Why Do Some Wines Give You a Headache?

Why do some wines give you a Headache
Last Updated: June 10th, 2021

Why do some wines give you a headache?

This is a common question these days.

Aside from drinking too much, there could be a legitimate reason for your pain!

Some people believe that post-wine headaches are caused by sulphites in wine but this myth has since been debunked by experts. Instead, we should be pointing the finger at histamines.

Histamines in wine give you a headache 

But what are histamines?

Histamines are chemicals released to alert our immune system to the perceived danger. Flushing cheeks, headaches, nausea and irregular blood pressure are the inflammatory response in our body. Histamines which are found in the skins of the grapes, seem to give some people headaches if they are sensitive to histamines.

Red wine will affect a histamine sensitive drinker more than white wine because red wine has spent more time in contact with the grape skins.

For wine aficionados, the search for quality wines starts with low histamine wine.

How to know if you have a wine allergy

While histamine in wines can give you a headache, does this mean you have a wine allergy?

Signs and symptoms of a wine allergy can be similar to those of other food allergies. Moreover, if you have a wine allergy, you may also be allergic to beer because beer has some potential allergens you can find in wine, such as ethanol, sulphites, and yeast. Common symptoms of the wine allergy include:

  • runny nose
  • nasal congestion
  • shortness of breath
  • a burning or itching sensation on the lips, mouth, or throat
  • rash or hives (can be itchy)
  • digestive upset (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea)
  • swelling of the lips, mouth, or throat

Reading list for wine explorers who have histamine intolerance 

We have been covering topics about natural and organic wines since we started our blog. If you are new to natural wines, you might want to be more knowledgable about wine additives, biodynamic farming and low intervention winemaking. It is good to understand how organic wines and natural wines are produced and how they are different from the wines you commonly see in supermarkets (commercial wines). So, we suggest starting with these interesting articles:

To avoid headaches – enjoy low histamine wine

The type of wine you choose will make a difference to the headaches – next time search for low histamine wines or try a dry wine, which is a low sugar wine so less likely to give your brain pain. You can also explore our exquisite range or red wines to search for low histamine red wine.

Is it time for shopping? Start here by browsing our natural wines, specifically dry wines and make sure to find our more about our monthly wine subscription! 🙂 

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