What are sulfites and why are they added to wine?

Many of you will know that Sensi just realeased a No Added Sulphite Sangiovese. It has been super popular but I’ve been surprised by how many people have asked “what are sulfates?” So it prompted me to write this post.

Sulfates  are organic compounds that occur naturally in grapes and many other fruits and vegetables. But sulphur dioxide is also added to wine as an anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial agent to prevent the wine from going off. This is first added during transportation from vines to winery and then may be added again to STOP the fermentation process if winemakers choose to make a wine that has higher residual sugar.

The levels are extremely low, but can still affect people who are sensitive to sulfur. Winemakers are now trying to avoid adding extra sulphur but of course, it does run the risk of wines spoiling more quickly.

So far so good. The way I look at it, the cheaper the wine (sub $8), the faster and more commercial the wine making process and therefore, the higher the sulfur content. Try and choose wines that are midpriced and you are likely to get less of the ‘sulfur hangover’

Hope that helps!

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