The Undeserved Hangover - Tackling Wine Intolerance
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For some people, wine is a pain. Up to 10% of the population suffers adverse reactions from drinking wine - and often sulfites are blamed. But what if, in most cases, the exact opposite were true? That sulfites are actually the unfairly maligned hero of the piece, and there's another culprit to blame? More tantalisingly, what if proper action on this front could help many drinkers enjoy wine without having to worry about the side-effects?! We're taking a dive into the fascinating world of biogenic amines. These little-known chemicals naturally occur in our bodies and food and wine but, in excess, can cause the kind of issues we're used to ascribing to wine intolerance (headaches, migraines, rashes, flushing, palpitations, nausea etc). And what can keep their levels low in wine? That's right - sulfites. This episode was inspired by the recently published research of Sophie Parker-Thomson MW on the subject of biogenic amines and sulfur dioxide use. She says we need to talk about biogenic amines more, that the wine industry, 'should be very concerned about biogenic amines,' and it 'needs to act on this issue.' She identifies sulfur dioxide as, 'the fundamental tool' to ensure wine safety and calls for the creation of an entirely new category for wines that are low in biogenic amines. At the same time, she warns of the risks of low-sulfur or natural wines that can be dangerously high in biogenic amines. So could 'the undeserved hangover' soon be a thing of the past?
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