In nature Sulfate free wine does not exist. It’s physically impossible. However, no sulfate added wines are becoming popular today.
There is a movement in the wine making industry that wants to rid wine of added sulfites. Why? It’s a chemical preservative. But let’s look at what it actually does.
What are Sulfites?
During wine making sulfites are added to cease bacterial development and oxidation. In sulfite free wine, no sulfites are added to the wine during the winemaking process, however, they are naturally produced in the fermentation process. So, in fact there is no such thing as a sulfite free wine.
Now days winemakers have often overused them to mask odors from the wine or a bad quality crop of grapes. Sulfites have been linked to health issues including headaches, respiratory problems, rashes, and other allergic reactions. The sulfites which are added cause these allergic reactions, whereas the naturally formed sulfites usually cause no side effects.
The biggest concern about sulfites is the side effect of headaches. While added sulfites can cause headaches, naturally occurring tannins released from the skins of the grapes are more likely the cause of headaches. But people are uncertain and no conclusive testing has been carried out to illustrate the side effects of sulfites. So right now, organic advocates will say that if it is not occurring naturally, it should not be added.
Organic Wine and Sulfites.
Organic wine has no added sulfites, but during the fermentation process sulfites naturally occure, from the skin of the grapes. So, organic wines have to maintain a level of sulfites less than 100 parts per million (ppm), or are compaired to non-organic wine makers.
If you are concerned with added sulfites, you should be aware that European wines have significantly higher sulfites than American wines. Also, white wines need twice the sulfites red wines do.
Taste of Sulfite Free Wines.
Many people have complained over the years about the taste of wines with no added sulfites. This is what has stoped organic wines from flying off the shelves.
Although sulfite free wines have a brown tint to them, organic wine lovers are appreciating the rich, true flavor of the wine when no sulfites are added. But, still others will swear that sulfite free wine tastes like battery acid.
Since wine tasting is an individual choice,its up to you if you like the flavor of truly organic wine with no added sulfites. Many times the good organics never get to the wine shop shelves, instead can be found at local restaurants and wineries. Since the nature of sulfite free wine is that it cannot sit for long periods of time without some spoilage, these untainted bouquets may never be for mass consumption.
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