Allergic to wine? Say it isn’t so!

Wine Allergies

Allergic to wine? Say it isn’t so!

Are you allergic to wine?! You might be, and you’ve just never put the pieces together. You’ve blamed your flushed skin, runny nose or headache on seasonal allergies, too much wasabi in your soy sauce, or the dog. But, the real culprit may be lurking in your favorite wine glass! Bummer.

Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany wanted to find out if wine allergies are a real thing.  Of the 726 current wine drinkers who completed their questionnaire, 225 drinkers—or 31% percent of the group—reported some mild signs of wine intolerance, according to study author Heinz Decker, Ph.D. The most common symptoms included flushed or itchy skin, a runny nose, congestion, and rapid heartbeats. The percentage would have been much higher if headaches were factored into the study, but they are not considered specific to just wine intolerance. It was very interesting that only 3% of the people had identified themselves as wine intolerant going into the study. And, disappointingly, women are twice as likely to have a wine allergy than men.

So, what’s causing these pesky wine allergies? Well, according to Decker, wine contains sulfite preservatives and histamines as well as proteins from grapes, bacteria, and yeast.

Chest congestion, wheezing, coughing – they all could be caused by your body’s reaction to the sulfite preservatives in wine. That’s no fun. It might not be the dog after all.

Red wine, more than other alcoholic drinks, naturally contains histamines that can cause flushing, hives and GI problems in susceptible people. Histamines are commonly responsible for the dreaded wine headaches and hangovers (the worst!).

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