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Why do they put sulfites in wine

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posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 07:09 AM
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We sometimes buy the very low end wine from Chile and I think because of the sulfites in it, it causes me breathing problems. Of course, I don't make a habit of buying it, but when money is tight and at US $3 a bottle, a little hard to pass up.




posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 07:13 AM
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originally posted by: musicismagic
We sometimes buy the very low end wine from Chile and I think because of the sulfites in it, it causes me breathing problems. Of course, I don't make a habit of buying it, but when money is tight and at US $3 a bottle, a little hard to pass up.


Well to make sure that it is only you that drinks it and no one else, Imagine you had a bottle of wine that you never got to drink.

So they add selfites to it.

It also helps to keep the wine free of dangerous hobos. Once, before they added selfites, you had to pick the hobos out of your wive, and if you poured a large glass, as some do, you could be there all day as they multiplied.

i know all about it. Except the truth.



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 07:14 AM
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Sulfites stop the fermentation process, it kills the yeasts. When something containing sulfur is fermented, sulfites form naturally. When something is dryed, sulfites form naturally also. Things such as dried fruit naturally have sulfites. When you pickle onions sulfites are naturally formed also. That helps to preserve the pickles.

To make sure the wine keeps at the say seven percent, they stop the process by adding sulfites. Blame the government for this, exact alcoholic content has to be listed. Naturally aged sulfite free wine is available and the alcohol content increases with age.



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 07:16 AM
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Actually all wines contain some level of sulfites. They occur naturally and cannot be removed. Here is a good link that explains more about sulfites in wines. Wine Folly

ETA: Sulfite Free
edit on 4/24/2014 by SpaDe_ because: added additional link



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 07:17 AM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
Sulfites stop the fermentation process, it kills the yeasts. When something containing sulfur is fermented, sulfites form naturally. When something is dryed, sulfites form naturally also. Things such as dried fruit naturally have sulfites. When you pickle onions sulfites are naturally formed also. That helps to preserve the pickles.

To make sure the wine keeps at the say seven percent, they stop the process by adding sulfites. Blame the government for this, exact alcoholic content has to be listed. Naturally aged sulfite free wine is available and the alcohol content increases with age.



Thanks, I didn't know that.



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 07:25 AM
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Sulphur dioxide is often added to wine for a few reasons. 1) It is an antibacterial 2) it is an anti-oxidant 3) it inhibits weak fermenting yeasts.

As an antibacterial it stops the bacteria from growing in the juice before the yeast can get to it and convert the sugar to alcohol. These bacteria can cause off flavours. The alcohol is an antibacterial in itself but some bacteria can still cope with it and will cause off flavours such and geranium and dirty sink hole smells even after fermentation is complete.

Free SO2 scavenges free oxygen and hydrogen peroxide which is a powerful oxidizer. Oxidised flavours are duller than fresh ones and the colours are browner. Every time you move the wine or add something to it and treat it some way you have potential for it to oxidise, especially after the vigorous fermentation has stopped and no more CO2 is being produced.

Most yeast cannot handle free SO2 and so just sit there and do nothing (apparently) when it is present. These yeast can produce off flavours like cheesy and UHU glue type flavours to name a few. Sometimes these bacteria actually enhance a wine but you can't be sure. When you are selling your wine at $3 a bottle you want to be sure that it is going to be good and you dont have to sell it to the distillers for 50c a litre.

SO2 is a winemaker's best friend, it isn't the government that forces them to use it. Most governments have reduced the permissible level of SO2 in wines.

However some people are sensitive to it. It is quite nasty stuff in concentrated form. I am not an asthmatic but if I get a good whiff of it I will wheeze and get an instant headache. The most common side effects are headaches and/or breathing difficulties. There is more in white wine than red wine and much more in sweet wine than dry. BUT there is something you can do. You can buy drops that are made of dilute hydrogen peroxide and add them to the wine when you open it up, this will bind with the free SO2 and usually stop any reactions. If this product is not available in the US I strongly encourage you to start making it and marketing it.
edit on 24/4/14 by Cinrad because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 07:28 AM
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a reply to: musicismagic


Sulfur Dioxide: Science behind this anti microbial, anti bacteria,l wine additive! (practicalwinery.com)


Sulfur dioxide was first used in winemaking when the Romans discovered that if you burn candles made of sulfur inside empty wine vessels it would keep them fresh and prevent them gaining a vinegar smell. 2000 years later sulfur dioxide, or SO2, remains without a doubt the most important additive that is used in winemaking.
Used as both an antimicrobial agent and antioxidant, winemakers find it indispensable to preserve wine quality and freshness. However, if used improperly, the effect can be just as adverse as they can be beneficial.



In a chemical reaction where sulfur gains electrons it is said to be reduced. Compounds that are made up of reduced sulfur are called sulfides. Sulfide compounds are characterized by a strong unpleasant odor.
Hydrogen disulfide (H2S), is a wine spoilage compound that has an aroma that smells like rotten eggs. It can have several causes, but it is most frequently a result of residual sulfur dust present on grapes when they are harvested, being reduced by yeast to H2S during fermentation.
Hydrogen disulfide can also be caused by a shortage of yeast nutrients during fermentation. H2S can undergo further chemical reaction to form compounds called mercaptans. Mercaptans also have strong unpleasant aromas that are reminiscent of cabbage, garlic, and skunk.



Sulfites: Safe for Most, Dangerous for Some


The Food and Drug Administration estimates that one out of a hundred people is sulfite-sensitive, and that 5 percent of those who have asthma, like Karen (who asked that her last name not be used), are also at risk of suffering an adverse reaction to the substance. "By law, adverse reactions to drugs must be reported to FDA by doctors or pharmaceutical companies. But with sulfites and other food ingredients, reporting is voluntary so it's difficult to say just how many people may be at risk," cautions FDA consumer safety officer JoAnn Ziyad, Ph.D.



If you have asthma, have your inhaler with you when you go out to eat. Similarly, if you've experienced a severe reaction to sulfites in the past (such as breaking out in hives), carry an antihistamine and make sure you have handy a self-administering injectable epinephrine, such as EpiPen, so that if you have a reaction you can stabilize your condition until you get to an emergency room.


I hope this helps!



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 08:07 AM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Pickled onions? This dude can't abide. Genetic thing. My grandad had it too he was an Indian married to a little German second generation american growing their food on the high plains. Whenever she cooked she had to make to batches of food. One without onions, just for him, and another with for her and their seven kids...I tried. I just cant eat them. I gag at the smell.

Anyway back on topic...

It's good to see there are some oenophiles in ATSland.
I think the question has been answered exquisitely by now.
I always thought Chilean wines and Argentinean as well have a real earthy taste. Used to drink them before being schooled by guys that worked out in Napa who told me who they sold their extra juice to and what brands and varietals were cheap but good.



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 09:21 AM
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Blame the government for this, exact alcoholic content has to be listed. Naturally aged sulfite free wine is available and the alcohol content increases with age.


Dont' blame all governments...

As some people already know here on ATS my family happen to have quite a large vineyard over here in France...

I can tell you from first hand experience that practically all French wines have only naturally occuring sulfites... (some "Viticulteurs" still add sulfites though, especially in the Bordeaux area...) however, by law on all wine labels we are obliged to write "contains sulfites"

Kindest respects

Rodinus



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: Rodinus

Natural sulfites in wine is ok. Some of the sulfur is converted to sulfite, and if the body contains adequate sulfite oxidase, it will fix the problem. Sulfite oxidase is reliant on molybdenum to form it. a deficiency can cause a sulfite headache. The sulfite in wine is not bad for some people, and most people can tolerate it as long as they eat foods that are high in bioavailable molybdenum. Oats contain this mineral in a good form, as long as they are not overprocessed, the molybdenum likes to stick to steel rollers. When you plant potatoes, which require a lot of molybdenum to grow, it is beneficial to rotate oats with the potatoes. The oats can be harvested but the sillage needs to be plowed under. Every plant does things differently dependent on it's needs. Now lime can release the molybdenum and make it available for the potato plant but potatoes like an acid soil so liming is not recommended.

So eating oatmeal the morning after drinking wine can be beneficial to get rid of the sulfite headache. Eating certain seeds and nuts can work also, but sometimes the molybdenum is bound in these and we cannot take it in. Or you can just have a couple of beers in the morning, the hops and other whole grains they are made from are high in molybdenum also....hair of the dog philosophy.



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 10:25 AM
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So eating oatmeal the morning after drinking wine can be beneficial to get rid of the sulfite headache.


Over here in France there are 4 options to get rid of that sulfite headache or not have it at all... (Tried and tested at the 1st French ATS convention last year) :

1 : Dont drink wine at all : (Don't ask Cody)

2 : Never drink red wine before white wine (always the other way around (White before red)) : Ask Cody we did it together (But don't eat snails at the same time)

3 : Drink 1 litre of water before going to bed : Ask Cody, I can't remember

4 : Stay drunk 24 hours per day (Ask Cody, we did it together)... Do not ask our wives...

Kindest respects

Rodinus

edit on 24/4/14 by Rodinus because: Phrase added



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 10:36 AM
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a reply to: Rodinus

I like the last option...the only problem is sooner or later you run out of wine....unless you own a vineyard.
Red wine also contains another chemical that some people can't tolerate, it is not in white wine in nearly as much quantity. This chemical makes me puke. I know a little about this chemical, enough to not drink red wine. I suppose that it would be beneficial to buy your date red wine, as it can make them more submissive.



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 10:56 AM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
a reply to: Rodinus

I like the last option...the only problem is sooner or later you run out of wine....unless you own a vineyard.
Red wine also contains another chemical that some people can't tolerate, it is not in white wine in nearly as much quantity. This chemical makes me puke. I know a little about this chemical, enough to not drink red wine. I suppose that it would be beneficial to buy your date red wine, as it can make them more submissive.


I shouldn't have any problems running out of wine as we actually do have our own vineyard but tend to stick to just one bottle per week (if non at all)... Have seen the ravages of what alcohol can do...

Our family vineyard is what would be classed as "Bio" (meaning that no chemicals are used during growing, harvesting and elaboration)...However, environmental air pollution and land pollution by infiltration cannot be ruled out.

To be quite honest with you Ricky, If we look at almost everything that we eat, breath, touch etc, in some way or another we are ingesting chemicals in one form or another that are slowly causing a toxic effect to our organism.

Kindest respects

Rodinus



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 11:09 AM
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I've done a bit of brewing myself, honey mead, beer, and wine.
I never added sulfites and once ended up with 6 gallons of liquid fart.



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 04:13 PM
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Here in Texas you can go to Trader Joes and get a solid bottle of wine for $3. "Three Buck Chuck".

ETA: you can also find some swill caled "Cul De Sac". It smells like fart. I won't drink it. It costs about a dime less than 3 buck chuck.
edit on 4/24/2014 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2014 @ 04:49 PM
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My solution to sulphites in wine, and perhaps could be your own, is to make your own. I also have difficulty with traditional red wines. I drink a LOT of water every day, being a sweaty bastard and all. When you get into the websites that sell winemaking products, you'll be encouraged to use Campden tablets or sodium metabisulphate, which is used as an antioxidant or a bacerticide in home winemaking. You can make a decent wine without it, but it takes real dedication and supreme sterility.

Just a tiny slip in the sterility of your winemaking equipment or a mismeasurement of the process, and the yeast and other critters run wild and ruin your wine. It can be done. I have done it. I make Acerola cherry wine, and it's wonderful. The most important thing, imo, is to measure everything precisely and take notes, so when you do it right, you can repeat the process. Being a person that sweats a lot, I must also sterilize myself prior to and during the process. I know.... TMI.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 05:15 AM
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a reply to: argentus

Yes it can be done. Keeping all your equipment clean is very important. But after SO2, the second best tool to control wine microbiology is pH. Keep the pH of the wine between 3.3 and 3.5 and you will go a long way in selecting for good microbes. In grapes it is best to use tartaric acid to adjust pH. You have to keep monitoring pH right through to the end of the malo-lactic fermentation, which occurs after the yeast have finished as long as the wine is over 21 C.

Another important element in selecting for the good microbes (yeast and bacteria) is nutrition. If the grapes are healthy there is usually no problem with trace elements but most grape musts can do with added nitrogen. Different yeasts prefer different sources of nitrogen, adding DAP (Di-amonium phosphate) at 0.2 grams per litre feeds the strong fermenters above the other species.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 05:18 AM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
Here in Texas you can go to Trader Joes and get a solid bottle of wine for $3. "Three Buck Chuck".

ETA: you can also find some swill caled "Cul De Sac". It smells like fart. I won't drink it. It costs about a dime less than 3 buck chuck.


Cul de Sac literally translated into French means "Arse of the bag"
... So I am not surprised if it smells of fart Fatty?

Kindest respects

Rodinus



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 01:07 PM
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a reply to: Rodinus

interesting.

i have no issue with a screw on lid, if the wine is brewed well. Screw on lids are actually superior in maintaining the product, even if they are not as sightly as a cork.

BUt a wine that employs a cork damned well better use real cork. I am offended at the rubber cork-like item stopping the bottle.

i had a bottle of pinot grigio the other night that was stopped with a rubber cork. Very disappointing. Just the idea makes the wine taste worse, even if its only in my head.



posted on Apr, 25 2014 @ 05:55 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan
Surprisingly you can get used to just about anything. Just like you got used to the metal caps. And till the middle ages wine bottles were stopped with leather, then they introduced those new fangled "cork" things, which comes from the bark of a tree. Yuck! putting tree bark in contact with your wine - imagine! The problem with cork is that it can harbour some unpleasant bacteria that taint the wine, even if you cant actualy taste it, the wine can be a little flattened. About 2% of wine bottles are flattened by cork taint and about 1% are noticebly tainted. Synthetic corks are pretty good I think, they're not rubber though are they, more like a plastic?




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