Sunday, November 09, 2008

I wish to purchase an inexpensive dry red wine that does not have any added sulfites as I am sensitive to sulfa drugs. The pharmacist said I would just have to challenge things with sulfites in them as I would be bothered by some and not others. So after reading this article, I would like you to recommend a wine with the least amount of sulfites.

Thanks,
Alice
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Hi Alice,

As you can read on my website there is more to this subject than the simple number representing sulfites. First of all this number is not often available since it is actually different with every bottling done by the vintner. Conditions change over the course of the year and therefore the quantity of added sulfites in the bottle vary. Then in many cases people are actually sensitive to other chemicals present in wine other than sulfites OR to the combination of one with the other. Consequently there is no way to assess your sensitivity to a wine unless you try it with your own physiology. Your pharmacist is right! All our wines being organically grown have less than 100ppm of sulfites in them. The Didier has the least amount, unfortunately we are getting to the last cases of it.
Finally people imagine that it should be easy to simply make a wine without sulfites. In reality it is very difficult to make a good wine like that and particularly one that lasts! The financial risk is extreme for the producer and the distributor! You can try domestic wines without sulfites (my Daily Red and Frey wines for instance). They are cheap and sell well but are definitely not good in our opinion. Decent organic wines without sulfites will never be cheap, that is a contradiction in terms! The extra care required and the financial risk assumed will always be reflected in the price!
Balance is the main factor in everything you ingest. We guarantee that our wines will agree with you or we refund them so confident we are about their quality.
Red wines in general contain less sulfites however since they are more complex they also contain elements that may induce other responses, there is no simple answer!

sincerely

Dr Mic

2 comments:

info said...

I remember the good old days of the organic wine movement, when struggling organic winemakers and organic wine dealers were mostly thought of as silly and backwards. There was a sense of camaraderie at the time, even between competitors, who would often help each other out knowing that they struggled together for the higher cause of getting the word out about the myriad benefits of organic food production: good for our health, good for field workers, good for the environment. I have fond memories of delivering for Frey, directly from the winery to wine shops around northern California when we were still struggling, often driving in the small, family sedan with cases dangerously stacked on the back seat! On a few occasions we would haul some non-Frey brands from the Organic Wine Company as well, one business helping out another for the higher good.

Now that the award-winning no-sulfites-added Frey Organic Wines are openly condemned on this blog as not good, and no-sulfites-added wines in general are summarily dismissed, it's perhaps a strong indication that the organic movement has finally entered the era we struggled for! Kind of an ironic indicator! Seriously, all the best to the Organic Wine Company, another 2 decades of success! No hard feelings.

Michel & Veronique said...

Seriously, I reviewed my comment and will amend it. It sounded quite judgmental and aimed at Frey in particular, not fair. I can have my taste and opinion without sounding that harsh! I just tasted 2 delicious Italian and French no sulfites wine for instance but they were easily twice as expensive as the rest! And it's understandable given the extra work and risk! I clearly acknowledge that I am not fond of California wines in general and no sulfites wines have never impressed me more than being interesting attempts. And Medals, Gold or otherwise, may give one an idea of what the wine tasters like, not necessarily that it is what you would like! I have seen too many good wines left out and too many so-so wines being picked up to be that convinced by the results!
michel