Sulfites in Wine

Sulfites in Wine
Ullo launched in the summer of 2015 on Kickstarter, and since then, we have heard an endless number of myths and mistakes about sulfites. Hopefully, this article and a few more we are planning will help set the record straight or as straight as possible with current scientific literature.

One comment that we seem to get over and over is that I don't drink red wine to avoid sulfites. Unfortunately, this simply isn't true. Ask any winemaker, and they will tell you that they use sulfites for the white wines and their red wines. Many white wines will have more sulfites than red wines, so where did this myth start? Well, it probably stems from the fact that Sulfites are a regulated additive because they are a known allergen which is why you see the phrase "contains sulfites" on a bottle of wine. Since this is the only warning label on a bottle of wine, we believe that most people use sulfites as their wine headache scapegoat.

To be clear, sulfites can cause a whole host of issues from itchy throat, flushing, and congestion, but when it only happens for red wines and not white wines, there must be another culprit at play.

A similar myth to red wines having more sulfites than whites is that wines from Europe have fewer sulfites than wines from America or other 'New world' countries. This also isn't true because if we again look at the wine label, we'll see the exact phrase, "contains sulfites." This is because any wine being sold in the United States must have that phrase on the label if there are more than 10ppm of sulfites in a bottle.

Virtually any bottle of wine you find in a wine shop will have some level of sulfites. Having tested hundreds of different wines across countries, regions, grape varieties, and styles, we've found that most wines will fall into a similar range of sulfite levels, regardless of whether it is a European white wine or a big, bold Napa Valley red wine.

Next time you hear either of these myths, feel free to disregard it and know that unless you are purifying your wine with Ullo, you're going to be getting a glass that contains sulfites!