Food allergies are a terrifying thing – the idea of a child’s throat swelling up from touching a desk where a peanut butter sandwich previously sat, or going into anaphylaxis from a bee sting at recess – but research is showing that the “sulphite allergy” many people assume they have is likely not the case.
For decades, wines in America (and for a lesser time, wines in Europe) have come with a notice stating that they contain sulphites. Sulphites are an organic salt released as a byproduct during fermentation. Many wine drinkers lament that they cannot enjoy a glass of red due to a sulphite allergy or that they have to stop after one glass in order to avoid a headache from the sulphites. Some will ask sommeliers for sulfite-free wines. These wines do not exist. The good news? Chances are that sulfite allergy is not actually a sulphite allergy.
Here are five things most people don’t know about sulphites and sulfite allergies and the truth behind why many people think they have one: