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Feb 28, 2011 11:14 AM

Does Kosher wine without sulfates exist?

my wife has a problem with the sulfates in wine

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    1. re: berel

      I'm also sensitive to sulfites. It's maddening, because I love wine. I asked a Royal Wine Corp rep last year if he knew of any, and he did not. This is the only one I have found, and I have not yet tasted it ...

      1. re: berel

        How do you know your wife's problem is with sulfites? I ask because only an exceedingly small segment of the population is allergic in any way to sulfites, though more are allergic to other things in wine. Sulfite allergy is a respiratory allergy. Many complain of headaches, a few of hives, but they have been found not to be allergic to sulfites. The rule of thumb is that if one can eat typical dried fruit, one is not allergic to sulfites. For instance, golden raisins are full of sulfites. Dried apricots are typically full of sulfites. Whereas wine has legal limits which area fraction of the concentration found in dried fruit.

          1. re: berel

            Even then, they can get it wrong. IT seems wine allergies occur in 8% of the population, but sulfite allergies in only 0.08% of the population, in other words, 1% of the wine allergy cases. The article below miscalculates, but still correctly attributes the vast majority of wine allergies to glycoproteins.


            1. re: ganeden

              she's got fibromyalgia. stop playing online doctor.

              1. re: berel

                Not playing doctor, just professional winemaker, working to debunk the popular belief that all wine reactions are due to sulfites. Sorry about your wife's condition. It is true, from what I have read, that since the source of fibromyalgia is not known, many doctors try to keep patients off any food product known to elicit any reaction in any significant population, just as a matter of prophylaxis.

                1. re: ganeden

                  I'm sure there are lots of other things in wine that people are allergic to. However sulphites are one of the top allergens, which is why they are included in mandatory labeling laws.

                  I don't particularly enjoy not being able to eat almost all dried fruit, and having to watch everything I eat. However I enjoy painful rashes on my tongue even less.

                  Yes allergies and sensitivities are vastly over diagnosed, and also underdiagnosed. However as there's no definitive way to diagnose allergies it's impossible to state how many people are allergic to anything. Even if it's just the placebo effect it's better than nothing.


                  Summary Statement 53. Sulfites produce bronchospasm in
                  5% of the asthmatic population, in most cases due to generation of sulfur dioxide in the oropharynx. (A) Sulfite-induced anaphylaxis has also been described. (B)

          2. re: ganeden

            My brother takes a drug called Methotrexate for Arthritis.
            This drug reacts violently with sulfites and sulfates causing acute pain in the legs and feet.

            Also problematic are preservatives such as Thiamine Mononitrate and Ferrous Sulfite or Ferrous Sulfate.

            You find these preservatives in all kinds of foods.

            This is the reason a lot of older folks will no longer
            drink wine. If we can find a wine without sulfates it would help a lot. Not so much for drinking but for cooking purposes

        1. A lot of people who do badly with most red wines can drink merlot.

          3 Replies
          1. re: AdinaA

            I get severe migraines, with vomiting, from drinking dry red wine. A private maker of dry red wine told me today that it is because of the sulfites in most such wines and that I should try his wine. Should I?

              1. re: barryfadams

                Those would not be classic symptoms of sulfite allergy, which is respiratory in nature. Do you get these same reactions to dried fruit? If so, it is possible it's a sulfite allergy. Short of that, you are reacting to something else in red wine. Remember, too, that white wines have the same, or greater, concentration of sulfites than reds, so if whites do not cause your symptoms but reds do, it is not sulfites that are the culprit.

            1. In the end, there are few to none real kosher no sulfite added wines out there. The best bets:

              1) Four Gates Wine - every so often he makes a run or two of non-sulfite added wines for our local area Rabbi here in San Jose, no promises and this is NOT a line he makes for the consumers, but call him (

              2) Harkham Aziza Shiraz. This has almost ZERO sulfite added and is the closest thing to a consumer made (and drinkable) sulfite free wine. Imported by VS Imports out of NJ:

              Best Wishes!

              1. I have sometimes had Hafner organic wines from Austria with the kosher supervision of Rabbi A. Y. Schwartz of Vienna. I assume that these would be free of added sulfites, though there may be some naturally occurring sulfite traces. And De La Rosa in Florida had some organic imported kosher wine at last year's kosher fest.

                1 Reply
                1. re: EvanM

                  I would not assume that. As far as I know, Austria (and every other country in the world except the USA) allows wine with sulfites to be labelled "organic".