What Are Sulfites?
Sulfites, sulfur, or sulfur dioxide, are preservatives that winemakers use to keep their wine from oxidising, allowing the wine to age and stay fresh for years to come, for people to enjoy. Adding sulfites to wine is actually actually needed in order for a wine to age over a long period of time.
Do Sulfites Cause Hangovers?
All wine contains sulfites, due to the naturally occurring sulfur dioxide that comes from the fermentation process. It’s a long-winded myth that wine without added sulfites will not give you a hangover. Sulfites are not the cause of hangovers, rather alcohol, and the dehydration that comes from drinking alcohol, causes hangovers.
Natural wines are wines that don’t contain any added sulfites - but will still give you a hangover! These natural wines aren’t able to age due to the lack of sulfites, and they also need to be handled very carefully and correctly, and stored at the correct, stable temperature in order to keep its quality, and to be enjoyed properly.
SOMM TV’s episode of Sommelier’s Notebook titled, “An Intro to Sulfites” gives a more detailed definition and description of sulfites or sulfur dioxide, and their role in winemaking. See a snippet from the episode below.
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