I have drunken deep of joy, and I will taste no other wine tonight. - Percy Bysshe Shelley
We have all been there before, enjoyed a long quiet evening with friends, laughing and smiling, all the small moments you'll cherish forever while sipping your favorite red wine... when an intense headache begins to form.
According to a 2013 study, more than a third of regular wine drinkers report occasional headaches -but not from overindulgence.
You may hear people refer to sulfites or recommend a sulfite-free wine. All wines contain sulfites as a naturally occurring byproduct of fermentation, and sometimes, winemakers add even more to preserve their wines. Sulfites are probably not the culprit of your occasional red headache, and if you are truly sensitive to sulfites, you're more likely to experience hives and difficulty breathing. White wines usually have even more sulfites than do reds.
So what's the deal? It may be allergies.
Tannins are naturally occuring compounds that exist inside of grape skins, seeds and stems. Any time you are drinking a wine that creates a drying sensation in your mouth, you are experiencing the effect of tannins. Tannins are a great antioxident, but if you think you are sensitive to tannins, brew a cup of black tea, letting it steep five to ten minutes longer than the package suggests. Black tea is strong in tannins and if it gives you a headache, then you know your culprit. If this is the case, then avoiding red wines may be your best bet.
Alcohol and sugar when combined can create a powerful headache, but worry not, there's a simple solution. Usually, this just means simply drinking too much wine (not necessarily overindulgence), just not enough water. When your body consumes alcohol, your body needs lots of water to process the substances. When the body is dehydrated, the brain can temporarily contract or shrink from fluid loss, causing pain and resulting in a dehydration headache. Avoid cheaper wines; mass producers tend to add more sugar during fermentation in order to boost the alcohol content of their wines. In addition, if you enjoy Rieslings but don't want a sugar headache, reach for those labeled as dry.
Histamines are chemicals our body releases when we have an allergic reaction. We have all experienced them, runny noses, dry eyes and headaches. Food and drinks that have been aged, such as dry aged meats and red wines, can cause the body to release histamine and allergy type symptoms. If you have tried everything else, try taking a histamine blocker such as Claritin prior to having a glass of red wine.
In summary, if you really like red wine, try different brands, different grapes, and different countries of origin, stay away from cheap wines and drink plenty of water throughout the day before you enjoy a glass. If you receive a red wine from us that causes you a headache, our customer service will replace your wines, with two more of a different variety at no additional expense, less a minute fee for shipping and handling. Just let us know and we'll work to make your wine dreams come true.
To Happy Wine Memories <3
Lady M Love you Always