If you enjoy a glass or two of wine once in a while, you probably have wondered “Is wine good or bad for you?” or “Is Organic Wine better for you?”. Luckily, there is a healthier alternative to conventional wine.
“Red, red wine, goes to my head,
Makes me forget that I
Still need you so…”
You probably know the lyrics of the old “Red Red Wine” song by Neil Diamond.
I am sure you have noticed the scary warning on the back label: Contains Sulfites. So, what does it actually mean?
The term “sulfites” is a term for sulfur dioxide (or a closely related chemical oxide), a preservative that’s commonly used in winemaking for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Its role is to prevent oxidization and to maintain freshness.
Sulfites are actually naturally produced by the wine during its fermentation. The process of fermentation in winemaking turns grape juice into an alcoholic beverage. During fermentation, yeasts transform sugars present in the juice into ethanol and carbon dioxide (as a by-product).
But winemakers often add more sulfites (not the natural ones) to ensure longer shelf life. These sulfites are classified under the USDA National Organic Program as a synthetic food additive. Adding more sulfites might be good for the winemaker, but is it good for the consumer?
The wine we usually buy will be consumed within days from its purchase. It is not meant for “cellaring” or storing for extended amounts of time. So why would you want more stuff in your wine that does not belong to it? The amount of naturally occurring sulfites in the wine is already enough to ensure great quality and taste.
Luckily for us, who believe that less is better when it comes to adding chemicals to food and drinks, there are alternatives. I have personally tasted and truly enjoyed Californian Frey Natural Red Organic Wine ““ an organic wine with only naturally occurring sulfites. My opinion ““ this is the best red wine for just any occasion. It costs about $10 for 750 ml bottle. An extra bonus for me is that it does not cause my cheeks to go red.
There are other brands from California, Italy or France. You can easily search online for sulfite-free wines. And keep in mind that there are wines labeled “Organic Wine” and wines labeled “Made with Organically Grown Grapes”. Wines made with organically grown grapes will most likely contain added sulfites. If you can, always opt for the real deal ““ Organic Wine.
“Salute” – enjoy your healthier glass of wine!
I hope you enjoyed my article. Please share your own experience in the comments below.