Winos: No Sulfites in Italian Wine?

Old May 22nd, 2012, 09:54 AM
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My husband and I just returned from Italy and when we were in Tuscany we were told that when sulfites are added in Italy, they are added to the grapes before they are processed (with a small amount making it into the wine), whereas in the US, they are added after (with higher amounts of sulfites in the wine). Being scientists, my husband and I are considering an experiment where we test the sulfite levels of several types of wine from the US vs. Italy. Some sulfite content is inevitable, but we are told that the amounts vary greatly.

I'll be sure to post any results ;-)
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 01:39 PM
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The "sulfites in wine" controversy just goes on and on, but for no reason. All wines contain some natural sulfites and virtually all wines are made using sulfur dioxide and/or sulfites at various stages in the process. There is no systemic difference in how or when sulfites are added to Italian wines vs. US wines vs. any other wines anywhere, the exception being the relatively rare wines that are intentionally made without sulfites, and advertised as such - they're as likely to come from the US as they are from Europe, or the rest of the world. Only the US requires wines containing sulfites (again, the vast majority) to indicate that on the label, a practice that most of the rest of the world finds ludicrous. That law has certainly contributed much to the misunderstandings.

A little Googling will produce many reasonably authoritative discussions on the subject. Here's one to start with: http://wineintro.com/basics/health/headaches.html. (That said, I agree that the testing program you outline sounds like more fun.)
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Old May 22nd, 2012, 02:10 PM
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At last, a voice of reason!
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Old Jun 17th, 2012, 08:18 PM
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What about fluoride in wine? Sulifites in wine is certainly something to be aware of especially if you know you are sensitive to them. But perhaps the U.S. allows more fluoride in the grapes/vineyards .. and wines than imported wines? Also .. the radiation issue is all around us .. especially in California wines. The radiation issue is not such a big concern in some of the imported wine countries.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 02:13 AM
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Fluoridation?

Radiation in wine?

Which countries depend most heavily on nuclear power? They aren't in North America.

Which country had Chernobyl? Not in North America.

California is of course subject to wind borne radiation from the Japan meltdowns. The California CDPH and the Feds have been monitoring ambient radiation and especially milk.

Q. How much radiation was found?
A. The amount of radiation identified in the tests was ten thousand times below amounts that would pose human health concerns.

Q. How does this compare with radiation we are exposed to daily?
A. Radiation is all around us in our daily lives, and these findings are a minuscule amount compared to what people experience every day. For example, a person would be exposed to low levels of radiation on a round-trip cross-country flight, watching television, and even from construction materials.

You will die from cirrhosis of the liver long before you ingest enough radiation or fluoride (!) from wine to hurt you. I am tempted to say that tinfoil hats offer significant protection, but instead I will say, "Relax."
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 05:25 AM
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I've found that if you add a thin cork lining to the foil, the hat offers even better protection.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 12:12 PM
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That one got a chuckle out of me, uhoh_busted!

Not about to get involved in the radiation discussion, other than to say that any wine bottled prior to mid March of last year cannot possibly contain any radionuclides from Fukushima.
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Old Feb 1st, 2013, 07:01 AM
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It's been a long time since someone has posted on this thread but I am going to revive it and hopefully get some ideas...

I have taken my mom to Italy twice now and each time she has gotten this weird reaction on her face. It has swelled up and it's hard to describe since it's not a typical swelling. It's almost like she is burned and it has a elephant-man look to the swelling... where her jowls jut out strangely. SO, all I can think of, since it's happened twice now, is she HAS to be allergic to something she is getting in Italy. We drink a LOT of wine in Italy (why not right?) and I was thinking it had something to do with the wine? This is an interesting thread that caught my eye when googling the effects of sulfites. Any experts here know of any allergies to wine outside the US? I'm sure we can all be allergic to any little thing and not really know it but wondered how plausible it would be that it had something to do with the wine? Ideas?
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Old Feb 1st, 2013, 07:13 AM
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Sounds like the culprit is histamine.
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Old Feb 1st, 2013, 07:52 AM
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Sorry to hear about your mum. Certainly there are sulphites in Italian wine.
Celiac?
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Old Feb 1st, 2013, 09:04 AM
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Sounds like an allergy to me. Not much reason to think it is wine more than something else. WHEN does it occur. Tell her to see an allergist.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 01:52 AM
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Ok, whether they add sulphites or not, wines from Italy and France (bought and drank in Italy or France) definitely don't have the same effect as wines from Australia or the US. I regularly drink wine in Australia and get the same effect from all wines here, whether they be lighter reds like a Pinot or bolder like a shiraz.

When in Italy, I could drink a bottle or more to myself and not get the same hazy drunk feeling nor the hang-over and headache the next day. I tried many different types of reds, bold and lighter, and mixed red and white and simply didn't get a hang-over. The alcohol content was the same as wines here and the conditions I consumed them under were also the same.

There is something fundamentally different about the wines from Aus and the US. Fact.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 03:17 AM
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This has come up yet again..amazing. There are no special additives in wines that are shipped to the US, or in US wines...

Johny: Maybe you should be looking at the alcohol content of the wine you are drinking....a moscato from Piemonte might have 5% content and a shiraz from Aus might be as much as 14%....big difference.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 07:14 AM
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>>>>There is something fundamentally different about the wines from Aus and the US<<<

The fundamental difference is the US requires sulfites to be listed and many other countries don't. Wine = sulfites.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 07:34 AM
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I have the same experience... headaches from wine at home in the US, but no problem in Italy. I've always chalked it up to the fact that I both walk more and eat more when I'm in Italy.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 09:36 AM
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Both sane responses!
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 04:09 PM
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I'm not saying they add more or less sulphites or that sulphites have anything to do with it. The fact is (and you can see that a number of people here have attested to this) drinking the wines in Italy and France don't have the same effect.

Something must be different and nobody can provide a logical answer as to what it is. I'm aware that makers from both regions add sulphites so there must be something else and from experience it isn't alcohol content or other external factors such as exercise.

ekscrunchy: I know the difference between a moscato and a Shiraz (they are obviously chalk and cheese) and I checked alcohol content on the wines I consumed and they were comparable. I also note that Australian Reds are extremely bold and heavy in comparison to old world wines and that was my initial suspicion as to the differing effect but.....I get the hazy feeling, hang over and headache when I drink French and Italian wines here as well.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 04:17 PM
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I drink a lot of wine, mostly French but also try wines from other countries, never had a headache or any problems,
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 05:29 PM
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>>>The fact is (and you can see that a number of people here have attested to this) drinking the wines in Italy and France don't have the same effect.<<<

Anecdotes aren't facts.

>>>Something must be different and nobody can provide a logical answer as to what it is.<<<

Placebo effect.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 06:17 PM
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here's information;

http://www.thekitchn.com/sulfites-in...sary-or-100878
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