Wines.com TV: Rob Moshein on Sulfite Free Wine
Are There Any Sulfite Free Wines?
I am looking for wines that do not have any sulfites in them. Can anyone give me a list of wines that do not contain sulfites?
It is true that for centuries winemakers the world over have added tiny amounts (parts per million) of additional sulfite to act as an anti-oxidant. The amounts of sulfite in wine are so minute that they seem only to bother the most hyper-allergic…and you are much more likely to find quantities of sulfite that might cause a reaction on restaurant salad bars or in fresh seafood cases at the market.
Because of modern winemaking techniques (micro-filtration, etc)today’s wines have the least quantity of sulfite that they have ever had. These small amounts won’t hurt you. In fact, they may even be beneficial. Here’s some sound scientific advice from someone who not only attended and passed High School Chemistry but went on to earn a Master of Science in Public Health Microbiology, WINE EXPO-ista Linda Olsen Weber, R.E.H.S., M.S.:
“We need these chemicals. Your body contains about 6 ounces of sulfur, mostly in amino acids, which combine to make proteins, which in turn combine to make all sorts of body parts – skin, hair, nails and connective tissues. Sulfur is also a part of insulin, heparin and polysaccharides in the matrices of your cartilage, bones and teeth. You NEED to consume sulfur to replenish the supply to your body. Sources include meat, legumes, cabbage, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic and – you guessed it – wine and beer! What do you smell when you chop garlic? Diallyl disulfide. Chives, leeks and onions? Other disulfides. And when you cook cabbage? Hydrogen sulfide, methyl sulfide and trisulfides.”
“If you’re still bothered by the idea of sulfur products in your wine (you’re on your own with garlic), aerate the wine – pour it into another container before serving. This will allow excess sulfur dioxide to escape, but you may lose some good aromas as well. I think I’ll pour mine directly from the bottle to my glass, Bon appetit!”
That being said, there are a number of wineries who make it a policy not to utilize sulphur in either the vineyard or in the winery, and so there is just the bare, natural minimum in their wines. Frog’s Leap (who makes terrific Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) and Frey (best for their Zinfandel and Petite Sirah) in California, for instance, follow that regime.
Richard Grant Wrotham Pinot may also be a solution for those with a sensitivity to chemicals of any kind. This amazing wine is made from grapes which developed a natural immunity to the diseases that chemicals are usually used to spray against. Their immunity means that the grapes have been grown entirely free of chemical sprays of any kind. The taste is also quite amazing.
Another excellent source of wines made from organically grown grapes from France and around the world is the Organic Wine Company. Their web site contains a wealth of information about wine and health sensitivities.
Finally, recent evidence points to the presence of histamines in some wine (especially red wine) as being the real cuprit for some people with sensitivities. For the average person, drinking extra water after drinking wine is usually sufficient to help clear their system of any negative influence.