Many people speak of getting headaches from wine. We don't mean hangovers from drinking too much of it! - we're talking about some sort of allergic reaction to some wines.
This week we heard that one of our regular customers enjoys Monarch Estate Rose, not just because it tastes great, but also because it doesn't give her a headache like most other wines do.
There are several theories behind the cause of wine headaches, the biggest one being the added SULPHITES. Many winemakers add small amounts of sulphites to help preserve the wine and to kill wild yeasts that can make a wine taste bad... even organic wines. However, research shows that sulphites can cause allergic reactions or even asthma symptoms, but they don't cause headaches.
Some people believe that their headaches are caused by the antioxidants found in the TANNINS, which comes from the grape skins, seeds and stems. It's the tannins that give wine its colour which is why red wine has more tannins than white, as red wine is fermented while in contact with the skins and seeds. Oak barrels, which are mainly used for red wines and some whites like Chardonnay, can also impart tannins into wines. Tannins help prevent oxidation, assisting in a wine's ageing potential... another reason why red wines age so well. While Rose should be consumed within a couple of years, it doesn't sit on it's skins for long and is generally fermented in stainless steel tanks as opposed to barrels.
There are people who believe their wine headaches are due to the HERBICIDES, FUNGICIDES AND PESTICIDES that are applied in the vineyard. Monarch Estate Vineyard uses these sparingly and we never use the really harmful chemicals in our grape growing process. Many other boutique vineyards are the same. Worldwide, winegrowers must abide by withholding periods prior to harvest, and then if there are still any chemical residues, most are cleansed during the fermentation process.
There are plenty of theories on wine headaches, but we believe these are the main ones.
We hope you found this interesting and if you suffer from wine headaches we hope you'll try our Monarch Estate Rose... a truly boutique wine.