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  1. Thanks for the article. I have developed an intolerance to SO2 which I first realised eating a couple of dried apricots. My gums and lips started to bleed. Fresh apricots are okay. I then realised that SO2 is added to wine and tried preservative free wines. No headaches. It seems to be related to the amount I have at one time.
    The general wine industry claim is that SO2 has no ill affect on people. Reminds me of the tobacco industry.

  2. Hi Lisa, I am definitely not trying to insult you – sorry if you feel that way, definitely not my intention. Everyone to their own, headaches can be caused by many things, on a person-by-person basis. It could be something in the wine, it could be the person is already dehydrated and sadly but true for some people it can be overindulging. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and definitely stick to all those wines which don’t give you headaches 😉

  3. “Headaches are more likely caused by the phenolics in wine or it could quite easily be the case of consuming too much alcohol in one sitting, drinking too quickly or not eating or drinking water while consuming alcohol.”

    A HALF of a GLASS of some wines can give me a eye-throbbing headache. I think those wineries DUMP large quantities of sulfites in their wines since many (most) don’t give me headaches. Telling people they drink too much is both inaccurate and insulting. I think most people know there are naturally occurring sulfites in many foods but, like much of our processed food and drink, we add all sort of junk for “flavor” and “preservation”. Many are known to be detrimental, including nitrates, sulfites, MSG, artificial colors.

  4. Hi Christine, thanks for your comment. I am pretty sure Jacobs Creek has some preservatives in however you could try Tamburlaine Preservative Free Pinot Gris from Orange, NSW or maybe Raw Vine Preservative Free Pinot Gris from Wrattonbully in South Australia. I hope this helps!

  5. I am looking for Pinot Grigio without preservatives please ? which brands have them without preservatives? Does Jacobs Creek ?

  6. I’ll have to do some digging for you Micky! Stay tuned and bookmark this post as I do add to it when I come across new ones 🙂

  7. Would’ve loved to see more from Victoria. Why are we so far behind? Driving through Yarra Valley as we speak and would’ve easily pick up some preservative free wines.

  8. Thanks for stopping by Erl and for clearing that up. I appreciate your knowledge on the subject and are a big admirer of your wines 🙂

  9. I’m Erl Happ from Happs in Margaret River. I commend you on a comprehensive treatment of the subject. Only one misleading statement and its not your fault.

    As a producer with long experience in this field I am aware that there is no sulphite produced in red ferments conducted on skins. Ever. The amount produced in white ferments is less than 10ppm that is below the level that requires a label acknowledgement. And that which is produced in a white ferment is totally bound and inactive so can do you no harm. So, the notion that ‘sulphite’, that might trigger a response in an allergic person, is naturally produced in fermentation and can’t be avoided, is not correct.

    More sulphite can be produced (but again totally bound and incapable of hurting you) in problematic ferments where the odour of hydrogen sulphide is emitted. These days, that is rare because we are much more aware of what yeast needs to conduct a successful ferment.

    A winemaker that knows his game can produce wine with minimal recourse to sulphur dioxide. There are ways and means to avoid its use and achieve an excellent result.

    People should be aware that organic protocols allow the use of sulphur dioxide. Don’t assume that you are buying a sulphite free wine when the label says ‘Organic’, ‘Biodynamic’ or ‘Natural’.

  10. Hi, Headache.. yeah..i don’t over indulge, I’m well hydrated and 2 glasses of merlot is my level , yet headaches still occur, often within 20minutes, if i drink wine that is not preservative free.. i was a teetotaller due to the headaches until i discovered tambourlain organic merlot by accident, so whatever they do it works, is it the preservatives, is it the phenolic, is it the 220 wish i knew, whatever it is i now hang out for and thoroughly enjoy my 2 glasses twice a week
    thanks for the info…

  11. I look forward to testing a few of these. Also Tamburlaine Organic Wines are amazing & they have a preservative free range which is delicious & no headache!! I can get a headache from a sip of wine made with added preservatives but not with these! They are not widely available in chain bottle shops but direct from the vineyard online store & great member deals. You are welcome ?

  12. Add Lowe Wines Preservative Free Shiraz from Mudgee to your list 🙂 it really is a lovely everyday drinking wine that’s very well made! The rest of the Lowe range is very low in preservatives too (all organic, biodynamic, dry vines) hope to see you in Mudgee sometime!

  13. Sorry to hear you’re a sufferer Jerry. Thank fully there are a number of tasty preservative free options out there for you. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion – it’s always welcome on the TC blog 🙂

  14. Wrong!! The author is a wine apologist. The sulfites definitely cause headaches. The worst thing to drink is champagne. For me, I can have one sip and count to five and I feel the headache starting. Wines also do this to me but it takes 10 to 20 seconds. Beer with preservatives also give me a hang over when I consume one can. Two cans is a major hang over. When I drink beer without preservatives I never get a head ache even if I consume 4 or 5 cans within a long evening or long afternoon. Believe it, its true and 30% of the population has a preservative intolerance. Most bartenders are totally unaware of the effect of preservatives….it is not well researched and not taught in bartender classes. Enjoy your hang over free days by taking my advice. I drink scotch, consume a lot, and never have a head ache or hang over.

  15. Thanks Trina! I’d definitely love to get over your way sometime soon. Thanks for stopping by the blog 🙂

  16. Yes, thank you for writing this! Headaches are the funny thing that get danced around every time this comes up in conversation for me… you’re not getting headaches because winemakers are putting some mystical headache juice in your wine… you’re getting headaches because you drank too much and didn’t drink enough water while doing it. No magic there 🙂

  17. Sounds interesting Robin! From what I could see from Google ‘Maxwell Wines’ kept popping up, could this potentially be it?

  18. Okay…off the subject slightly…I had a friend traveling and tasting in the McLaren Vale and he was at a winery or maybe someplace that made mead that also grew mushrooms in the cellar! I’m fascinated! Do you know where this might be?

  19. Thanks Robin! Yes I think it’s all about balance – I am pretty sure I could of wrote an entire post dedicated to wine headaches and phenolics!

  20. Wonderfully informative! So I guess there is a balance to be found with the phenolics with sparking headaches and giving you those wonderful antioxidants!

  21. Great article Casey, just to let you know that Harris Organic Wines in Perth’s Swan Valley has preservative free Pedro Ximenez dessert wine available.