Sulfites in wine continues to be a topic of great interest for wine consumers.
Just as a reminder, all wines possess sulfites as they are a natural by-product of the fermentation process. So the issue lies with the level of sulfites added either during winemaking or before bottling.
And it is worth repeating that around 2% of the population actually has sulfite allergies. Sulfites are also found in fruit juices and dried fruits, not to mention scores of other packaged foods.
The histamines in wine, as well as the quality and quantity of wine consumed most likely contribute to more headaches than sulfites.
There was another article this week about one proposed solution.
In South Africa they have developed an ultra violet treatment to kill the microbes found in wine.
But that only solves part of the problem.
Sulfites act as both an antibacterial agent and a antioxidant for wine.
Wines with no added sulfites still battle with possessing an oxidized quality if they are not consumed young and fresh. Oxidized wines can be identified by flavors of old cooking sherry and often are darker than expected.
I have tasted delicious wines that were made with no added sulfites. It is true that many of those wines were consumed close to their home region and within 18 months of being bottled.
Arjun Mendiratta did an excellent post on the Saignee blog about sulfites last July.
Want to try some great no added sulfites wines?
Here are some suggestions for where to find them:
Terroir wine bar in San Francisco
Natural Process Alliance in Sonoma
The Ten Bells wine bar in New York