The deal with sulfites in wine
Those little words “Contains Sulfites” on the bottom of a label often stir up concern. What’s even more confusing is that the US is one of the only countries (along with Australia) that require bottles be labeled. So what gives? How much sulfites are in wine and how do they affect you? Time to get to the bottom of sulfites in wine and how they’re not as bad as you might think.
How much sulfur is in wine?
- Wines with lower acidity need more sulfur than higher acidity wines. At pH 3.6 and above, the sulfites needed is much higher because it’s an exponential ratio.
- Wines with more color (i.e. red wines) need less sulfur than clear wines (i.e. white wines)
- Wines with higher sugar content tend to need more sulfur to prevent secondary fermentation of the remaining sugar.
- Wines that are warmer in temperature release free sulfur compounds (the nasty sulfur smell) and can be ‘fixed’ simply through decanting and chilling the wine.
Why are sulfites in wine?
Can I smell sulfites in wine?
Should I be concerned about sulfites in wine?