We’ve all been there – you drink a modest amount of wine and wake up with a splitting headache the next day or even later on that night. Then you drink other wines and feel total fine. Why does this happen? One simple solution here is to always be conscious of how much alcohol you consume and always stay hydrated. However, dehydration isn’t always the case. Here are some possible reasons why wine could be giving you a headache and what to look out for.
There are natural compounds in wines like sulfites, histamines in tannins that some people might have more of sensitivity to start with. Any of those in themselves could be a trigger for you.
Another important thing to note is that different countries make wine in different ways. In the United States wine is not regulated by the government or by the FDA which means they don’t legally have to put on an ingredients label.
Most people think wine is just made of grapes and that should be the case, but it is not for many US wineries. Wineries in the United States are legally allowed to add over 75 different additives to their wines. Things like “mega purple” which is a grape concentrate that adds a deeper purple color to red wine and it also adds some sugar. If wineries don’t want to pay for expensive oak barrels, they can add things like oak chips or oak powder. They can also add fish bladder, egg whites, sulfur…, basically there’s a ton of different things that could be in your wine that you could have a sensitivity to, but you won’t know because there’s no ingredients label.
On the other hand, wine is regulated by the government in most European countries like France, Italy, and Spain. A lot of these additives are not legally allowed in their wines. One helpful tip is to keep a list the wines you are drinking and taking notes about how you feel during and after. If you start to see a trend that can help guide you.
Typically, the large, mass-produced US wines have a lot of these additives. If you start switching over to smaller US wineries, and perhaps wines from other countries, you may see a difference. And if you do – awesome!
So, don’t despair! You don’t need to stop drinking wine altogether just because you are getting headaches. There are thousands of different wines and wine styles out there. It is unlikely that they will all give you a headache. This is our permission to buy and try more wine – for science. ;)
Xxoo – Julia