Friday, October 02, 2009

How much sulfites does the average wine bottle contain that you would buy at a retail store? I tend to have a hit or miss on wines...if it has a high sulfite content I have a severe allergic reaction. I have started writing down the wines that I dont have a reaction to. I havent had a NSA or organic wine yet.

That is a very good question but one pretty hard to answer! We do know that our wines and organically grown in general MUST be under 100ppm. Our analysis shows levels of 30 to 60 for the reds, 50 to 80 for the whites. Commercial wines (conventional) can have up to 160 but it’s entirely dependant on the winery’s habits. Given the tens of thousands of different labels giving an average has really no useful significance. Moreover the main problem is that nobody knows if you are responding to sulfites or other things or any combinations of the 1,000 chemical components of a wine!! Certainly the residues of chemicals used in conventional viticulture has a big role to play but guess what? Nobody is interested in finding out! Finally the chemically active part of the sulfites present is never measured since it is constantly changing however that would be the only significant measurement. The total sulfites level reported can then have no bearing with the actual active part!

As you can see when you start digging into the matter it is very complex. Naturally everybody in particular the consumer would love a simple yes/no answer but you won’t get it!

What we can say with a certain level of assurance is that the vast majority of people who have ever had any problem whatsoever drinking wine has been extremely satisfied with organically grown wines. Maybe 1% of those with sensitivities still respond to something in organic wines but what is it really (tannins, histamine, anthocyans, sulfites, pesticides residues, etc…) is anyone’s guess!

Dr Mic

1 comment:

Matt said...

Yes some wines are too saturated with sulfites, and I agree that one should start to enjoy organic wines more.

But sulfites are in a lot of different foods. So how bad are they in wines, its questionable. But they are bad in a lot fo mass produced wines in which aren't good.

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