***This Post Contains Sulphites***
What’s the Sulphite lowdown? I’m often asked, so here’s what gazillions of internet articles have told me & I’ve streamlined.
Why are sulphites in wine?
All wines naturally contain sulphites as a by-product of fermentation, so there is no such thing as a 100% sulphite-free wine.
However, sulphites act as a preservative in wine, playing an important role in preventing oxidization and maintaining a wine’s freshness. This is why a lot of wine makers will ADD EXTRA sulphites to stabilise the wine.
Have you tried any natural wines that have that funky, cider-like nose? This can often be because no extra sulphites have been added. I personally love the funk; but I know some people don’t.
Interestingly, tannins act as a stabiliser so the redder the wine the easier it is to add less sulphur. Acidity also naturally keeps a wine fresh, so theoretically an English red wine should be the king of less added sulphur!
Are Sulphites evil?
It seems most people have zilch probs with them. But about 5-10% of asthmatics could have an allergic reaction.
You can find sulphites under your nose in loads: jam, sweets, dried fruit. So you’ll probably know from these other things if you and sulphites aren’t cool.
However, sulphites are under the public’s beady eye as a possible cause of health problems, because of their prevalence in processed foods. But so far there is no scientific evidence to support this.
Sulphites are a chemical compound of sulphur
Sulphite = UK lingo
Sulfite = US lingo
Sulphites vs Sulphates? Two different things
Sulphites 👉🏼 found in wines 🍷
Sulphates 👉🏼 found in cleaning things like dish soap 🧼 to shampoo 🧴 – not in wine.
That’s all folks! Did I miss anything? Drop me a line!