How To Remove Sulfites From Wine

You will find sulfites in many wines, as they are used extensively as a preservative. Including sulfites in wine keeps the taste fresh for longer, but many people complain of adverse effects as a result of ingesting them.

It can be hard to find wines without sulfites in, but this does not mean that you need to stop drinking wine.

It is believed that sulfur dioxide has been added to wine since the ancient Roman period, where it was added to halt the fermentation and prevent the wine from becoming vinegar. 

There are many different methods that claim to remove sulfites from wine. Read on to learn more about what sulfites are and why you might want to remove them. We have rounded up some of the best products available on the market to remove sulfites from your wine. 

What are sulfites?

These are chemical compounds that contain a sulfite ion, also referred to as sulfur dioxide. They are naturally occurring compounds found in black tea, eggs, fermented foods, and peanuts.

Commercially, they are added to juice, jelly, Jell-O, soda, sausages, and dried or pickled produce.

They can also be added to natural gases as a safety measure. In high concentrations, the sulfur gives off an aroma of rotten eggs. When leaks occur in natural gas pipes, this sulfur gas can escape and you will be instantly alerted due to the smell. 

In wine, they are used to reduce the amount of oxidation that occurs. This is when the compounds in the wine react with oxygen in the air, the same process that makes apples turn brown when exposed to the air.

This can cause the wine to become discolored or lose its freshness.

Sulfites are antimicrobial agents. This means that they can slow and prevent bacterial growth, extending the shelf life of the products. There are specific types of sulfites, such as potassium metabisulfite, that are used to sanitize wine-making equipment and barrels. 

Why would you want to remove them?

The risk of experiencing side effects from consuming sulfites is low, but not unheard of. In 1986, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially identified sulfites as an allergen.

After this point, some food safety legislation was passed stating that sulfites must be disclosed on wine labels if the levels exceeded 10 mg per liter. 

According to data from the FDA, about 1% of the US population is sensitive to sulfites. There is a weak link between sulfite sensitivity and asthma.

If you suffer from both of these conditions there is a chance that wine can irritate your respiratory tract which can cause issues with breathing. 

There is also some evidence to suggest that people with sulfite sensitivities will experience headaches after drinking wine.

This has not been proven conclusively as there are other compounds such as histamines, alcohol, flavonoids, and tyramine found in wine which can cause headaches too. 

There are other symptoms that have been reported as a result of consuming sulfites. These include diarrhea, stomach aches, bloating, joint swelling, hives, anaphylaxis, and in rare cases, death. 

How do you remove sulfites from wine? 

There are a multitude of ways to remove sulfites from wine. One of the most convenient, and modern methods, is to use a product called Üllo. This product is available on Amazon for $60 and is a game-changer in the world of wine purification. 

The product sits on the top of your wine glass and the alcohol is poured through it. As the wine passes through the product, it is aerated and the sulfites are extracted. This is believed to help you detect milder flavor undertones that may otherwise be obscured. 

Another, more low-tech way to remove sulfites from wine is to add in hydrogen peroxide. This is a common bathroom product that can be found in most households.

The chemical oxidizes the sulfites found in wine, transforming them into hydrogen sulfate. In lower doses, this is safe to consume and a few drops should be sufficient to eradicate the presence of sulfites. 

Drop It also makes some wine drops that can be found on Amazon for $19.99 for a pack of 2 bottles. This is enough to remove the sulfites from 55 glasses (7-9 bottles) of wine and is said to work in just 20 seconds. It is said to be effective in all types of wine and will remove some of the tannins too. 

Another option is to purchase wine wand purifiers from PureWine. These are disposable, single-use wands that are placed into your glass of wine. A pack of 72 can be found on Amazon for $154.99.

These wands will remove both the sulfites and histamines in wine. They also aerate the wine and will purify it in just 3 minutes. The manufacturers also claim that you can use this product to refresh wine that has been left open and allowed to oxidize. 

PureWine also makes a product known as a wave bottle spout pourer. This can be found for $19.99 on Amazon and is a single-usewinemaking product.

The spout is inserted into the neck of a wine bottle and will filter the histamines and sulfites from your wine before it even enters your glass. As with the purifiers, the spout will aerate and refresh the wine too. 

SO2Go is a spray manufactured in Australia. It is available for $17.95 on Amazon which will remove sulfites from 40 glasses of wine. To use this product, you simply need to spray 2 squirts into a glass of wine and swirl it around. This product will help to neutralize the sulfites found in wine. 

You can also purchase wine filter sachets from a company called Wine Balanced. A package of 18 sachets can be purchased on Amazon for $17.95.

The sachets resemble a teabag and are made from organic and natural ingredients sourced from the Black Sea in Norway. They claim to remove sulfites and tannins from the wine immediately. 

Christina Day
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