Sulfites are a common allergen, and for those with asthma, migraines, and sulfite allergies, avoiding sulfites is vital for health.
Many fruit products have sulfites added as a preservative. However, products that are Certified Organic can’t have sulfites added.
So, does organic wine have sulfites? Read on to find the answer!
Does Organic Wine Have Sulfites?
Does organic wine have sulfites? Yes, however, they occur naturally as the grapes ferment and organic wine contains less than 20 parts per million (ppm).
Certified organic wine never has sulfites added as a preservative, so when you buy organic wine you know you aren’t getting a large dose of sulfites, but a very minuscule amount.
Any wine with more than 10ppm sulfites must have the words “contains sulfites” included on the label, but certified organic wines must contain less than 20ppm.
So, a certified organic wine that “contains sulfites” has somewhere between 10pmm and 20ppm of naturally occurring sulfites.
How Is Certified Organic Wine Different Than Regular Wine?
According to EU Commission Regulations, organic wines are produced from grapes that have not been altered during farming.
They are not subjected to pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals.
The omission of pesticides, herbicides, and the use of clean water means that the grapes that end up in a bottle of organic wine are much better for you than regular grapes, especially if you have sensitivities.
Organic wines do not have sulfites or sorbic acid added to them.
Organic wine tends to be more expensive due to the nature of the product which increases losses in the field and on the shelf.
There is a greater risk of harvest loss due to bugs and diseases, and the wine in the bottle tends to spoil more quickly or develop off-flavors thanks to residual bacteria that can end up in the bottle.
Read our related article on the Benefits of Drinking Organic Wine. We explore the health and environmental benefits of organic wine!
What Are Sulfites?
Sulfites are naturally occurring salts found in the human body in many fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Sulfites protect the wine from bacterial growth and spoilage and occur naturally in small amounts during fermentation.
In general, sulfites are considered non-toxic, so sulfites are added to foods, dried fruits and vegetables, and drinks like wine as a preservative.
Are Organic Wines Free of Sulfites?
Organic wines are produced without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, genetically modified seeds, or irrigation with contaminated water.
Organic wines do not have added sulfites to preserve them, but they do contain low amounts of naturally occurring sulfites – less than 20 parts per million.
Can I Test My Wine for Sulfites?
If you are curious or unsure about how much sulfite is in your wine, or you enjoy making your own homemade wine, you may want to test the sulfite levels to see how much there is.
You can have your wine lab tested or purchase sulfite test strips.
The strips change color in the presence of sulfites and the color on the strip will give you a rough estimate of the sulfite level in the wine.
If you want to do some serious sulfite lab testing you can check out this video below to see how it’s done.
How Can I Tell If My Organic Wine Has Sulfites?
You can purchase sulfite test strips to double-check, but wine bottles are required to declare the presence of sulfites.
If the bottle has more than 10ppm sulfites the label will say, “contains sulfites.”
If the bottle has less than 20ppm sulfites it can be labeled organic. So an organic bottle of wine could have 10-20ppm sulfites.
Q: What foods have a high amount of sulfites?
A: This additive is normally found in dried fruits, pickled vegetables, processed potatoes and sweet potatoes including fries, hashbrowns, and dried mixes, and packaged noodle and soup mixes.
Sulfites are added any time there is a fruit to be preserved, so they’re in jams and jellies, bread that contains fruit pieces, and canned and bottled condiments like ketchup, vinegars, wine, beer, and cider.
Q: What are the different types of sulfite reactions?
A: Sulfite sensitivity most commonly affects those who suffer from seasonal allergies, bronchitis, asthma, and other lung-related disorders.
Others suffer from headaches, migraines, stomach cramps, or nausea.
Some people with low sensitivity experience coughing fits or shortness of breath after consuming or inhaling sulfites.
Q. What Is the Best Way To Avoid Sulfites?
A: You should always read the food labels of any packaged foods you purchase and wine and other alcohol labels before purchasing a product.
If you have asthma or an allergy to sulfur, ask your doctor about avoiding sulfites and other additives that could cause problems when you drink wine or eat foods with them.
Organic wines cannot be guaranteed to be free of sulfites.
However, they can be produced without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and preservatives, so they’re much healthier for you.