11 November 2013 - by -
Sulphur dioxide is one of the oldest preservatives in winemaking and is widely used to prevent the oxidation of wine. Although a full-blown sulphur allergy is a rarity, many people are sensitive to sulphur and are unable to drink wine because of this.
Sulphur is found in a variety of foods, mixer drinks and other sources. Sulphur can aggravate asthma in asthma sufferers, arthritis, trigger migraines and cause havoc with sinus sufferers.
Generally the headache associated with a hangover is linked to dehydration. However, some people who suffer from a sulphur sensitivity or allergy have noticed that this headache is aggravated if they drink wines containing high levels of sulphur.
It is a common misconception that red wines contain more sulphur but it is actually the other way around! White wines have more sulphites than reds, and sweet wines will have the most in order to stop the breakdown of any leftover sugar that’s in the wine.
Organic wine contains less sulphur than conventional wine due to organic legislation. In the United States, the only wine allowed to be labeled "Organic" is wine without added sulphur dioxide and it must be made from organically-grown grapes. The free and total sulphite content of these wines is required to be less than 10 ppm (mg/l). Tiny amounts of residual sulphites can occur in a no-added-sulphur wine from some strains of yeast used in the fermentation process.
Through innovative techniques that Stellar Winery has perfected over the last 10 years, we are able to offer a wonderful No Sulphur Added (NSA) wine range. No sulphur is added at any stage of the NSA wine making process. This is made possible through minimising exposure to oxygen, keeping the grapes cool, high standards of cellar hygiene and the use of good quality, healthy grapes.
Not adding sulphur allows for a more natural wine, with the flavours coming through as cleaner and more transparent . It also allows for a richer red wine colour as sulphur dioxide can act as a bleach...
There is also a common misconception that No Sulphur Added wines have a shorter shelf life than regular sulphurated wines. The truth is that once the wine is in the bottle the wine is safe and will last for 2-3 years. Stellar uses screwcaps with liners on all their NSA wines as it is more hygienic and assures a longer shelf life
Overall one can now enjoy a great natural wine without compromising on flavour, colour and general wellbeing!
The article above is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
You may copy, re-use or re-print any of this information as long as wine.co.za is quoted as source.
Any statements made or opinions expressed are the legal responsibility of the AUTHOR,
and do not necessarily reflect the views of WineNet (PTY) Ltd. or its sponsors.