oxidation and larger amounts of sulphites tend to be added.
Sweet wines have the largest doses of sulphites as sugar combines with and binds a high proportion of any Sulphur Dioxide added.
Although as yet there has been very little scientific evidence relating to sulphites and hangovers it is definitely true that although we may not actually be allergic to them, some of us are just more sensitive to them (and to the cocktail of chemicals in most wines) than others.
Your solution is Organic and Natural Wine
A very simple solution to avoid the side effects of sulphites is to be sure you are not introducing any more than absolutely necessary into your body. Many wine producers have decided to go organic and add little if no sulphites at all. Look for wines labelled ‘No added sulphites’ and see if you feel any better after enjoying a couple of glasses!
Organic wines are much more natural and often tastier than regular cheap wines and this is because there is much more control in the method of the production. Winemakers who choose not to use sulphites or chemicals do so because they believe passionately in making natural healthy wines. It is actually difficult and time consuming to produce sulphite free wines and also financially risky as one mistake could ruin the entire production.
It goes without saying that not introducing an excessive amount of chemicals in your body can be only a good thing. Drinking organic wines will certainly improve your drinking experience giving you the possibility to taste a drink that has been made with care and in a natural way.
Choosing organic wines can be a bit more expensive than choosing the cheaper wine on the rack at the shop, but in time it may prove to be the best choice you made.
Alma Beatrice is an avid food blogger, photographer, traveler and writes about various food related topics. She was born and raised in Verona, Italy now resides in Saffron Walden, UK. Her primary field of interests is food and lifestyle. Currently working with Vorrei, a family-run online Italian food shop selling delicious and healthy artisanal products In UK.