Red Wine Without the Headache? Yes, Please

A new approach to winemaking (in addition to drinking a bit less) may be the key to preventing the dreaded red wine headache.

If you love to sit down and enjoy a glass or two of red wine, but you don’t like the headache that can sometimes follow, you may want to check out a new low-histamine red wine that aims to quench your thirst without making your head pound.

I’m not a red wine drinker myself, but I’ve heard my friends and family complain about their aching heads after drinking red wine. Although I thought it was more likely that they simply overindulged (a definite possibility), a little research has revealed that a red wine headache is a real thing.

In the past, sulfites were blamed for causing the headaches, but it turns out that histamines may actually be the culprit.

“Recent research has found that food and drinks that have been aged, such as dry-aged meats and red wines, can cause our body to release histamines and create these allergy-type symptoms,” including headaches, VinePair said.

In an effort to combat the dreaded histamine-induced red wine headache, wine consultant Sebastiano Ramello teamed up with Italian vineyard Veglio to develop two low-histamine red wines, MarketWatch reports.

The Dolcetto D’Alba and Barbera D’Alba wines, which both sell for $16 a bottle, are believed to be the first low-histamine wines ever created. Ramello and Veglio said there are about 4.5 million histamine-intolerant Americans.

“The team behind the [low-histamine] wines says it’s really about finding the right grapes, growing them in certain kinds of soil and then using the proper sanitation techniques and fermentation methods — all are factors that can affect histamine levels,” MarketWatch said.

The low-histamine wines are sold in a handful of American states.

Another approach, if you are a histamine-sensitive wine lover, is to try a white or rose wine, which you should tolerate better than a red wine, says Fine Wine & Good Spirits,

If you get headaches from red wine but aren’t sure if it’s the histamines or a hangover, you can check your sensitivity to histamines by drinking half a glass of your preferred red wine. Fine Wine & Good Spirits said if you are histamine-sensitive, you will start to feel a headache about 15 minutes later.

Do you suffer from red wine-induced headaches even if you haven’t overindulged? What do you think of a low-histamine red wine option? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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