For some wine drinkers, there’s nothing quite like a glass of your favorite vino after a long day. Dinner also seems to become a lot more entertaining with a few glasses of good wine. However, for many people, the dreaded headache that comes after all this wine drinking can be quite a pain in the neck!
If you’ve recently joined the amazing world of wine drinking, you might be surprised to read the words “contains sulfite” on the label. You might be even more surprised to learn that sulfites are believed to be the culprits responsible for your headache the next day! What exactly are sulfites? Are they bad for you? Why are they in wine? Can they be removed from wine and if so, how?
Today’s article highlights the answers to these questions and a few others regarding the removal of sulfites from your favorite vino. Keep reading for all the answers you need about sulfite remover from wine.
What are Sulfites in Wine?
Just because wine is made from delicious healthy grapes doesn’t mean your favorite vino is preservative-free! Sulfites are made up of a group of sulfur compounds that naturally occur during the fermentation process. The most prominent of these is sulfur dioxide (SO2).
They are primarily a preservative against bacteria and yeast. The sulfites that occur naturally in your wine aren’t enough to prevent the bacteria at bay, so winemakers add additional sulfites. This allows your wine to be preserved for months or even years.
Are Sulfites in Wine Bad for You?
For the most part, consuming sulfites isn’t excessively harmful. In fact, sulfites are found in a lot of different food types because of their preservative qualities.
However, some people who don’t have the particular enzymes in their bodies to break down the sulfites can develop sulfite sensitivity.
How Many Sulfites Are Generally in Wine?
There’s some welcome news about the sulfite’s quantities in your wine. The number of sulfites allowed in wine is highly regulated in the wine industries throughout the world.
A wine that contains more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of any form of sulfur dioxide needs to disclose this information on the wine bottle’s label. If sulfite in wine bothers you, be sure to always check the label!
What Removes Sulfites from Wine?
If drinking wine aggravates your asthma or gives you headaches, it might be time to test a few sulfite removing options. The most common way to remove sulfites from wine is with the addition of hydrogen peroxide.
It must be noted though that if this process isn’t done correctly, your wine will lose its delicious flavor! Keep reading for the correct products to use for sulfite removal.
How to Remove Sulfites from Wine?
More good news about sulfites in wine is that you can remove most of them before consuming your wine. There are a few products available on the market that make sulfite removal safe and easy to do at home. Some of these include:
- Sulfite removing drops: Wine drops are made from food-grade hydrogen peroxide. For some wine drinkers, this is the only real solution. Opting for wine drops is also a much safer alternative than trying to add a few drops of the hydrogen peroxide that you have at home.
- Wine filters: Filtering wine on its own isn’t necessary unless you want to remove sulfites or histamines. Using a wine filter entails pouring your wine through a paper or metal filter to soak and absorb the sulfites.
- Aerators: Essentially, aerators use different technologies to incorporate more air into the drinks, especially wine. For some wine drinkers, this improves the taste and removes some of the bitterness often associated with wine.
- Wine purifying carafe: Wine purifiers are designed to filter out the yeast and sulfites from wine. It’s the removal of the excess yeast that makes purified wine seem clearer than unpurified wine.
Does Removing Sulfites from Wine Prevent Hangover?
For the most part, the removal of sulfites from wine to prevent headaches and hangovers is regarded as a myth in medical circles. It’s more likely that alcohol, tannins, histamines and other additives are the real culprits behind your headaches.
It’s also not a secret that headaches and hangovers alike are often caused by dehydration. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to have a few glasses of water in between all the wine drinking!
However, a plethora of wine drinkers swears by sulfite removal as a way to avoid headaches and hangovers. So much so that there is an extensive market for the products that remove sulfites!
What it comes down to is, if removing the sulfites from your wine gives you a healthier drinking experience, then why not?
Top 4 Best Sulfite Removers
As with anything else wine-related, many products claim to make your wine drinking experience more enjoyable. A few of the more popular sulfite removers include the following:
1. Drop It Wine Drops
One of the more common sulfite removers is Drop it Wine Drops. Many wine drinkers consider this bottle of drops to be magic when it comes to preventing headaches associated with too much wine!
Drop It promotes itself as the only product that removes BOTH sulfites and tannins in all types of wine. Each bottle can treat up to 55 glasses of wine. Suitable for any type of red, white, rose, sparkling wine and Champagne. It’s as simple as dropping a few drops into your favorite glass of wine and swirl for 20 seconds!
Why it works
Since it’s made from food-grade hydrogen peroxide, the sulfites are oxidized and any usual side effects such as headaches are reduced!
2. Wine Purifier Carafe
If you’re looking for a more stylish way to remove the sulfites from your wine you might want to consider the Ullo Wine Purifier with Hand Blown Carafe.
Perfect for serving white and red wine, this crystal carafe is an ideal centre piece for any dinner table. It works by using filters to capture and aerate a full bottle of wine.
Why it works
This stylish crystal carafe works because it allows you to filter, decant and serve your favorite vino in one easy vessel. Not only is functional but makes for a stylish centerpiece at your dinner table!
3. PureWine Wand Purifier
The PureWine Wand Purifier has possibly the most ratings on Amazon among the sulfite removing options! At over 6,000 ratings—many of them good—this nifty gadget seems to be a firm favorite among wine lovers wishing to remain headache-free after dinner!
What you get is a little wand that you place in your wine glass and then use it by swirling it around for about 3 minutes. The wand then soaks up and removes about 50% of sulfites, histamines and tannins. If you’re patient enough, let it soak for about 8 minutes to remove even more sulfites.
Why it works
The combination of histamines and sulfites is often the cause of headaches among wine drinkers. The wand works by removing both of these components. It purifies the wine without changing the taste and flavor!
Another option to consider when you want to remove the sulfites from your wine, is the Vinvoli Wine Aerator. This nifty gadget has gained popularity among wine lovers because it has a dual purpose.
For starters, it oxygenates your wine, which enhances the flavor, making it a great option for wines with bold, robust flavors. Secondly, it softens the tannins and sulfites which sometimes cause headaches and allergies.
Why it works
Aerating your wine not only removes the sulfites and tannins but also softens the components that make the wine bitter and often astringent. Wine drinkers love this option, and all agree that there’s a clear taste difference between purified and unpurified wine.
To show you just how easy it is to use an aerator, check this video:
What is The Best Sulfite Remover?
Ultimately, choosing the best sulfite remover comes down to personal preference. If the majority of your wine dinners happen at your house, you might prefer the Vinvoli Wine Aerator since it’s not very portable.
If you prefer to be ready for any opportunity a delicious glass of wine presents itself, the Drop It sulfite removing drops is perhaps the perfect solution. They’re easy to keep in your pocket, purse or briefcase and can be used discreetly!
Drops are the quickest method and don’t make a mess. Unlike the wand, you won’t have anything to dispose of. The drops are also made of food-grade hydrogen peroxide, so it’s the recommended solution to use. A big plus of the drops is that they contain sunflower lecithin which smooths over the texture!
Can You Buy Wines Without Sulfites?
The reality of the matter is that it isn’t possible to buy your favorite vino without sulfites, unless you opt for an organic counterpart. Even then, there’s still a huge debate in wine circles about the number of natural sulfites found in organic wine.
What you can be assured of is that the concentration of sulfite levels is considerably less in organic wine. For the most part, organic winemakers rely on the sulfites that occur naturally in the fermentation process. If sulfite is added, it will be considerably less than that found in traditional wine.
You might want to use sulfite removers to decrease the number of preservatives you consume. On the other hand, you might want to enjoy a glass of your favorite drink without suffering from headaches or allergies the next day. Whatever your reason, sulfite removers can provide you with the relief you’re looking for.
Various sulfite remover options might work differently for each person. For some, the convenience of a few drops might outweigh the effort of decanting and pouring a whole bottle into another vessel. It largely depends on what’s most convenient and which option provides you with the most relief. The point remains, wine drinkers now have a way to take the pain out of their favorite drink!