General Question

GloPro's avatar

Does wine give you a headache?

Asked by GloPro (8199 points ) 1 month ago from iPhone

I’m not talking about a hangover. I’m talking about the side effects of the preservatives and sulfites.

If yes, do you have any tricks to prevent the headache?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

29 Answers

Pachy's avatar

Yes, so, my trick is to rarely drink it. In fact, alcohol in general usually gives me a headache, so drinking ain’t my thang.

hearkat's avatar

Yes; and rhinitis and hives. I avoid the symptoms by avoiding the wines, and sulfites in so many other products where it’s used for caramel coloring and/or preservative, including health and beauty items.

gailcalled's avatar

Always with red wine. During the summer after I graduated from high school, I lived with a
French family in Burgundy. They owned a small vineyard that produced very distinguished red wines. I drank it watered at lunch and neat at dinner. Daily. The wines had no additivies or preservatives and were spectacularly delicious. I had headaches every morning until I decided, reluctantly, to stop drinking.

Occasionally I’ll have a glass of white wine now, but I rarely even finish it.

JLeslie's avatar

I almost never drink, I haven’t in a very long time. When I have, I never got a headache from drinking. Not wine nor hard alcohol. Headaches are not uncommon though, especially red wine. I believe it can be from the tannins in red wine. Wine has been known to trigger migraines for some people, and other types of headaches as well. If you haven’t tried switching to white wine solely it is worth a try. Or, just give it up completely is another option of course.

It’s doubtful it’s the sulfates and preservatives, because those are found in so many foods and you would be reacting to other food products (which it sounds like hearkat does have that problem, so for her it does sound like it is the sulfites and preservatives most likely).

Seek's avatar

Not so much a headache, but I do get a little congested if I go overboard. If I could remember to take my allergy medicine ever, it wouldn’t happen.

zenvelo's avatar

Back when I drank it did, especially big red wines like Cabernet or stronger Merlots, and partly because I always drank a lot. One of the reasons, beyond the alcohol, is that red wines naturally contain histamines.

Red wines also contain tannins. Some people are very sensitive to tannins, and may get a headache from them.

If you get a headache from drinking red wine, the easiest solution is to not drink it.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I don’t know if Barley™ can be considered “wine”. If so, then there was an occation when I drank too much of it. It was on New Year Eve. I always loved it, but I never got to drink it as much as I wanted since my parents wouldn’t let me too. And on that day after a party at my house, I did the cleanup. I saw those leftover Barley™ glasses, and… well, I didn’t get a headache, but I got dizzy. I had the feeling I was walking on the air. I don’t know how I managed to finish my cleanup. The next thing I remembered was that I woke up on the sofa. My parents didn’t know anything about it.

I just freaking love it. If I had a chance maybe I’ll drink again :)

El_Cadejo's avatar

I find that if I drink a ton of water, during or after I’m done drinking, I greatly reduce or remove the headache all together.

gailcalled's avatar

It is believd that the high tannin counts in many red wines trigger head-aches.Source

Coloma's avatar

I don’t care for wine much, champagne yes, wine, especially red wine, is too strong for my tastes. I have not noticed headaches when I drink wine, but it is just not my cup o’ tea.
I like a few beers or champagne on occasion, and a local winery in my area makes the best CA. champagne ever. Very light and pure and you can drink copious amounts with no hangover, believe it or not.

At my age now, a couple of drinks goes a looong way, haha

Coloma's avatar

Hangovers are caused by dehydration, I too, drink boatloads of water after having a few drinks as @El_Cadejo mentions.

josie's avatar

I don’t drink much alcohol, but some reds give me a little headache.

eno's avatar

Stick to dry, red wine. It contains the least amount of sulfites.

Buy organic wines. They don’t add additional sulfites during the process. The only sulfite contained in the wine are naturally occurring which is a very low amount.

Eat pinto beans. Pinto beans are an excellent source of the trace mineral, molybdenum, an integral component of the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is responsible for detoxifying sulfites. Sulfites are a type of preservative commonly added to prepared foods like delicatessen salads and salad bars. Persons who are sensitive to sulfites in these foods may experience rapid heartbeat, headache or disorientation if sulfites are unwittingly consumed. If you have ever reacted to sulfites, it may be because your molybdenum stores are insufficient to detoxify them. link

Seek's avatar

Wine and burritos? Sounds like a party. I’m in.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It does not really bother me and red wine is about all I drink these days. There are plenty of organic sulfite-free wines available.

Juliasmile's avatar

I was at a wine tasting yesterday and heard a lady asking about certain wines containing little or no tannin. I didn’t catch the entire conversation but from what I did gather it seems as if certain grapes and/or the way the wine is pressed or aged does this.
A quick internet search gave me this:
From Allrecipes:
Red wines from lightest to boldest (and their tannin levels):
Beaujolais (low tannin)
Tempranillo (low tannin)
Pinot Noir, from the United States (low to medium tannin)
Burgundy (low to medium tannin)
Chianti Classico (low to medium tannin)
Barbaresco (low to medium tannin)
Bordeaux (low to medium tannin)
Merlot, from the United States (low tannin)
Zinfandel (medium to high tannin)
Cabernet Sauvignon, from the United States or Australia (high tannin)
Rhône, Syrah, Shiraz (high tannin)
Grenache and pinot noir are reds that are generally low in tannin
Hope this is helpful.

JLeslie's avatar

The OP isn’t talking about hangover headaches.

GloPro's avatar

@JLeslie Exactly. It seems to be something that has developed in me over the last year. I can drink one glass and have a pounding headache. I definitely drink water heartily while having wine, too.

@Juliasmile Wow, thanks for the extensive list. I really like Beaujolais, so I’ll start at the top of the list and drink my way down to see what my threshold is, and experiment to see if it’s the tannins.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@GloPro Some red wine will do that to me. In fact some will even make me start to wheeze a little. I figure it is the bisulfites.
I can drink bisulfite free wine – usually it is labelled as such.
Also white wine usually does not have it so I stick with that when in public.

JLeslie's avatar

@GloPro Yes, you are not alone. It is an actual “thing” that some people get headaches from wine. Have you tried drinking only white wine?

GloPro's avatar

The last two times I had wine I chose white. I like it, but my whole (drinking) life I’ve been more drawn to reds. I’m over the headaches, though, and believe the aversion is changing my tastes.

What other foods or drinks contain sulfites that I could eat to see if I get a similar headache? How about tannins? When I narrowed down my green lipped mussel allergy I tortured myself a few times to pin down what my allergy really is. I’m to that point with red wine.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Juliasmile The tannins come from wines that are “oaked” or aged on oak barrels. Each wine is oaked a certain way to impart specific flavor profiles. The grape skins also add some amount of tannin also. Generally the darker the skin the higher the tannin content. Straight up tannin powder is sometimes added.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m pretty sure white and red wine both have sulfites, I don’t see why the quanitity would be different depending on the color. If white doesn’t cause a headache, I think you know it is not the sulfites, unless the white was specifically aged for a long time in oak barrels, which would leach tannins also.

White would have less tannins (unless it is aged in oak barrels, but still less than red, because the grapes used for red wine have more tannins than the grapes used for white) but still has some anyway, so if it is the tannins causing your headaches, white should affect you less, but I still would not overdo it.

Tannins are found in large quantities in black tea, walnuts, purple grape juice, red cherries, and many berries, and I am sure there must be others.

I know very little about sulfites, but another jelly can probably answer it or a google search.

Or, just give up the wine, take the extra money you now have, and treat yourself to a nice vacation or two.

GloPro's avatar

A sober vacation?!? People do that?

gailcalled's avatar

^^ We do.

hearkat's avatar

Yes, sulfites occur naturally in wine and in many fermented or otherwise aged foods. However, red wines are more likely to have added sulfites than white wines.

Dried fruits are commonly preserved with sulfites, so those without are often clearly labeled. However, they are added to many other foods, so you have to become a label reader. ‘Sulfites’, ‘bisulfites’ and ‘metabisulfites’ are words to watch out for. You can learn more specifics by searching the web.

I know about tannins, but not much. I don’t know if there’s any relationship with them and the sulfites. I’ve also heard that tannins are in tea, and I think especially in green tea. I drink a fair amount of black, green, white, and herbal teas without any complications.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Oh bad, bad!! I’ve been drinking roses alot and they are from local vintners. And I get a hell bad headache..

Stinley's avatar

Yes, i can get a headache, mostly from red wines, lagers, and some roses. I usually also have a reaction in my skin with major redness and flushing. This is one of the symptoms of my rosacea skin condition. I try not to drink red wine but I do like the taste. I get a worse hangover as well from the red wine

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