This is what your wine guy thinks of your sulfite kick but won't tell you:
It's true. I know you've made this life decision but you're wrong and being as foolish as the I-don't-have-celiac-disease-but-I'm-gluten-free trend. Sorry, but somebody had to tell you. There's about 400 parts per million sulfites in a salad. There's about 40 parts per million sulfites in a bottle of wine. Crackers have more sulfites than that. That should be enough to kill any argument but if not, let's keep going...
Sulfites affect the breathing of those with insanely severe asthma so your headache has nothing to do with it. It's more likely that the problem is tannin or alcohol so stay away from high tannin varietals and high alcohol varietals. Drop high tannin Cabernet and high alcohol Zinfandel for Pinot Noir. Or you could just not drink the whole fucking bottle. Or decide to drink the same amount of water as wine to stay hydrated and prevent brain inflammation. There are other rare conditions where sulfites are a major concern to your health (such as an actual sulfite allergy) but, weirdly enough, you shouldn't be drinking at all if you have any of those. Funny how that works sometimes.
But sulfites aren't organic, you say? Harmful microbial bacteria are totally 100% organic. Sulfites are important for stability, and they kill harmful microbial bacteria. Harmful microbial bacteria are not your friends, being harmful and all, which is why organic wines allow sulfites that weren't added.
Now we're seeing more and more wineries are pulling away from being fully organic and labeling their wine "made from organic grapes". This allows them to run their vineyards organically and still add sulfites during the winemaking phases because it's safer and, as I just said, the sulfite scare is complete bullshit.
I don't apologize for coming off rude and blunt because this issue has been rampant for years and it's time we all get rude and blunt about it to stab it right in its obnoxious belly.
- Joey Casco, CSW