About Red Wine, Headaches and Sleep

I love a glass of red wine, for various reasons including, when drunk in moderation, it’s health benefits.

But these health benefits, largely due to the polyphenols (antioxidants which scavenge harmful free radicals) found in the grape skins, can be strongly negated by all the other junk that is found in many wines.

red wineBy junk I’m referring to the up to 74 additives which can be added to wine which, due to lobbying by the wine industry, don’t have to be shown on the wine label.

Although not harmful per se, some wine drinkers, including myself are sensitive to these additives and feel the effects as disturbed sleep and a headache the next morning, even after only a glass of wine.

Some would argue the reaction more likely to be allergenic, to naturally occuring substances in wine such as tyramine as well as others.

But I don’t react badly when I drink orgainic wine which is largely free of additives, pesticides and other chemicals. As such, I tend to only drink organic wine from small organic or biodynamic producers as opposed to the high volume wines.

Another issue for me is the residual sugar content, lower in usually non irrigated (dry) European wines, but much higher in wines from the US where most grape vines are irrigated. The effect is larger grapes with a higher sugar content producing higher alcohol wines, which after fermentation is stopped, leaves a high level of residual sugar. The result of this excess sugar is weight gain and inflammation.

Drinking dry farmed, biodynamic wines are likely to be significantly healthier, and once your palate adapts, tastier too.

I have found that www.curiouswines.ie based in Cork but with a great delivery service have a good selection at good prices. Most wine stores also stock a variety of organic wines as well.

For more on this topic, check out the resources at dryfarmwines.com based in the Napa Valley for some really interesting interviews.

By Simon


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