Wine 101: Choosing Wines that Won't Give You a Headache

For some individuals, enjoying wines comes with an unwanted side effect – the dreaded wine headache. If you have ever experienced this discomfort, you are not alone. Fortunately, there are ways to select wines that are less likely to leave you reaching for pain relievers. In this article, we will provide guidance on how to choose wines that are more headache-friendly.

Sulfite-Free Wines

The presence of sulfites in wine is associated with the likelihood of individuals susceptible to wine-induced headaches experiencing such discomfort. As a result, sulfite-free or low-sulfite wines have become increasingly popular among those sensitive to sulfites or prone to wine headaches. Another option is to opt for wine wands, sachets or filters that effectively remove sulfites from any wine.

Red vs. White

Red wine has been recognized as a migraine trigger since ancient times, dating back to when Celsus documented experiencing headaches following wine consumption. However, it is important to note that both types of wine can potentially trigger headaches, depending on various factors. The key point to understand is that the type of wine itself is not the primary factor responsible for wine-induced headaches. Instead, several other factors may contribute to wine headaches. For instance, red wines tend to have higher levels of histamines, which could be a potential headache trigger. Conversely, white wines often contain higher levels of sulfites, another possible cause of wine-related headaches.

Alcohol Content

Wines with higher alcohol content can serve as a potential headache trigger, as alcohol has the ability to induce dehydration and dilate blood vessels in the brain. If you suspect that your wine-induced headaches are related to alcohol levels, consider opting for a varietal labeled as low-alcohol or light. It is crucial to prioritize hydration to alleviate these headaches, so be sure to consume water before, during, and after enjoying wine.

Organic Wine

Organic winemakers typically use fewer additives in the winemaking process. This can result in wines that are more natural and less likely to contain compounds that trigger headaches, such as excess tannins or histamines. Furthermore, some individuals may find that they experience fewer headaches when they consume organic products in general. This could be due to a combination of factors, including reduced exposure to synthetic chemicals and potentially improved overall health. This is also why WineBalanced sachets are made with 100% natural and organic ingredients.

SEE ALSO: 3 Advantages of Organic Wine Filters


Wine quality can have an impact on the likelihood of experiencing wine-induced headaches. Higher-quality wines are often made with greater attention to detail, which can include careful sulfite management. While sulfites are used in winemaking to preserve freshness and prevent spoilage, higher-quality wineries may use them more judiciously, resulting in lower sulfite levels. Furthermore, high-quality wines are less likely to contain additives or chemical residues that can contribute to headaches. Wineries producing higher-quality wines often adhere to more natural winemaking practices, reducing the risk of introducing headache-inducing compounds. Keep in mind that while higher-priced wines are often associated with better quality, this is not always the case

Wine-induced headaches need not deter you from enjoying the world of wine. By understanding the factors that contribute to these discomforts and making informed choices, you can savor your favorite wines without the worry of a pounding head. Remember, moderation, hydration, and selecting wine varietals suited to your tolerance can make your wine experience a more enjoyable one. WineBalanced, a top-selling wine filter that originated in Scandinavia, is compatible with all types of wine and proficiently reduces the risk of wine-induced headaches.

Four ways to avoid wine-induced headaches.

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