Wine allergies

Filed under: All About Moi

Man, I so did not even know wine allergies existed.

I had a glass of wine last night—McManis Cabernet Sauvignon to be exact—and not even a whole glass of wine but one of my wimpy half-a-glass deals. And when Simon woke me up at 4 in themorning I thought: I must be coming down with the flu or something. Stuffed nose, itchy eyes, sore throat, and generally feeling as though a steamroller had done its best to flatten me a couple hundred times during the night.

Darin let me sleep in today, and when I was finally conscious I said, Either I am coming down with the worst cold in the world, or there was something about that wine. So I clicked around a bit (the modern answer to every problem!) and discovered wine allergies.


The common question is “Can I be allergic to alcohol?” Although alcohol can be the culprit, it usually is not. The culprits are usually the additives used in the manufacturing process. Some of the possible culprits include:

    Brewers yeast







I am: bereft. It took me a while to prefer red wine over white wine (that is, to become a wine snob). And now this!

I assume that if any of those ingredients could cause this allergy then it’s not necessarily the wine that’s caused this head cold. But it’s not the kind of testing I want to do a lot of, you know?

Posted by Diane on October 25th, 2003


409 Responses to “Wine allergies”

  1. julia Says:

    My mom has a sulfite sensitivity (do you ever feel creepy after eating at salad bars? They use sulfites to keep the food from turning) which kicks in the worst when she drinks red wine.

    The answers seem to be:

    drink white wine (the sulfites are in the skins, so they’re far less concentrated in white wines)

    look for No Sulfites Added on the label

    take an antihistamine

    sadly, drink expensive wine – they seem to have less junk in them, since they’re taken from the top of the vat.

    White wine and liquors also seem to have fewer ketones and esters in them.

    Whatever you do, don’t drink inexpensive liqueurs. They use the least pure alcohol to make them.

    Always drink three times as much water as you’re drinking wine, preferably between glasses.

  2. Lara Says:

    Not as uncommon as it sounds, I have a few friends of Asian decent that are completely allergic to all forms of alcohol.

    I personally just suffer from migraines if I drink wine (of any colour); I guess I’ll just stick to the vodka. ;)

  3. Another Diane Says:

    I didn’t realize it until a few years ago, but I have a mild red-wine allergy. Every Single Time I would begin to sip some red wine, I would sneeze. Only on the first swallow, though: we call it my “red wine sneeze”. I am assuming it means I am sensitive/allergic to something in the wine, but it’s not as serious as the reaction you had.

    It happens with peppermint, too. Every Single Time.

  4. Kari Says:

    My boyfriend has a sulfite allergy. If he even takes a sip of wine(of an color) he has difficulty breathing! It is terrible! The one (and only) time he had wine, he dropped to his knees, almost passed out, and became very pale. We gave him a bunch of water and when he went to the doctor they told him of his allergy.

  5. Margaret Says:

    That sneeze thing – I have that too with peppermint.
    I have started to notice that when I have white wines I get really tipsy after just a few sips! My mom says it’s probably the sulfites. Oh well – it’s a good thing I don’t really like wine that much.

  6. anne Says:

    I just enjoyed a lovely couple of hours drinking RED wine with friends – am now paying for it, very wheezy and dizzy. Am going to try lots of water to see if it helps to dilute the effects.

  7. Mary Ann Says:

    I too have allergies to wine and I think to champagne too. Beer so so. Now I can’t drink Baileys Irish Creme b/c I get all congested and can’t breathe for days. I HATE THIS. My allergies developed in my late 30′s . I am 49 and my allergies are getting worse and worse. I sneeze many times with anything with mint.
    The sad part for all the elimitations of foods and drinks you would think I would lose weight – not. I am so tired of being congested.

  8. Phil Says:

    Sad but true. Sulfites seem to be the culprit in red as well as white wines for me. One glass of red with dinner causes a most uncomfortable rash. The following night another glass of red causes the same. If I proceed to the third night I come down with flu like symptoms. Wine is part of my daily enjoyment and Italian heritage so I shall continue to drink and scratch. I do not accept defeat very well. Cheers to all.

  9. Dave Says:

    I actually developed a rash, as well as the stuffy nose. I would wake up all stuffed up, breathing through my mouth. In an effort to drink a wine with a high content of resveratrol, I had switched to a concord grape wine, (yes, a cheaper one!) and my problem got worse. I quit drinking red wine, and in 24 hours, my nose quit running, as well as my rash went away (in a few days). I was also feeling a “funny” feeling under my rib cage, on my left side, which has subsided,can anyone explain this?

  10. susan Says:

    I use to get stuffed up drinking wine. Then as I have gotten older my reactions have gotten worse and worse. I don’t drink any wine of any color anymore unless it is organic and the label states “No Sulfites.” And then I don’t drink that much out of fear. If I drink wine or eat unorganic lettuce, within 12 hours I become violently ill.Three times in the last 5 years I have gone to the emergency room because Icould not stop vomiting. I am careful about what I eat, and still become sick because sulfites are in so many things.

  11. susan Says:

    I use to get stuffed up drinking wine. Then as I have gotten older my reactions have gotten worse and worse. I don’t drink any wine of any color anymore unless it is organic and the label states “No Sulfites.” And then I don’t drink that much out of fear. If I drink wine or eat unorganic lettuce, within 12 hours I become violently ill.Three times in the last 5 years I have gone to the emergency room because Icould not stop vomiting. I am careful about what I eat, and still become sick because sulfites are in so many things.

  12. Keira Says:

    Whenever I drink white wine (without even mixing with other drinks) I am so sick the next day. Just this week I had 4 glasses at a party. I blacked out and all I remember was being sick in the bathrooms. Next morning I had a huge headache and when I tried to drink some water to take the paracetamol, I was sick again and again until every last trace of the alcohol was gone from my stomach. It takes me ALL next day to recover from some white wine. This is so annoying! What can I do? Vodka has the same effect so theres no point recommending that.

    PS: I can drink loads of beer or other drinks.

  13. Lara Says:

    When I drink red wine with one glass, I get extremely hot and my hands get red and swollen, can anyone explain this? The other day I drank a $16.00 red and didn’t get these symptoms at all. I was so surprised not to get the symptoms I always had before. I don’t normally have this reaction towards white wine.

  14. carol Says:

    This just started and I “hate” it. When I drink wine,red or white, my feet start to burn and then itch like crazy.After a few hours it goes away… this an allery?

  15. ruth Says:

    I love red wine, and have developed asthma like allergies in recent years, I’m in mid-forties. I have noticed that when I drink european red wines I can’t breath for days and live on my inhaler. Does anyone know whether european wines contains more sulfites and other additives than american or australian?

  16. joanne boulton Says:


  17. Jon Says:

    I have recently developed allergies to Wine of any color, Beer and other crazy things that are scents like candles, perfumes, etc. If I take a sip of wine or beer my sinuses will be completed congested within 1 hour. I went to an allergist and was tested for everything I could think of. He confirmed I have an allergy to sulfites found in beer & wine. I experimented over the last 2 months by trying nasal sprays when I drink but I ended up with 4 sinuses infections. Other than avoidance, has anyone found anything that works???? Jon – NY

  18. Sophia Says:

    I too have developed food allergies in my 30′s. I have gotten a very red face, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, stomach cramps and sometimes diarhea after drinking wine with added sulfites. I have been to many allegist MD’s and have learned that I also have a candida (yeast) overgrowth. Since I’ve been on a strict diet excluding wheat and other foods that break down into sugar quickly (foods high in carbs) I have had far less severe reactions to allergic foods. I can tolerate no sulfite added wines really well which I’m quite happy for after having had to enjoy only vodka for several years. However, I am searching for no sulfite added champagne and haven’t had any luck yet. Hope to get some suggestions.

  19. Peter Says:

    One sip of wine and I develop a headache. This ALWAYS leads to a bad tummy and hangover. Any wine, any colour, any country. I don’t risk it. I was OK, until the age of about 35. No problem with beer, ‘though.

  20. Julia Says:

    I too have an allergy to wine that was just recently discovered. For a period of almost a year my eyes would swell and at the end they basically swelled shut. My throat becomes tight and I have trouble breathing but the reason I took me so long to find out what was causing this is because it happens twenty four to forty eight hours after I have ingested the product. I don’t know if it’s just white or red or both but I know that balsamic vinegar also gives me the same symptoms. I don’t believe I have a sulphite allergy because I can eat everything else that contains sulphites with no reaction. I need to know what common ingredients are in wine and balsamic vinegar. Can anyone help out? I want to lick this thing! I love wine!

  21. Patsy Says:

    I react to sulfites. There a few inaccurices that some have been told above. Quite a few of the reactions sound like reactions to histamine. One clue is if taking an anti-histamine helps.

    One, in general good quality red wine is better then white wine. This is because the tannins in red grape skins, act as preservatives and so the manufacturers don’t need to add as much sulfites to combat mould and other nasties growth. AVoid cask wine like the plague.

    Two, most people react to the histamines in wine. Red wine has more histamine then white. Histamine causes the typical cold and flu symptoms such as headache, stuffy nose, sore throat, dry or runny itchy eyes, wheezing sometimes….

    Three, beers in general contain less sulfites then wines. During the process of manufacture, beers produce natural sulfites. But this of a such a low level, most won’t react to this.

    Four organic wine is no better then normal wine. THe important part is the sulfite or preservative free bit. (Long explantion for this)

    If you really want to know what sets you off, look up what foods contain histmines, sulfites and other things and try them one at a time. See an allergist or dietician and do an elimination or challenge diet.

    Read labels, if you want a good sulfite test, make up a heap of package mashed potato like deb and eat it. If you have true sulfite allergies, consider avoiding some foods (look them up).

  22. Eugene Mitz Says:

    I like to have a glass of wine at dinner, red or white;however, I also get a mild rash. Is there any brandy, rum, scotch, vodka, gin that has minimal sulfidies? Please advise.

    Eugene Mitz

  23. Heather Says:

    I, too, have the unfortunate disadvantage of being allergic to alcohol. The night I am drinking, I sneeze. Then, the next morning, I get stuffy, have heart palpitations and have a killer hangover, even after only one drink. If I have too much to drink, I throw up all day. It is a big bummer.

  24. Heather Says:

    I, too, have the unfortunate disadvantage of being allergic to alcohol. The night I am drinking, I sneeze. Then, the next morning, I get stuffy, have heart palpitations and have a killer hangover, even after only one drink. If I have too much to drink, I throw up all day. It is a big bummer.

  25. Tanya Says:

    I have a huge sinus reaction to both red,white and sparkling wines. Taking a allergy tablet 15 minutes before hand helps, but symptoms linger over the next couple of days in a milder form. The allergy didn’t develop until my late 30′s, when I became a ‘regular’ wine drinker. What I want to know is, is continually drinking wine going to harm me? Should I stop?

  26. Patsy Says:

    The good news is…. most spirits are fine! avoid those that are mixed with anything, like kahlua, malibu and so on – or just read the labels and see if a preservative has been added. Vodka and gin are the best for those of us with allergy/intolerances… :-) me love vodka now!

    Tanya, your reaction sounds like a reaction to the histamine in wine…. if it’s only giving you nose/sinus issues, you should be fine…. it’s up to you to decide if the nose issues outweigh the joy of drinking wine!

    Heather do you have a reaction to any alcohol you drink? try just straight vodka (no mixes) and see how you feel. Vodka is supposed to be one of the cleanest alcohols around so that should be a good test. It is extremely rare to have an allergy to alcohol… and if you did your reactions would be much worse…. More then likely you are reacting to something else in the drink you are having…

  27. Peter Says:

    Like Laura above, Had no idea what was wrong with me.. my hands would get swollen and red – even my feet. Turns out red wine may be a problem. was so sick thought there may have been heart problems. took over a month to clear up…anyone have some suggestions of some good white wines w/o sulfite? Laura do you suggest anything?

  28. Peter Says:

    Laura do you remember what the 16.00 red was you had? Also, can anyone help on a specifc wine or common beer? your suggestion will be tried and commented on. Bonterra an organic (no sulfite wine) will be tried at the end of March (Not sure if white or red, there seems to be a mixed review Other foods seem to have the same effect, such as the salad bar mentioned above and hot dogs. Had a full range of blood test performed and the only high result is potassium at 5.7 but that number has been there for over 15 years. Kidneys and liver are good. Thank you.

  29. Alicia Says:

    Does anyone know if there is a connection between drinking wine and cold sores or or little blisters on your lips? It seems every time I drink wine (mostly red)I get little bumps on the edge of my lips that itch and tingle like a cold sore.

  30. Simone Says:

    I drink wine all the time, both red and white with no averse effects. I’ve had Champagne twice though and been violently ill the next day both times. Extreme nausea and vomiting. This weekend I had only 2 glasses of it and couldn’t eat for 36 hours. Is it even possible to be allergic to Champagne and not other types of wine? Or is this just all in my head?

  31. B Says:

    I think I also had a red wine allergy. I drank a glass of red wine and an hour later the roof of my mouth and back of my throat started to tingle. Than i woke up the next day with a stuffy nose, sore throat, a 101 fever and basically anything that you can relate to a flu. 3rd day now no fever just still tickly throat etc. I have an allergy to penicilin and i believe the othr antibiotics are sulpha drugs. I never realized when i drank wine ya know. I am never drinking wine again lol.

  32. Cheryl Says:

    I started to get really sick, vomiting, several hours after drinking champange. I would also break out in rashes from shrimp, some cheeses and white colored foods in restaurants. Doc says I am sulfite sensitive. Only thing to do is avoid. WARNING: To sulfite sensitives: Watch out for carbocaine, a common numbz – u – up used in dental work….there are two types. One contains sulfites. I found out the hard way via anyphalactic shock. Also the white stuff they mold for dentures with has it…be sure and tell dentist if you are sulfite sensitive!

  33. Cheryl Says:

    I started to get really sick, vomiting, several hours after drinking champange. I would also break out in rashes from shrimp, some cheeses and white colored foods in restaurants. Doc says I am sulfite sensitive. Only thing to do is avoid. WARNING: To sulfite sensitives: Watch out for carbocaine, a common numbz – u – up used in dental work….there are two types. One contains sulfites. I found out the hard way via anyphalactic shock. Also the white stuff they mold for dentures with has it…be sure and tell dentist if you are sulfite sensitive!

  34. Kate Says:

    Last week I developed rash on my upper body which was tremendously itchy…it was accompanied with on and off chills…and the feeling of burning in my face (which would go beet red for a few short minutes then back to nornal). I love red wine, and have never had any health problems prior to this. Could it be the red wine? Doctor at the walk-in clinic was miffed…there is no sore throat, swollen glands, stomach cramps or diahhrea. He said take some Benedryl and it should clear up. Ok. So I had a Benedryl last evening….but I am still itchy …and had the chills, although they are milder now. And the face isn’t burning. I thought since I eat alot of peanut butter and raw coconut recently, that they may be the culprits, so along with the red wine, I am cutting them out to for the moment.

    Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?

  35. Wendy Says:

    I recently had a bad recation to white wine over the weekend. I had about 3 glasses and was violently ill that night until the next day until 4:00pm. I couldn’t keep anything down (not even water) I have recently discovered that I have had 2 other experiences like this after having white wine. I can drink hard alcohol without getting any reaction like this. Has this happend to anyone else?

  36. Melissa Says:

    It’s strangely reassuring to hear that so many of you suffer from allergic reactions to wine. I thought I was the only one! I’ve given up every other thing over the years, and am about to have to admit that something in the red wine (that I LOVE) causes my eyelids to itch, burn, scale and even crack for up to 3 days after I drink it. I also sometimes have a mild asthma attack. I’m in my mid 40s, and this is something that’s developed just over the last few years.

    For those of you who take antihistimines prior to a glass of wine, which ones do you find most helpful? I can’t imagine life without sharing an occasional bottle of wine with my gourmet-food loving husband.

  37. SHAH Says:

    I noticed that everyone here is allergic to wine of some sort… I think I have allergies to VODKA!!! I get swollen red hands and feet, extremely sensitive, and if i continue to drink every night I develop a rash… Once the rash goes away, it kills the skin on my palms and bottom of my feet.. The dead skin then peels away – leaving behind new, fresh, sensitive, pink skin!!! The whole process may take over a month before the hands return to normal… does anyone have any advice or suggestion for me???

  38. Donna Says:

    I drink red wine and i get sinus congestion, ear congestion, and cold symptoms- itchy eyes and nose….i must be allergic. I bought cheap Red wine!!!

  39. Paul Says:

    I’ve been drinking white wine for about a year now. (My wife’s relatively successful attempt to make me more sophisticated.)

    The last week, I’ve had what appears to be sinus problems – which I’ve never had before in my life. She just told me it might be related to the white wine, so I did a web search and wound up here.

    If I was allergic to white wine, wouldn’t I have had symptoms before this?

    Looks like it might be back to beer – sorry hun!


  40. Cat Says:

    I’ve never had a problem with alcohol, until recently. It seems EVERY TIME I drink any alcohol, I get violently ill. Even if it’s one glass. I get chills, stuffy nose, and throwing up for days. It feels as if I have a hangover everytime I drink, even if I only have 1 drink. Does anyone else have these problems?

  41. Lori Says:

    I’ve been reading everyone’s reactions to alcohol, red wine in particular. I found the similarities to be really interesting. My husband and I just recently started enjoying a glass or two of red wine every evening to unwind from our hectic schedules. After a couple of weeks of doing this, I started getting really sick. I thought I was suffering from heart failure. I’ve always had a rapid heart beat, but I was now experiencing heart palpitations, night sweats, breathlessness, and severe nausea. I went to the urgent care center and they diagnosed me with possibly having mitral valve prolapse and prescribed me a beta blocker to reduce my heart rate. The doctor at the clinic told me that I could continue drinking wine since there was no adverse affects with the medicine. I had another severe attack again last night after having a couple glasses of red wine. I got incredible heartburn and felt like I was having a panic attack. I have always broken out in a sunburn-looking rash on my face and neck whenever I have drunk any alcohol beverages, but it has only been recently that I have had these other reactions. I’m beginning to think that it is related to the wine. Any thoughts?

  42. Jack Says:

    For about a year now I have had heart-racing palpitations starting about 20 minutes after drinking a glass of Chardonnay wine. It lasts for about an hour, and then I seem to be fine.
    My doctor had me tested by cardiologists on a treadmill, with heart x-rays, and Holter monitors. Everything was fine.
    I can provoke this only when I have wine. I’m not sure, but it may have started two years ago when I took an ephedra tablet for weight reduction. My heart raced then, for the first time so I did not take any more pills.

  43. laru Says:


  44. Pixie Says:

    I just had an allergic reaction to Vodka…that’s all I had for 2 nights in a row and Sunday morning I got up with my hands and feet covered in little bumps. I have no idea why this happened. I’ve had vodka before a couple of times and never had such trouble.

  45. Bob Says:

    It seems that a lot of people are laboring under some very false assumptions regarding wine. The first post by Julia is particularly troublesome. Sulfites are a naturally occuring byproduct of fermentation, so all wine (and beer) has sulfites. Winemakers add more sulfites to retard spoilage and prevent microbial action. The tannins in red wine ais in this, so less sulfites are added to red wine. White wine has much more added sulfite. The antihistamine is a good idea. Wines, mostly reds, have a number of amines – histamine, tyramine. Histamine causes the runny, stuffy nose and hay fever type symptoms. Tyramine is a prime cause of headaches, and is present in many foods. The people who are sufite sensitive are asthmatics. In fact, asthmatics comprise 5% of the total population. Only 1% of asthmatics are sulfite sensitive, so that’s a very small number. Considering there are about 300 million people in the U.S., that number works out to 150 thousand in the whole country that are sulfite sensitive. As another fact, the USDA instituted sulfite reporting regulations in 1987 and since then the number of sulite reaction cases has dropped. Doctors, hospitals and other health care sources must report all sulfite reactions by law, and in the last year they gave out the statistics, the USDA recorded only 6 cases in the U.S. So, that’s 6 people out of 300,000,000 that were reported to have reaction to sulfites. Any wine that has more than 10 ppm must be labelled with a warning. Most wines come in at about 25 ppm. Many processed foods have as much as 6000 ppm and people don’t seem to be suffering too much. So, Patsy had the best info – it probably isn’t the sulfites, folks. If you really want to avoid sulfites, here are some foods to avoid.
    Any food product that contains corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin or molasses.
    Canned and frozen vegetables.
    Condiments – any type of pickle, olives, relish.
    Most dairy products, especially processed cheese food.
    Candy, jams, jellies and any food product made with fruit pectin.
    Plant protein products, particularly soy products.
    Commercial bakery products using dough conditioners.
    Fresh shrimp, crab, lobster and scallops.
    Canned or dried fish or shellfish.
    Any food product containing cornstarch.
    Nuts, trail mixes, processed coconut, any dried fruits.

  46. Gale Says:

    Bob’s comments above have me puzzled. I just finished reading an online article regarding allergy to wine, beer, and alcohol (see and what they say about sulfites is quite different. Their info:

    “Put broadly, there are two elements a person can react to in wines and beers – those needed to make the beverage, and those used to preserve or enhance it.
    “The key preservative present in wine is sulphur dioxide (also referred to as ‘sulphites’). It is a naturally occurring compound that is found on many growing plants (including grapes) in its natural form…Sulphur dioxide has strong anti-bacterial properties, which help to prevent organisms from growing in the wine. It also inhibits yeast growth, thus preventing the wine from turning into vinegar, giving it a longer shelf life, and enabling it to develop the complex flavours of an aged wine.
    “Some asthma sufferers find that sulphur dioxide aggravates their condition. Other reactions may include headaches or hives. Bear in mind that sulphur dioxide is present in many drinks other than beer and wine, including some fruit juices, along with various dried fruits. If you do not react to these products, then it may be another component of wine you are reacting to. Other reactions may include headaches.
    The sweeter the wine – particularly white – the higher the presence of sulphur dioxide. A person suffering from a sulphur allergy, then, may experience a lesser reaction to a full-bodied red due to its lower content of sulphites. (Unless, of course, they have allergies to ingredients found in red wines!)”

    “Histamine is an amine released by the body tissues in allergic reactions, causing irritation. Jancis Robinson, in her ‘Wine Course’ book*, comments that red wines contain a wider range of components than white wines, and this includes histamines. Bob Campbell, wine expert, suggests that half an aspirin prior to drinking wine can help with some symptoms. Taking an antihistamine may prove to be more appropriate! Symptoms include hay fever in some people, along with rhinitis and blocked noses in others. Histamine is also known to worsen asthma and eczema and to cause headaches. If you think your reaction is due to the histamine component of the wine, then you could consider trying fruit wines, as some of these have lower histamine levels than wine made from grapes (depending on the fruit used to produce the wine).”

    Fining Agents in Wine:
    “Because of the demand for crystal-clear wine, winemakers either filter their wine or put it through a ‘fining’ process to remove any unwanted organisms, cloudiness or fermentation. ‘Fining’ is a clarification technique where an agent is used (such as egg white or bentonite) to encourage solids to fall out of suspension so that the clear wine can be racked off. … These fining agents do not have to be declared on the label, as no residue of them should be left in the finished product. Some allergy sufferers, however, do report reacting to wine in a similar manner as they do to whatever it is they are allergic to – ie) egg whites.”

    The older I get, the more I seem to have a reaction to wines, although not to beer or hard liquor. I find, as many others above, that the “better” wines (i.e., more expensive) don’t seem to affect me as much as the cheap ones. I haven’t noticed much difference between red vs. white vs. rose. I sneeze and get stuffed up, which lasts into the next day and causes my husband grief since it also makes me snore a lot. The other side effect of drinking wine is diarrhea. I haven’t seen that mentioned on this posting, but I’d assume it might be true for others as well.

  47. Megan Says:

    Hello all. I am severly allergic to oak trees and am curious if I could be allergic to wines that are aged in oak barrels. Any input? Where could I find the answer to this question? Thanks!!

  48. Nicole Says:

    I gave up alcohol for a year, and have only recently begun drinking again. It’s really scary cos I have severe headaches from vodka and violent hayfever (love that foggy brain!) for days from drinking white wine. I have a gluten intolerance so I’m assuming that that is the cause of the vodka thing (made from wheat), and the histamine is thing in wines. I want to know if others are gluten intolerant, and would this make a difference? And are there lots of nasty histamines in champagne? What is safe? Obviously not beer – gluten in a bottle!

  49. Janeen Says:

    I just experienced a reaction to drinking a couple glasses of white wine. Mostly I prefer reds but some do give me a headache. The reaction to the white was the following afternoon-so 18 hrs. later. My eyelid started to itch and it swelled almost shut within minutes and I started to itch in several areas. Wrist, and waist where I had shingles once. I had taken two Motrin in the a.m. for a sore muscle I thought was from exercising but now am wondering if it was wine related.–Looking at the Motrin bottle later-it clearly states-may cause hives and facial swelling-I think the combo of the white wine and Motrin later triggered it. I have never reacted to Motrin b-4 so didn’t even give it a thought. I hardly ever take it, maybe once every couple years. But I think the combo wasn’t good. I took the Motrin about 4 hours before the reaction hit and Am posting just for reference for others. Thanks for your posts.

  50. Dinora Says:

    It’s amazing that when I have a small glass of wine I develop strong palpitations as well as a feeling of going into a tunnel. If it is the sulfite, I do not know but,my body and mind feel very strange.

  51. Jenn Says:

    Thank you Gale for your post…the article you quoted really informed me about the different allergens in wines. Here I had been blaming the sulphites for making me sick with severe cold-like symtems every time I indulged. Now I realize that for me, it is the histimines that cause this discomfort. I am going to see if Port will affect me the same way….maybe in a couple weeks after I recover from my lastest sinus-upset! Another thing I have noticed is that since developing this “allergy” in my mid- thirties, alcohol hardly gives me a buzz, and I am not a heavy or regular drinker. I used to be such a lightweight that one glass of something would have me slurring. Anyone else notice this coincidence also?

  52. Jenn Says:

    Thank you Gale for your post…the article you quoted really informed me about the different allergens in wines. Here I had been blaming the sulphites for making me sick with severe cold-like symtems every time I indulged. Now I realize that for me, it is the histimines that cause this discomfort. I am going to see if Port will affect me the same way….maybe in a couple weeks after I recover from my lastest sinus-upset! Another thing I have noticed is that since developing this “allergy” in my mid- thirties, alcohol hardly gives me a buzz, and I am not a heavy or regular drinker. I used to be such a lightweight that one glass of something would have me slurring. Anyone else notice this coincidence also?

  53. Jennifer Says:

    I was looking for information on hidden sulphites and came across these postings. I have had a sulpha allergie since I was 16 and can not drink champagne or wine of any kind. It’s been a real bummer at weddings and other social events. I get extreme hives that can come in cycles for weeks. The reason people may not notice it until they are older is because it can take a while to build up resistance in your body. I learned this when a doctor told me they don’t know if it is the next glass of wine I drink or the 100th that could kill me. The reason I became so sensitive at a young age is because a doctor gave me sulpha as an atibiotic. My grandmother was allergic to sulpha and I’ve heard it tends to run in families, especially females. I find it funny that wine websites try to downplay this allergy.

    In my experience doctors are very ignorant about this, even allergists. I’ve had mild erythmea nordosum (rash on shins) for a year now and no one can figure out why but that it can be linked to a sulpha allergy. With the list of foods to avoid above maybe now I can start an elimination diet. Thanks Bob.

  54. Muir Says:

    Thank you, everyone, for your comments, experiences, knowledge, etc. I’ve learned a lot from your postings. I have had day-after symptoms and allergies from drinking white & red wines for a few years now and it seems the late 30s are a common time for these symptoms/allergies to hit hardest (I am 38.) I LOVE red wine especially with a fine dinner and dinner partner, but I am giving myself a 6-week break from wine to see how how my body & health improves. May try the Candida yeast diet as well but I know how strict that is – don’t know if I can stick to it. Thanks again.

  55. Susie Says:

    I an 49 and in the last 5 years have had gotten severe headaches from just 1/2 glass of wine…whatever wine. Once at CharleyI’s
    Crab we ordered a wine w/o Sulfites and I was fine. Since then I found out my allergies. I still get headaches from wine. I never used to. I have all the common year round rhinitis allergies. Mold being one. Would the mold from the barrels cause headaches. I never sneeze or have runny nose, just headaches. So, I thought buying another bottle of non-sulfite wine would do the trick and I wouldn’t geet sick. Should it be white or red? I take Rx Allergy pill each day and get allergy short 2x a month down from once a week for a year. I’m sick of getting headaches when I’m trying to have fun. It took me 5 days to get ove 2 glasses of wine the last time. Would straight vodka be better as somebody mentioned above. Or a different alcohol? Suggestions?

  56. Susie Says:

    I am 49 and in the last 5 years have had gotten severe headaches from just 1/2 glass of wine…whatever wine. Once at Charley’s
    Crab we ordered a wine w/o Sulfites and I was fine. Since then I found out my allergies. I still get headaches from wine. I never used to. I have all the common year round rhinitis allergies. Mold being one. Would the mold from the barrels cause headaches. I never sneeze or have runny nose, just headaches. So, I thought buying another bottle of non-sulfite wine would do the trick and I wouldn’t get sick. Should it be white or red? I take Rx Allergy pill each day and get allergy shots 2x a month, down from once a week for a year. I’m sick of getting headaches when I’m trying to have fun. It took me 5 days to get over 2 glasses of wine the last time. Would straight vodka be better, as somebody mentioned above or is there a drink I could have that may not cause a problem with my allergies?
    Or a different alcohol? Suggestions? Thanks so much.

  57. Jane Says:

    What about cooking with wine? If I marinate or cook with wine, will my mother-in-law, who is allergic to wine, get sick?

  58. Jen Says:

    Hey there,
    just wanted to point out there is no relationship between sulphonamides and sulfiting agents. Be VERY careful at the pharmacist because I have been given sulfited drugs, as I was labelled as having a sulfonamide allergy.
    Also, I was diagnosed with this allergy when i was 20 after fainting spells, vomiting a lot and having trouble catching my breath all the time. The last major outbreak i had was after drinking beer.. the beer itself is fine, however, the lines at the restaurant were flushed with a cleanser. After 3 glasses, i passed out and was violently ill for several days.
    THe finaly note is to be aware that epipens contain sulfites, as does the epinephrine provided in emergency. When I was last there, due to someone putting mayo on my sandwich, they had to give me benedryl. The only sulfite-free epinephrine is in an inhaler or else I believe that anaesthatists also use an injectable one that is safe. (please note the inhaler is not available in Canada because it contains PCBs, which are a banned propellant up here)
    For a list of sulfite containings drugs, your doctor should have a pharmaceutical compedium with purple pages at the back
    other than that, the only other advice i have is to stay away from ALL junk foods. Canadian food labelling laws do not require sulfites to be listed on the packaging. When travelling, remember food prep laws change. in the US, vegetables, such as chopped iceberg lettuce and salad bars contain sulfites. In Canada, treating vegetables or any food containing B group vitamins is banned.
    Hope that is of some use!

  59. Jen Says:

    Hey there,
    just wanted to point out there is no relationship between sulphonamides and sulfiting agents. Be VERY careful at the pharmacist because I have been given sulfited drugs, as I was labelled as having a sulfonamide allergy.
    Also, I was diagnosed with this allergy when i was 20 after fainting spells, vomiting a lot and having trouble catching my breath all the time. The last major outbreak i had was after drinking beer.. the beer itself is fine, however, the lines at the restaurant were flushed with a cleanser. After 3 glasses, i passed out and was violently ill for several days.
    THe finaly note is to be aware that epipens contain sulfites, as does the epinephrine provided in emergency. When I was last there, due to someone putting mayo on my sandwich, they had to give me benedryl. The only sulfite-free epinephrine is in an inhaler or else I believe that anaesthatists also use an injectable one that is safe. (please note the inhaler is not available in Canada because it contains PCBs, which are a banned propellant up here)
    For a list of sulfite containings drugs, your doctor should have a pharmaceutical compedium with purple pages at the back
    other than that, the only other advice i have is to stay away from ALL junk foods. Canadian food labelling laws do not require sulfites to be listed on the packaging. When travelling, remember food prep laws change. in the US, vegetables, such as chopped iceberg lettuce and salad bars contain sulfites. In Canada, treating vegetables or any food containing B group vitamins is banned.
    Hope that is of some use!

    some useful links

  60. Martin Says:

    I refer to Kate’s comments posted on 25 Feb 04. I have been drinking boh red & white wine for years I I ocansionally have a reaction similar to the one described by Kate. I refer mainly to the hot flushes in the face (people say I look like a burns victim!). I usually have this with white wine, but it can occur with both. I have noted that it is usually with cheaper wines. I have been told that one way to overcome or reduce this is by holding your finger over the top of the wine, shaking it and then releasing your finger from the top which apparently expels some of the sulpher present in the wine. Best bet however is to steer away completely from cheap wines (red or white). Personally I prefer full bodied aged reds high in alcohol content (14-14.5%). I refer to Cab Sav; Shiraz and a favourite of mine Durif. Good Luck.

  61. kelly Says:

    just came back from wine country with my husband. we tasted and drank lots and lots of wine for a few days, more than we typically drink. his hands started swelling, legs and feet too, and a rash all over his body, except for his face. it’s gone away now, lasted just a couple of days. has anyone ever heard of a one-time-only rash from prolonged overindulgence?

  62. Ginger Says:

    I too have a flushed warm face when I drink wine.Usually just the first glass or so , then it goes away. The next morning red itchy eyes and snezing stuffy nose. This doen’t happen when I drink other things.

  63. Gill Says:

    Does anybody know whether extra strength vodka (such as blue label)or Gin (duty free)contains any additives that I could be allergic to? I have been trying to find out what causes me to break out in terrible itchy hives and the only link I can think of is every time I have had extra strength spirits or perhaps cheap ones. Could I be right?

  64. craig Says:

    I have a regular reaction to Red Wine. Diarrhea The one thing I’ve done is drink a dose of Pepto Bismal before I go out. I find this allows me to enjoy my dinner and wine with minimal diarrhea.

  65. CM Says:

    I am 41 and have always enjoyed a couple glasses of wine every couple of weeks. About 8 weeks ago I began getting vilently ill (vomiting) after 2 glasses of white wine (expensive wine). I has gotten worse on each of the past 4 occasions. I will never drink wine again, it is so severe. My concern is what is causing it so I do not have this reaction to any other foods. I take no prescription meds. Only a multivitamin daily. I suggestions from anyone?

  66. CM Says:

    I am 41 and have always enjoyed a couple glasses of wine every couple of weeks. About 8 weeks ago I began getting vilently ill (vomiting) after 2 glasses of white wine (expensive wine). I has gotten worse on each of the past 4 occasions. I will never drink wine again, it is so severe. My concern is what is causing it so I do not have this reaction to any other foods. I take no prescription meds. Only a multivitamin daily. I suggestions from anyone?

  67. Irean Says:

    Anyone get dry mouth syndrome from red wine?

  68. Julie Says:

    Would drinking white wine make my hands, fingers, and almost all joints hurt?

    I drink wine almost everyday and have started having my hands hurt more than ever…

  69. NR Says:

    Hi I had red wine twice in my life. I have realised that I am allergic to it. I had rash on tongue, gums and all other sensitive parts.
    can you please suggest me any medicine to cure this?

  70. gmc Says:

    When I drink a Red Table Wine, inexpensive, I develop a red face around my eyes. There is also a “burning” feeling associated with the redness. The wine that did it tonight was a French Syrah. I will have to experiment with a Cab. next.

  71. AJ Says:

    Whenever I drink any wine or champagne my lips start itching and swelling and turning red. I also get blotches around my lips and face. My stomach feels as if it becomes very acidic and my mouth starts watering constantly from the acidic feeling. I try to eat crackers and drink lots of water but it usually doesnt go away for atleast a few hours. Is this an allergy to sulfites??

  72. Cathy Says:

    When I drink wine (of any color) I get violently ill in the middle of the night and the whole next day. I get a huge headache after one glass as well as a stomach ache, nausea, blurry vision and my heart rate speeds up… The allergist told me to stick to soda!!!

  73. Cathy Says:

    When I drink wine (of any color) I get violently ill in the middle of the night and the whole next day. I get a huge headache after one glass as well as a stomach ache, nausea, blurry vision and my heart rate speeds up… The allergist told me to stick to soda!!!

  74. linda Says:

    I have been drinking red wine for the past 2 years – recently everytime I drink wine my stomach starts to bloat really bad and this is very uncomfortable when out with friends. Does this happen to anyone else?

  75. Cindy Says:

    I was wondering about the allergies to wine myself. I have drank red wine off and on for over 5 years. Over the last year I have started to drink it more frequently and have noticed an increase in sinus infections and my asthma. I had no idea that red wine could cause this until I started using a nasal spray that listed red wine as an allergen.

  76. Ray Says:

    I think I’m allergic to wine. I have suffered over a year with burning red irritated lips a day or two after I have wine. Both upper and lower lips swell and sting whenever I brush my teeth or anything acidic touches my lips.This can last for a week or more.

  77. peter Says:

    This is really a great site. I commented Jan 10th 2004 and feeling better. still not sure what exactly was going on.. may be more than the wine for me. I did try Bonterra Merlot 2001 (an organically grown wine) 4 bottles in a week for evry other day. This was 3-27-2004- guess i was pushing it. had no obvious problems, so will stick to organic. Please reply if there were any trials that worked. hope i at least helped someone and myself. i will keep everyone updated on my condition.. take care – peter

  78. peter Says:

    OOPS.. WRONG PETER, I posted 2-14-2004.. Thanks!

  79. Louise Says:

    When I drink white wine – especially cheap white wine/champagne – my fingers get swollen and all the joints in my body ache. And even after a small amount (4 oz. glass) of wine at dinner and lots of water besides I have night sweats and invariably wake up at 3 a.m. and cannot get back to sleep. My doctor tested me for possible causes, including arthritis, Hepatitis, etc. and couldn’t find anything. Experiment: The last two weeks I didn’t have any wine or any form of alcohol and then last night I drank some (cheap) champagne and, voilà, achy joints and swollen fingers and insomnia at 3 in the morning. Fairly conclusive test results, wouldn’t you all agree?

  80. JANET B Says:


  81. Mike Says:

    I drink atleast 1 bottle of red wine every day. For quite some time now I keep getting sores in my mouth. Anyone know if this could be related to wine / sulfites alergy? and if so is there any treatment? otc medication etc.. Thanks for any help

  82. Mike Says:

    I drink atleast 1 bottle of red wine every day. For quite some time now I keep getting sores in my mouth. Anyone know if this could be related to wine / sulfites alergy? and if so is there any treatment? otc medication etc.. Thanks for any help

  83. Andrea Says:

    for about 10 years i drank red wines…loved to discover a new grape, a new vineyard, etc..then soemone turned me onto chardonnays. i fell in love with La Crema brand. I was drinking a few glasses about 5x per week. now recenlty, i am developing ANNOYING sinus problems, itchy throat and sneezes. two nights in a row i drank no wine. i started clearing up. last night, i had 2 glasses of my old standby La Crema. today i can’t breathe thru my nose!

  84. Ade Says:

    In the last year I have developed a severe reaction to white wine and champage. The other day I had one glass of champagne, woke up the next day with terrible headache and vomited until I had to be taken to the emergency room for a shot to end it. But red wines are fine so must be an additive in white wines – but which one? The cheaper wines and champagne are the worst.

  85. Deirdre Says:

    I believe the sulfites in wine may be the culprit behind my 10 years of COLITIS. I came to this idea due to two factors; 1. I have an allergy to sulfa based medications and two; that I have been symptom free for the past 17 months – while pregnant and breast feeding therefore my wine consumption dropped to nearly nothing. My colitis cleared up shortly after discovering I was pregnant and I was glad because I really didn’t want to take my daily meds while pregnant. So I stopped taking them. At first I thought it was probably pregnancy hormones that were keeping my colitis at bay, then after the baby was born I figured the breast feeding kept up the hormones. But then I took some vacations and weaned the baby.

    First vacation I had 1 small glass of wine nearly every night for two weeks. By then end of the trip my symptoms came back. I went home, took my med for a week and they were gone again and stayed gone. I stopped the meds because I was breastfeeding. (previously I took my meds only because the doctor said I should even though they never seemed to do anything) Second vacation for 3 weeks, during that time I had a glass of wine every night. By the end of the trip my symptoms were back. I returned home took my meds for a week or two. Symptoms gone. Stopped meds to see what would happen since I had also weaned the baby. I also stopped drinking wine bacause now I suspected it. Low and behold, I am once again symptom and med free.

    Interestingly, my colitis started after college when I was living with my parents in the wine country for two years. I started drinking wine every night at dinner with my parents and developed quite a liking for it and continued to drink it on a regular basis after moving out.

    Needless to say, I am really disappointed that wine may be the culprit – but very happy to have possibly figured out what was causing this stressful disease.

  86. Mary Says:

    My allergy is a rapid heartbeat when I drink most red wines. And I don’t like white wine! I know it’s the sulfites, because I have the same reaction to dried apricots and molasses-containing foods, etc.

  87. Melissa Dunsmore Says:

    Recently wine has been making me really sick to my stomach just like some of you have said. If it is the sulfites, then what else should I avoid? Thanks so much

  88. Cindy Says:

    I usually drink dry white wine. After many years I have noticed that 1 or 2 glasses makes me unusually DRUNK. Vodka has no effect. My words become slurred and I act obnoxious when drinking wine. What ingredient in white wine goes straight to my brain. 4 or 5 vodkas and I am not impaired in the least. (Of course, I would never drive having drunk like this.

  89. rivig Says:

    Friday, 4 days ago I drank a white wine. I don’t know what kind of wine, but the expensive one. Only a tiny half cup. An hour later I asked if anyone get dizzy, no one experienced it. Soon, dizzy gone. The next day, as usual, my skin rash a little bit. I’m OK.
    But then in the night time….
    My skin rash a lot. To make it worse, it goes to the bones. My right hand, elbow, foot were so painful. feels like rheumatic. The next 2 days pain gone a little, but my right hand and foot become a sort of limp. My left hand a little limp.
    The third day, limp is gone a little. But since 3 days ago, the rash wasn’t getting any better. Now is the I’m very itchy all over my body.
    Now, Tuesday night. I feel itchy and all of my skin is red.

    I don’t know what to do.
    That night I drank wine and eat shrimp. But I’m not allergic to shrimp at all, I eat shrimp a lot, all the time.
    But, I normally allergic to wine, normally if I drink/sip wine, I lost my voice the next day, and rash a little. But never been this bad.

    Ow, Itch.. itch…

  90. Pat Says:

    With a small sip of wine of any kind I get itchy on the corner of my mouth, and inside my mouth. The roof of my mouth also gets itchy. Once I had severely itchy palms of the hands. Wondering if anyone else experiences these symptoms and if it is from the sulphites. Pat

  91. kyle Says:

    I just got out of the hospital, for a severe allergic reaction to Vodka. The first night, I got reasonably drunk and woke up the next day with a rash. Accompanied by extremely itchy hands. It went away by the afternoon and I decided to finish the bottle of vodka. 8-11 hours later my throat closed and I couldn’t breathe, had “hives” all over me. They rushed me to emergency where I spent 6 hours struggling to breathe and getting IV’d many things. I’ll never drink again

  92. Serah Says:

    You guys have done me so much good, you cant imagine. I did not know that allergies to wine existed!! I knew I am allergic to pollen and dust and lots of unknowns in the air (which I developed in Europe) but not to wine. I have been taking lots of white wine and I would develop breathing problems in the night, stuffed nose etc so I decided to try red wine. It gave me even worse reactions!! Now I know I am indeed allergic to wine! I am not sure if I should turn to beer instead (scared of similar problems)my husband tried to persuade me to try some beer this evening but I have decided to abstain from any alcohol… a difficult decision but I will try to abstain… after reading all your contributions, it appears to be the only solution

  93. Katie Says:

    Just come across this site and can’t believe there are so many people like me. Up until 2 years ago i often drank wine (red and white). Then at christmas i went out to a party and i had a few bottles of beer then i decided to have a glass of white wine, immediatley after drinking the whole wine i began to feel sick, my mouth became really dry, my lips were tingling and and i felt really hot and weak. I though i must have been coming down with a virus. i then continued to drink wine over the christmas period and was fine but on New Years Eve i went to a pub and ordered a glass of wine, i had only taken one sip and i expereinced the same symptoms. Since this time i have never drank wine but i am begining to crave a glass. After reading the posts on here i believe i may have an allergy to wine but i am begining to crave a glass, does anybody have any advice on the best sulfite free wines that are available in the UK.

  94. Debbie Says:

    This site it enlightening! I’m still in the “testing” process. I’ve been a Chardonnay drinker for many years, mainly California. After the birth of my daughter in November, I went back to drinking wine. I don’t drink a drop during pregnancy. I’d had some reds and whites during the holidays, and had no problems.

    About two months ago I started the South Beach Diet to lose the baby weight. After a few weeks on the diet, I treated myself to a few glasses of Shiraz, as South Beach is “ok” with red wine on the program. When I went to sleep, I was fine. A few hours later, I was up with an “itching” feeling under my ribs, itching eyes which swelled up to slits, and the stuffy nose.

    In a million years, I didn’t think it was the wine. The next night, I had a glass from the same bottle. Same reaction, and worse, my throat started to close up and I felt asthma-like symptoms. (lol – I only had children’s Benadryl, and had to practically “chug” the bottle….yuck)

    I had asthma as a child, but outgrew, and have very mild seasonal allergies. NEVER had a reaction before… Wonder what the trigger is?? Was it the removal of alcohol from my diet for so long, was it the chemical reaction of having little carbs in my current diet….

    I’m stumped, and disappointed…. had the puffy eyes from some chardonnay, but the whites seem to vary in reaction by brand.

    What about cork vs. synthetic cork? The wines I had reactions to had synthetic corks…. maybe it was just because the were cheaper….probably the histamines. Just weird that some are bothersome, some are not…

    I want my wine back!!!

  95. carolyn Says:

    I get little painful red sores on the inside of my nose the day after drinking red wine. I guess they’re like fever blisters.

  96. glenn Says:

    have been indulging in red wine for just over 18 months, 1 to two glasses a night, of reasonable quality. have for over twelve months have had swollen and sore salivery glands. have had tests to no avail. question, has anyone experienced anything that resembles this condition. your response will be much appreciated.

  97. Jenn Says:

    I believe I had an allergic reaction to Vodka (Smirnoff). I ordered a Cosmopolitan at the bar and drank it. As soon as i finished the drink, i began to feel hot and wanted to pass out. Instead of passing out, I went blind for about 15 minutes. My boyfriend says my eyes were fully dilated and bloodshot. I regained my vision, but i was left with an extremely scratchy throat and hives throughout my entire body. Please respond if anyone has had these symptoms.

  98. joanna Says:

    I drank a (very cheap) sparkling rose the other night and experienced a swollen, itchy tongue and throat which faded after ~15 minutes. I visited an allergist to find out what caused the problem, and she told me I am allergic to dairy, wheat yeast and histamines; however, I have NEVER had any reaction to foods containing those items before or since. (I haven’t touched wine since then). Has anyone else had this experience? Thanks

  99. Wendy Says:

    Is anyone finding answers to their questions posted here?

  100. Wendy Says:

    in case answers *are* being found and posted…

    has anyone heard of an allergy to peanut butter making someone’s hands hurt? Hurt as if the person has arthritis, but actually doesn’t have arthritis…

  101. Rachael Says:

    I developed an allergy to white wine at about age 38. I can drink Rose no problem, have not tried red as I have never liked it anyway. Also forgot one night that white wine/champagne is similar, had a terrible respiratory reaction to that too. Dampened the celebration rather quickly!

  102. Ellen Stucker Says:

    I,too, have had problems with wine. I have had the “red face,” but only sometimes, and it doesn’t matter whether it is inexpensive or expensive. This has only happened with red wine, not white. Occasionally, I have had problems with racing heart, but not always. I have also had problems with stomach cramping, and diarrhea, but not always. Sometimes I have congestion problems, and occasionally, I will have a headache the next AM, and have noticed a couple of times that
    the roof of my mouth has felt as if those little lines up there will feel raised and a bit sore. I don’t know what to make of it all. I supposedly am allergic to sulfur drugs, but I was tested in many compounds and all were negative. I have no food allergies that I know of. I have been getting a little paranoid lately, as I have been worried about anaphylaxsis and wine. I have been in anaphylaxsis once and on the way another time or two. I don’t understand if I am “allergic” to wines, why don’t I have the same symptoms everytime, and why don’t I have a stronger reaction, like some of the posts on this website. I am a severly allergic person, but after taking shots for 25 years every week; I hardly even suffer from hay fever anymore. My allergies are to pollens, some molds, animals, etc. And, I have a good many drug allergies. I saw on another website posted under this one on Google, that there is new research on what is being tested for wine allergies, etc., and I am anxious to move on and read it, as I love wine, and am sick of suffering for it. I have always been a beer drinker, and it gives me no problems, but after reading So. Beach that it immediately turns into “sugar” in your body,& causes such weight problems, (yes, me!) then I had hoped to move onto wine. I have irritable bowel, and a bad case of diverticulosis and this stomach-ache I get from even one half glass of wine is so annoying. Ellen

  103. Ellen Stucker Says:

    I,too, have had problems with wine. I have had the “red face,” but only sometimes, and it doesn’t matter whether it is inexpensive or expensive. This has only happened with red wine, not white. Occasionally, I have had problems with racing heart, but not always. I have also had problems with stomach cramping, and diarrhea, but not always. Sometimes I have congestion problems, and occasionally, I will have a headache the next AM, and have noticed a couple of times that
    the roof of my mouth has felt as if those little lines up there will feel raised and a bit sore. I don’t know what to make of it all. I supposedly am allergic to sulfur drugs, but I was tested in many compounds and all were negative. I have no food allergies that I know of. I have been getting a little paranoid lately, as I have been worried about anaphylaxsis and wine. I have been in anaphylaxsis once and on the way another time or two. I don’t understand if I am “allergic” to wines, why don’t I have the same symptoms everytime, and why don’t I have a stronger reaction, like some of the posts on this website. I am a severly allergic person, but after taking shots for 25 years every week; I hardly even suffer from hay fever anymore. My allergies are to pollens, some molds, animals, etc. And, I have a good many drug allergies. I saw on another website posted under this one on Google, that there is new research on what is being tested for wine allergies, etc., and I am anxious to move on and read it, as I love wine, and am sick of suffering for it. I have always been a beer drinker, and it gives me no problems, but after reading So. Beach that it immediately turns into “sugar” in your body,& causes such weight problems, (yes, me!) then I had hoped to move onto wine. I have irritable bowel, and a bad case of diverticulosis and this stomach-ache I get from even one half glass of wine is so annoying. Ellen

  104. Grace Says:


  105. lynn Says:

    I have found for several years now that i get congested after drinking Australian Oak aged Chardonnay and yet i am fine with Australian red or French Chardonnay i have wondered whether there is a difference between wine matured in traditional oak barrels (more likely in french wine) and the possible use of synthetic oak flavoured chips in australia (although this doesn’t explain why I’m okay with Aus red). Could anyone tell me?

  106. Jen Says:

    Hi folks. I have run across a great site for people who suspect they might be sulfite sensitive. It’s
    and it’s quite informative, especially if headaches are a problem. The site was created by a sulfite-sensitive headache sufferer who has taken the time to extensively research the problem in order to help himself and help others. There are some great links to organic, sulfite-free winesellers.

  107. Mike Says:

    I have recently become sensitive to sunlight. Every time I go out my skin breaks out in a Histamine produced rash. This only came up recently after a session on the Vodka. At present a month has gone by drinking no vodka, but still the sensitivity.

    Anyone else had a similar problem.

  108. Ronnie Says:

    For a few years I have had difficulty drinking white wine. I get severe pains in my jaw, although it does not tend to last too long. Red wine has also started to be a problem. My husband bought sulfite free wine and it did not make a difference. Also, I am not bothered by other foods with sulfites. I am, however, allergic to sulfa drugs. This summer I had a strawberry daquiri and experienced numbness on the left side of my body, followed by the severe jaw and facial pains on the left side of my body. I think I’m done with drinking…luckily, I really don’t care that much. The only other known food allergy I have is to tarragon…just being near it brings on an asthma attack and severe nausea and vomiting. I am also allergic to dust, mold, and most things that grow.

    I’m glad to find out that I’m not the only one with such issues.

  109. Dwight Says:

    I have been a red wine drinker for 30 years. White wine drinker when nothing else is available. Just the other day I drank a whole bottle of good quailty red wine with some friends. The next morning I awoke to one eye slightly swollen. Not bad mind you, but enough to notice. Last night, 4 days later, over BBQ chicken I decided to open a bottle of white (chardonnay)for a change of pace. The next morning I awoke with both eyes swollen and two fat lips. This has never happened before and wonder if my being on “Crestor” cholestral lowering medication could have any effect. In any event am looking for any knowledge on ether subject.With or without medication.

  110. Heidi Says:

    Having read through most of the postings on this site, the following observations occurred ( I have absolutely no qualifications on the subject — they just occurred!):

    1) It’s amazing how little information is available on alcohol-related intolerances. Is this because there’s no economic interest in anyone researching it?

    2) Red wines, champagne, chardonnay and vodka seem to be the most frequent culprits, with beer causing far fewer reactions. So what do these drinks contain that beer does not?

    3) We seem to be looking at several types of allergic reactions here: some people are allergic to sulphites; some to other, often unknown, ingredients. If the wine industry would invest in some research into what these “unknown” factors are, maybe some of us could go back to drinking their products!

    4) The majority of us seem to have developed our symptoms in our late 30s/40s. Could this be because we are among the first “better-off” generations who have been drinking regularly since our teens?

    5) There’s a huge variety of allergic/intolerant reactions listed here — though some (rashes, stuffed noses, itchy throats) seem to crop up again and again. My own are largely anomalous. (See below).

    In my case, I stopped drinking red wine around 10 years ago (early 30s) after repeatedly developing a blotchy rash on throat and chest, vomiting and feeling as if I’d been poisoned the next day. This summer, I also had to stop drinking white wine. I began to feel worse and worse (“poisoned” is the closest I can come to the feeling) after just two to three glasses of wine. Then after some over indulgence on July 4th (5-6 glasses, perhaps), the next day I felt totally numb all down my right-hand side, as if my nervous system had been affected in some way. I was so terrifed, I haven’t touched a drop of wine since. I have recently experimented with beer (just a small bottle in an evening) and so far have been totally fine. Any similar experiences out there?

  111. wendell Says:

    I am 55 and a daily wine drinker for more years than I care to admit. Almost exclusively white wine. Recently, I have developed a case of very itchy hands/fingers and feet/toes and to a lesser extent elbows and knees. No rash. Also for a slightly longer time have suffered with a bad case of nocturnal post nasal drip. Do these symptoms sound familiar to anyone? If so, have you been diagnosed with alcohol intolerance or sulfite allergy? Your input would be appreciated.

  112. John Says:

    I am thinking that most of these symptoms could
    be typical of candida poisoning?

  113. Donna Says:

    I wish I only had a stuffy nose! If I drink any kind of wine or food that contains wine or was marinated in wine, I will have nocturnal seizures!I have no explaintion why and it is only with wine. I can drink anything else I want. But I used to drink mostly just wine. Does anyone else have this problem?

  114. heidi Says:

    Hi Guys,

    after reading most of the post above they seems to be telling us what are the causes of the wine allergy, but no one seems to be advising how to relief that allergy, coz rite now at this moment my hands n feet r puffy, swollen, red, hot and itchy. any one can tell me how i can make my hands more comfy. Thanks! =)

  115. MinnieChick Says:

    This is so reassuring to find I`m not the only one who is suffering after Wine. For me it is White wine that is upsetting. Over the last 12 months I have begun to get migraines after drinking White Wine. I wouldn`t believe it was the wine that was making me so ill at first. My family thought I was hungover but I knew it was different and I hadn`t drunk much anyway. Now even the tiniest amount is making me really poorly. I am in my late 40`s and have for many years drunk both Red and White wine but now after a process of illimination I realise it just isn`t worth it! So I`ll have to stick to Red

  116. LINDA Says:


  117. Kathy Says:

    Everytime I drink red wine I get extremely painful mouth ulcers. Too bad for me. I don’t like any other wine. I am so glad though that I am not the only one. I thought I was going nuts!! I am glad it is not chocolate that causes it though.
    I am sitting here now with a sore mouth. I only just realised what it was.

  118. pskidd Says:

    try a big dose of vitamin B12 (sublingula, 1000 mcg) before drinking the wine – no congestion, no headache !

  119. John Says:

    I have an alergy to certain wines, not yet been able to identify the culprits though as i have only recently been aware that i had a reaction from them.
    When i drink it i get pins and needles that become increasingly stringer and painful to the extent that i do not want to open my mouth till it goes away. However i found that when i drink wine whilst having my meal and ensure i finish my drink before the end of my meal, then i don’t seem to get this problem.

  120. M Says:

    Ok, got a weird one for you. Any kind of wine (red, white, organic, cheap expensive) KILLS me. I get dizzy, stupid, vomit uncontrollably, horrible headache, stuffy nose, often pass out. Even if only a small amount is cooked into my food. Champagne (even the cheap stuff) doesn’t bother me, nor does any other type of alchohol). I avoid whiskey and rum, but that’s more memory association ;). Any thoughts? I am allergic to sulfa drugs, but thought those were different than sulfites…

  121. Danielle Says:

    Anytime I drink Shiraz I develop this rash on my face, arms and legs. It doesn’t seem to itch or irritate me, other the fact that it’s blotchy, red and embarrassing. Other red wines tend to make my face red, but Shiraz develops a rash. It’s strange, but I drink it anyway! :)

  122. Kristi Says:

    I started getting allergic reactions to both red and white wine at age 38 after many years of being a social wine drinker. Symptoms were that of a cold and respitory allergy. I have found only one kind of wine that does not have any reaction…Chianti. After being scared to drink for weeks after my last episode of feeling like I had a cold for a week, I went to an Italian restaurant and ordered Chianti (2 glasses with dinner) and no reaction. Last night, I tried to go back to a Cab/Merlot mix and had the same allergic reaction. I’m sticking to Chianti on the rare occasion I try to have a drink anymore.

  123. Heidi Says:

    Anyone know anything about the possible connection between nickel allergies and red wine? This weekend, I was out for dinner with a pharmacist & allergist and we got to talking about why I wasn’t drinking red wine. She asked me if I had ever had any reaction to metals, and I remembered that I have a bracelet that had twice made my arm go purple (it looked like I had a huge bruise from the wrist to way above the elbow). At the time, I was told it was a reaction to nickel and she said that red wine also contains a high content of nickel, and that maybe it is this which causes my adverse reaction. She told me to try a nickel-free diet for a week and see if that makes me feel any better. Eating nickel-free is next to impossible, as it excludes just about everything, but after Xmas I’ll give it a go and will post any observations. In the meantime, here’s a link to a site that says similar things to those I was told on Sat night:

    Wld love to hear from anyone else who has given/ wld like to give this a try.
    NB: Weirdly, this nickel-high food list also contains beer, which gives me no adverse effects . . .

  124. Craig Says:

    3 weeks ago, feeling perfectly fine. No hint of getting sick at all. I decided to have a glass of red wine. I woke up that morning at 3am with a sore throat. Got back to sleep and woke up a few hours later feeling absolutely terrible. Symptomatic of a bad cold. Although I can’t recall having an allergic reaction to wine or alcohol (and didn’t know about alcohol allergies), I instantly got suspicious because of the surprise attack and started doing the research. I couldn’t believe it. I’m 45 and I have a glass of wine or a beer or a glass of vodka only once in a while. It took me 4 days to get over this bout with the glass of cabernet. Fast forward 3 weeks. I’ve been feeling great. Had one beer a week ago, no problem. Last night I had a very small glass of vodka with a dash of Tia Maria. And this morning I’ve got a mild sore throat. Nothing like the red wine, but for me it’s official, I’ve developed some sort of allergy to something used in alcohol.

  125. Jan Says:

    Please help! I am itching like crazy. I had some Merlot and Gewurtztraminer New Year’s eve (total of about 3 glasses) and 1/2 glass of some champagne from 1996. I have little raised areas the size of the head of a pin in various areas all over my body (except not the face). I’ve also been eating a lot of Hickory Farms cheese (highly processed) over the past couple of days. After reading through all of this I’m becoming convinced that this is due to the wine and cheese. I’m taking max doses of Benadryl and it’s not helping at all. ANY IDEAS on how to clear this out of my system? Thanks!!!!!!

  126. Terri Says:

    Yeah, wine does me in too! But no sniffing or sneezing….a few sips and I black out….just dizzy, then down…no warning. I’ve tried a few times….I guess I’m a slow learner. Rye/wiskey is another killer…in fact most alcohols will do me in. The only thing I’ve discovered that doesn’t put me out for the night is tequila…wierd,eh? (I had to throw that in, I’m Canadian)

    P.S. To Mike who posted June 7/04…A bottle a day man?…I don’t think allergies are your problem!

  127. Unice Says:

    Had 2 glasses of White Merlot last night and somewhere between the 1st and 2nd glass I developed a sore throat. I’ve remembered this in the past but always thought it was because I drank too much. It happened so suddenly…sore throat and stuffy nose. I thought I was coming down with the flu or something. I see that I am not alone.

  128. Erin Says:

    After giving birth to my second baby I have started having a reaction to alcohol. I used to love beer (any malt beverage for that matter) but now my eyes start to itch and puff up. It looks like I have excema around my eyes. Wine also makes me itch. Will I ever be able to drink socially or have a beer or glass of wine again?

  129. SUZIE Says:

    I have started having heart palpitations every time I drink even half a glass of cheap white wine. No more wine for me! very scary!

  130. Ann Says:

    I have no known food alergies, but if I drink a
    glass of wine late at night, I will not be able
    to go to sleep. Does anyone else have a problem
    with insomnia after drinking wine?

  131. Patti Says:

    Over the past 5-6 years during the months of August to March the upper parts of my arms have an intense itch that drives me crazy. I have tried going to the doctor who told me it was dry skin. I went to the derm. who told me the same thing. Gave me creams that cost me an arm and an leg, but didn’t work.

    The other day my husband asked me if I wanted a glass of wine with dinner (we drink Sutter Home Zinfidel or Beringers) but we didn’t have any. I had forgotten to go to the state-store and kept putting it off to another day. Then it dawned on me that my arms stopped itching. I havn’t had a drink of wine in over a month. I am going to buy a small bottle of wine and have a drink to see if the intense itching on my arms return. I will let you know. And yes the only way to stop the itch is with an anti-histomine.

  132. Jessica Says:

    I am so glad I found this site! I am a daily beer drinker and had the bright idea to give up beer for Lent.

    I’ve had chardonnay instead every night since last Wednesday (today is Monday) and since Thursday morning thought I was coming down with the flu. Sore throat, stuffy head, sinus headache exhausted, achy all over, feel feverish etc. Not to mention a few glasses and I black out – not good!

    To heck with Lent, I’m going back to beer which causes me no problems at all! I hope this horrible flu-like feeling passes quickly, as it’s pretty unbearable. Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences!

  133. Sue Says:

    I have an allergy to sulphites/sulphur which presents as eczema on the palms of my hands and soles of my feet. After two years of intense pain and embarrassement the cause was diagnosed by a Naturopath after spending a small fortune on both conventional and alternative therapies. The problem is the sulphites that one ingests unintentionally. It isn’t always clear that sulphur/sulphites are present in foods/drinks. Is there an antidote that one can take to alleviate or neutralise the sulphites/sulphur. Help please

  134. Sue Says:

    I have an allergy to sulphites/sulphur which presents as eczema on the palms of my hands and soles of my feet. After two years of intense pain the cause was diagnosed by a Naturopath after spending a small fortune on both conventional and alternative therapies. The problem is the sulphites that one ingests unintentionally. It isn’t always clear that sulphur/sulphites are present in foods/drinks. Is there an antidote that one can take to alleviate or neutralise the sulphites/sulphur. Help please

  135. Anja Says:

    Hi Melissa, regarding your comment on March 2004: I also get a reaction to my eyes after drinking wine. Only half hour or so after drinking a small glass of red wine, my eyes start to get itchy, this itchiness, which is really intense!, stays for several days and my eyes are all red. Sometimes, I get a small rash underneath and above my eyelids – and when I do- this leads to my eyelids swelling up the day after- and it takes about a week to get back to normal. Anja

  136. rebecca Says:

    Has anyone ever had heart attack symptoms after drinking wine or beer? I have done a process of elimination and after only two glasses of either, 3 hours later I now have a “heart episode” that has scared me enough to abstain completely. I loved my red wine and mourn not being able to imbibe. Fortunately, drinking alcohol is an elective…

    This has just developed over the past six months or so – I have no other allergies that I am aware of. I am now 50 years old.

  137. Kerrie Says:

    i went to a party and this guy that i knew had never drunk tequila rose. we started playin an alcholic game and we took a bunch of shots of tequila rose. he started to get really tired and once he had layed down and started to drink water, i noticed that he was gettin an allergic reaction. he started to form a rash on his arms, neck, and face. it started to scare me and the only thing that it could have been was the tequila rose. he had never drunk it before and it was the only thing that he had never done. that was the cause.

  138. Carolyn Says:

    I get a severe allergic reaction to some red wines. It begins with sneezing and nausea and can develop into severe vomiting and weakness which can last hours. I think there’s some link with oak-aged wines. Does anyone know what’s in oak-aged wines that isn’t in other reds?

  139. Bridget Says:

    I can not believe I found this site, and more so, the information I have found here. I have had the worst experiences over the past 6 mos. or so, and I can come to the conclusion it has been from wine! I love my wine, but all of a sudden, since last year, when I drink wine, I have the worst reactions! After drinking wine, after about a day, I wake up with red, swollen lips, fever blisters outlining my entire mouth that turn into like liasions that get infected, a swollen face, I look like the Joker… it is so terrible, painful, and embarrassing. My eyes swell, I feel sick, I get anxiety, I itch all over my entire body so bad, and I just feel like I have been poisoned. I didn’t know what was happening at first, or why it was happening, but now I see it happens a day or so after I drink wine! And it doesn’t matter if it’s red or white, but the white seems to be worse. It takes about 4 or 5 days or so to get back to normal after an episode like this. I also noticed that my arms and hands get numb sometimes too. It also affects my mental state in those days of recooperation, like I have high anxiety, a hard time breathing, a hard time thinking, it’s just awful. I am so glad I at least found a site where other people were experiencing similar things and that I wasn’t the only one!

  140. Janet Says:

    Wow, lots of reactions out there, but none quite like mine actually. I’m almost 51, and have learned to enjoy red wine, especially cabs. I’ve actually taken to drinking one or two glasses a night, just because I love the taste. But lately, I started getting headaches, they seemed like sinus headaches; at least that is what I put it down to. Couldn’t be the wine! I only had a couple of glasses throughout the evening! Then one night I awoke in the wee hours (around 4) with an almost migrane like headache…so bad I had to get up, but in complete denial I try to drink coffee..only to vomit, then the ‘almost’ diahrea that lasted all morning. I felt beat up, stiff and sore. Thought I had the flu, in fact I was convinced. Time goes on, it happens again. Shoot, the ‘flu’ again!?! This past weekend, 4 glasses of great Italian wine and BAM!!!! Up at 4:30 with the worst headache, nausea; vomiting 3 hours later with the ‘almost’ diahrea. I can hardly walk I’m so achey and stiff. Vomiting last almost all day. Next day I’m still headachy and nauseas…I hate to think I can never drink red wine again!!! My dream vacation is to tour Tuscany and drink wine…..Anyone else react like this?

  141. Tina Says:

    After having my second child I can no longer drink wine. I get extremely flushed cheeks and ears. I feel fine but everyone around me panicks and keeps asking “are you ok, you look sunburned” My only other allergen also developed after my children is clams. A different reaction, I get very ill with vomitting and diarrhea almost immediately. I am trying to find a connection between the 2. After celebration our anniversary last week I was drinking a blue martini and had a shot of tequilla and was burning hot in my face for about 30 minutes and then it subsided. Don’t know if it was the tequilla or martini?? Any one have any similar experiences?

  142. Lara Says:

    Hiya – can’t believe I’ve found this site and other people who suspect they are allergic to wine! I thought it was only me. I’m 23 and have been a regular wine drinker since I was 18 (I’m from the UK, it’s legal here!). Recently, during a night out, if I drink white wine, I develop a non-itchy deep red rash all over my legs – especially around my ankles and the back of my knees. I’ve been really worried that it was something really serious, though I haven’t had the horrible respiratory reaction that a lot of you describe. I am absolutely gutted because I’m a food journalist and love wine! Has anyone else had the same reaction as me? Is there anything we can do apart from avoid white wine?

  143. Patti Says:

    After my last post on 2-11-05 I went without any wine until this past holiday weekend. My husband bought me a Mike’s Hard Lemonade and without thinking I drank it. Within 20 minutes my daughter told me “Mommy stop itching”, then it dawned on me (Alcohol). I itched for hours even after taking a Benedryl. My arms are once again with bloody scratch marks. NEVER AGAIN!!!!will I drink alcohol of any kind. Yes, I will miss having a drink now and again but it just isn’t worth the agony it puts me through.
    Also, I noticed a slight itch on my arms and my lips felt tingly after eating an apple. What’s up with this???
    Good luck everyone!

  144. Rachel Says:

    It is helpful to me to hear that there are other who suffer from the same traumas! This is my experience – when I turned 25 I developed an “allergy” to alcohol which has seen me abstain for almost 5 years now. Lately I have been experimenting with drinking again.

    My reaction consists of Severe headaches, nausea and vomiting which lasts for a disproportionately long time. This past weekend I had two glasses of white wine and was ill for 48 hours.

    My recent experiments have shown that the volume needed to produce these symptoms varies – some wines I can drink 2 glasses with no ill effects (I am still cautious in my experimentation- being sick is not very nice…) – some wines I cannot drink any amount at all. I have not tried other alcohols again. When I spoke to my family about this reaction I was told of a cousin who has a severe allergy to various alcoholic beverages which contain a certain sugar which is used in the preservative process. This sugar is apparently more commonly used in cheaper alcoholic drinks to bring the alcoholic content higher without lengthening the fermentation process. I have not been able to find any information on this sugar substance and what I have is from word of mouth so if anyone has heard of such a thing please tell me! I do not react to anything else food or drink wise. Good luck everyone.

  145. Katya Says:

    I can’t believe there are more people like me out there. I’ve been having a problem with a rash around my eyes – off and on for the last year or so. I thought it was my make-up, eye shadow – or something like that. And, I’ve been getting achey joints at odd times – and thought I might have “over-exercised” or just the aches and pains of “getting older” – I just turned 60. And, most mornings after I’ve had a glass or 2 of red wine I wake up with a splitting headache – unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. I never connected the three symptoms. Last week my eye rash was REALLY REALLY BAD and I stayed home for 2 days and took Benadryl all weekend to try and clear up the rash… helped pretty much. I didn’t drink for a few days while I was taking the meds. My eyes were almost completely cleared up and last night I had a glass of red wine. This morning my rash has gotten worse – and I started suspecting that it might be the red wine – and I went searching on the web and found this site. I am so relieved to possibly know the reason – and now will have to experiment to see exactly what I am allergic to.

  146. Stephanie Says:

    Wow! This is very informative. I had 2 glasses of Chianti last night and woke up with swollen, red and itchy eyes. I look like a bug. And the best part is, that in a few days I’m going to have that icky flaking skin around my eyes again! Same thing happened Tuesday, after one glass of Ruffino with dinner Monday. This has been going on for a few months, but I think I narrowed it down to the red wine. I get the same symtoms as Erin (1/9/05), Anja (2/23/05), Katya (Apr/04), and Melissa (3/1/04).

    I’m going to keep a diary of what wine I drink and what happens the next day. Boy, I’m gonna hate giving up my red wine……

  147. Tara Says:

    I had 3 glasses of wine the other night and was COMPLETELY out of control! I’ve been drinking red wine for many years now and 3 glasses is not really a lot for me. I don’t remember a huge portion of the evening and threw up until 3pm the next day. Today I have a rash all over my neck. I felt like someone slipped something in my drink (i was at my home, so of course this isn’t the case). Has anyone ever felt like this from just a few glasses of red wine?

  148. SANJAY Says:

    It was really wonderful to visit this site where i found many of other person suffering with same problem as i am i.e.SULPHITE ALLERGY.This is also the cause of my kidney failure,well iam now a transplant patient still searching what to eat and what not .I would really feel glad if i get answer to my question

  149. Lara Says:

    I have noticed from further experiments since my last posting (March 28 2005) that it seems to be ALL alcohol! Noooo! Think I may have something similar to Rachel (March 30 2005) with the sugar thing. I tried drinking only vodka on Saturday night and came out in loads of blood-red spots again (it was cheap stuff). It seems to fit that when I drink red wine with my boyfriend (who likes to think he’s a bit of a connoisseur) it doesn’t seem to give me any adverse effects, perhaps because he always spends a lot more on wine than I do! Good luck with your experiments everybody.

  150. Dave Mull Says:

    I too, have been plagued by this wine allergy. I have enjoyed drinking wine for many years now. Sorry, Absolute was not an option for me. After suffering for many months, I was advised to try a Colon Cleanser treatment. And, after 6 wks of one capsule a day, I can now drink wine again. The buildup of toxins over the years finally caught up with me. I do not sell colon cleanser so don’t ask me for a name brand. Just thought all you like-sufferers would like to know the cure for this plague. It makes sense, and works.

  151. Pat Says:

    About allergies: we get them from things we like, therefore take a lot, therefore become allergic to. I noticed most of the wine-sufferers were over 30. A buildup of histamines/sulfites may be the cause.

  152. striveforsuccess Says:

    Does alcohol change the color of lips? If so, how does that happen. Does alcohol change the color locally or through the blood? I’m asking because I drank wine everyday for a week sometime back (2 months ago) and after that, I noticed that the inner part of my upper and lower lip changed to red. Please let me know. Thank you.

  153. mizza Says:

    I am relieved there are other people out there with similar symptoms. When I was 20 I had a glass of wine and had gastric flu unbeknown to me at the time, I collapsed and was sick for 3 days, since then I have a complete intolerance to grape products such as wine, port, champagne, grpae juice, and friday night I drank Ame, a health drink- it had grape extract in it and I didn’t know and spent the whole of yesterday in bed until 4.30pm vomiting with a banging head. I don’t seem to have it with any other food though, so am not sure if its sulphites or tannin or histamine. I get headaches from most alcohol but can pretty much drink gin or vodka, wine is the most adverse reaction. I’ve decided to go to the doctor and also have a food intolerance test to check it’s just grape products.

  154. mel Says:

    ok. I have been drinking both red and white wine for YEARS and never had a reaction ever! In the last several (6)months I have noticed that I get so stuffed up and nasally! I have been trying to pin point it. I believe now even though I am in denial that it is the wine. I suddenly developed an allergy to it since I moved from Massachusetts to Michigan. I dont know if it is because I switched brands or what!!! But I do know that after I drink it I am sneezing all night and cannot breathe or smell or taste well from my nose for days!It is getting unbearable and I am going to go to the doctor to confirm this! I love my chardonnay and sauvignon blanc and merlot and cabernet! I just wish I could smell it and taste it the way I did!

  155. alisa Says:

    My boyfriend had a glass of Concord grape wine on Saturday and his face got extremely splotchy and red. He drinks all kinds of red wine and this has never happened before. We believe it is the concord grape that he is allergic to. It was fresh from a winery here in Missouri, so it couldn’t have been preservatives or sulfites.

    Maybe some of you are allergic to particular kinds of grapes as well.

  156. Joan Says:

    After drinking a glass or two of red wine my tongue is black!!!! Is this an allergic reaction?

  157. Alvin Says:

    When I was a teenager, I could drink any and everything. But since my mid to late 20s, I started to get huge lumps and pimples on my forehead and cheaks. They usually occur over the next couple days after drinking. With light alcohol, it occurs less. With hard liquor, it occurs more. And they last for 1-2 weeks, sometimes longer. I don’t drink much, just a beer or two every couple days or so. Maybe a couple glasses of straight Henessey on the weekend or something. Can someone tell me what the heck is going on!!!!!

  158. Batman Says:

    So glad to have found this site. I’ve been a student for many years and so I’m used to drinking cheap alcohol. In the last few years my standard of living has improved – lots of meals out and I’ve developed a taste for red wine with no side effects. Until recently that is. In the last few months, I have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and have been taking peppermint oil capsules to help with the spasms. There has been a few occasions lately where I have had red wine and would immediately get congested and then develop a blotchy red hot rash on my arms and face. It is very obvious and people always pass comment. It looks like I was wearing shades and got sunburnt on my face. Embarrassing. I thought for a while that it may be a combination of the peppermint and wine or maybe on some of the occasions I thought it was seafood and wine. I’m beginning to think now that it is just the red wine. Last week I was at a friends and drank a bottle of merlot with no side effects. Anyone recommend the best type of wine- merlot, cab sav etc.? Anyone think that it might be something to do with the peppermint. Are we sure it is the wine on its own or could it be a combination thing????? I feel your pain guys.

  159. KA Says:

    A fantastically reassuring website, in the fact that you can identify with other people who have seemingly have had the same reactions as you – it means that you don’t feel like you are the only one who, through the occasional consumption of wine gets a face like a slapped red bottom!!….I’m sure the humiliation makes it worse! Anyway although there are some comforting stories, I have yet to find any words of advice or wisdom….please someone offer me a remedy or at least a preventative as the redness does not always occur but when it does it makes me want to bury my head in the sand with shame!!

  160. Roberta Says:

    I came back from spring break in Vieques, Puerto Rico, with a bizarre rash-less itch–on the palms of my hands and soles of my feet after I had a drink. Sometimes it was so bad it crept up my legs and arms–the itching was intense–lasted up to half an hour or more after the drink. I gave my partner a tearful farewell, you’re the love of my life, etc. and went in for a test of my liver function. Perfect, so that was a relief.
    Hypotheses: Vieques bombardment residues? Spoiled kingfish? Corals or beach vegetation?
    I still have the itch–less intense now–three months later–often after wine, once with a mojito, less often with beer…but not after my friend’s homemade wine. Nor scotch. Nor any type of food.
    Blame it on the sulfites?

  161. Jodie Says:

    Isn’t it funny that there are so many symptoms to the same allergy?!?! I think I have an allergy to white wine. After a wedding last month I woke up with very swollen lips which then peeled for the next week. It is only my lips, not tongue, mouth or nose. This has been coming back every time (to a lesser degree) I drink more than 2 glasses of white wine – in this case it was Masi Soave. Nothing seems to help. If anyone has a similar reaction please let me know.

  162. Michael Says:

    I am having chest and breathing problems from drinking wine at a wine festival over the weekend, and it’s miserable! My chest is tight, excercise and bending over makes my breathing and chest pain worse. I found tyramine and sulfites on the web as possible allergies, it has been 20 hours since the half glass of Saffire white wine and the pain is still lingering!!! Ouch! If not gone by tomorrow I am seeing an allergy specialist!

  163. Lacey Says:

    My mother has allergies to wine. If it is the sulphites that bother you, try homemade wine. I recently developed colitis, and I am unable to drink due to sulphur. I also recently discovered that a friend of mine makes his own homemade wine and does not add the sulphur to kill the bacteria. I tried it, and I had no reaction. Plus you get the benefit of STRONG, excellent wine!!

  164. csoup Says:

    Yesterday I had 1 glass of white wine. As soon as I finished it, I felt the ends of my fingers on one hand get very tingly. Now today, the fingers on both hands are tingly. I am taking a couple of prescription drugs. Could this feeling possibly be a reaction to the wine or wine/medicine?

  165. Kayla Says:

    I have always had a reaction to certain types of alcohol. One sip of wine – white or red and I can feel the effects. My reaction is an instant bright red/hot face. My limbs instantly hurt ache feel sore as whatever ingredient is travelling through my bloodstream. This will last for 20 minutes. An hour or two later I feel really tired and will opt to fall asleep if there is a nice cosy lounge or bed to lay on (if at home).
    I had rum and coke lately on an empty stomach. Drank half a glass a bit too quick. My face was so hot and red, I had to put a cold washer on it for about half an hour as it felt as though I had placed my head in a really hot oven. However Black Rum does not do this to me.( But it has been a while since I have had it). I’ve given up on alcohol – there is no pleasure from it! Does anyone relate to these symptoms or know the reason of it? What allergy or intolerance do I have? I also never feel great after eating mince meat, Chinese and Pizza – but obviously different symptoms – more stomach upset/reactions.

  166. Darren Says:

    My wife is allergic to sulfa. We found this out the hard way many years ago when she hard a urinary track infection. She was prescribed sulfa to stop the infection, instead, it nearly killed her. Now after all these years (9), she had a very mild re-action to red wine, due to the sulfites. Sulfer dioxide is used in the wine making process. So for those of you who get any kind of itching on you skin, sneezing, or a burning sensation in your nose from anything wine related, there is a good possibility that you are allergic to sulfa/sulfur dioxide. This is something that my very well harm you if prescribed by your doctor for infections. Be careful, and good luck. Also, find some organic wine with should be sulfite free, and happy drinking.


  167. mary Says:

    Over the past year have have developed a reaction to any kind of alcohol and it’s seems to be getting worse. I cannot drink at all. One drink will cause night sweats, then the next day is filled with hot/cold flashes, dizzy spells and severe weakness. All liver tests are normal. I have had so many tests on both blood and urine, all normal. I know noone else that this has happened to, anyone out there?

  168. katie Says:

    Hi Mary. One glass of wine will cause me to have night sweats and sweats the next day, whilst being permanenetly too hot. This takes about a week to go away (even if I do not have another drop of alcohol during that period). Occasionally I will have a couple of sips of wine and then I will get shooting pains down my right arm from my shoulder. I would love to know why this is..anyone?

  169. acutebuick Says:

    All your comments have been very informative, thankyou. I have wine allergies, after 3 years of having “hayfever” symptoms after drinking different types of wine , its obviously clear its the sulfites in the wine. I have always known that I am allergic to Sulfa, after a reaction to a presciption of it long ago. But not knowing much about wine , I was not aware about Sulfites. There are obviously different amounts of it in different types. With some wines ( wine , rose and reds ) I have a reaction immediately, with others, after a hour or so . But I have found a couple that don’t give me a reaction at all. The more expensive wines , I see no difference in the way I’m affected by it . Infact , so far I have found 2 wines that I am fine with and they are cheaper wines (They are around $10 Canadian, I found that surprising!!) But since I have just discovered this all out , I am going to have fun searching for more .At least my husband and friends will, since they get all the wine I can’t drink. The hardest part is going out to a large event that offers wine . Those always give me a reaction , then I’m coughing through whatever presentation there is. I have also found I get the same reaction from Balsamic vinegar , mangos and kiwis… very strange on the fruit…. I’m getting a little tired of finding things I once loved so much, becoming an allergy for me . As long as I don’t develop an allergy to Chocolate than I’ll be okay. If there any suggestions on some wines I could try let me know….Or anything I could try to lessen the affects . I have been a little weary on taking anything with the alcohol. Cheers!

  170. Cindi Bundy Says:

    I like wine and champagne but most of them have [perservatives in them.

    Thank you
    Cindi Bundy

  171. Jack Says:

    Every once in a while if I happen to have some alcohol (specifically beer or wine)late at night, after the first sip I have sudden body aches, especially in the neck. Curious. It goes away after a few more sips. I don’t drink much- and its certainly weird, and not consistent.

    Just had one in fact a few minutes ago, which is why I ended up here. I thought, what the heck, I’ll google it and see what comes up.

  172. Charlotte Says:

    I don’t know if this is an allergy or not-maybe someone here can help.

    I once had a very bad experience with cheap vodka in college and haven’t touched the stuff since. I was sick for almost 24 hours after!

    Even so, I’ve been drawn to a few drinks that are Vodka and Malt based-much to my stomach’s dismay.

    I love the taste of Mikes Hard Lime or Lemonade but just ONE bottle will make me sick for hours!

    It’s so odd because Mikes Cranberry or Berry doesn’t do that to me in the slightest.

    Last night I gave Smirnoff Twisted 5 Apple a try, I drank two bottles and was violently sick until 5am!

    I can drink wine without much problem-though I hardly ever drink red, so I can’t comment on that. I can drink whisky and rum without event as well.

    Like I said, I don’t know if this is an allergy or not. I’m not allergic to anything else and the reaction I have only involves my stomach wanting to get rid of the beverage ASAP. The rapid and very unpleasant effect these drinks have on me just makes me wonder, could this be an allergy?

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

  173. Stacy Says:

    I drank 1 1/2 glasses of some cheap sangria my husband bought last night and had heart racing, palpitations, stuffy nose and feel like I have a hangover this morning (even from that small amount!). I am still having palpitations which are terrifying me. I think I may have been allergic to something in this stuff; it is nice to know I’m not alone even though it’s a horrible thing. I doubt I will ever drink again, especially not red wine or anything cheap!

  174. Leslie Says:

    I am definately allergic to something in wine. Almost everytime I drink wine , I end up feeling like I have just been hit with the worst cold ever. My lungs fill up ,my throat is itchy, my head gets all stuffy ,and I’m coughing continuously for hours , Its horrible. I have been told that it could be the sulfites. I get the same reaction with balsamic vinegar. I am allergic to Sulfa Drugs …That I do know…. So I was told to try organic wines .. No luck . The strange thing is ,I Try a new bottle and I feel fine. The second time I have that particular bottle of wine , I end up with the reactions again. The organic wines are giving me the exact same reactions (last night I tried one certified organic wine , and I had my worst reaction yet!) So I think now , I’m going to give up my search for a wine I can drink , and I’m sticking to Chocolate Martinis!!! Cheers!

  175. plc Says:

    I am one of the lucky few of the less that 1% population that has severe sulfite allergies. Anaphylactic reaction along with severe gastrointestinal that is worse than childbirth. Mine is potentially life threatening. Sulfites, sodium bisulfite, potassium sulfite, sulfiting agents, sulphur dioxide, all of these that by law must be listed on ingredient labels are one in the same preservative. Sulfites are not only in all wine, balsamic vinegars and red wine vinegars. You will find them in many alcoholic mixed drinks, white grape juice, dried fruit, concentrated lemon and lime juice, some desserts, frozen breads, some frozen potatoes and even some flour tortillas. I have listed only a very few of the food items that use sulfites. I also cannot use an epi-pen. The preservative used in epi-pens is sulfites. Benadryl is my only alternative. I must wear a medical alert bracelet with instructions not to use epinepherine because of this allergy. If you suspect sulfite allergies be very cautious, read labels, talk with chefs at restaurants for your food preparation. It could save your life.

  176. Nancy Says:

    Chillean, Australian, New Zealand wines seem to always get my heart racing – both red and white. I find them great tasting but I have experimented for 4 years and they produce the same results all the time, a racing heart during the night and periodically for the next day or two – Californian,Italian,Canadian are no problem. Vodka, Rum (white) are also fine. I am 100% sure that there is some type of additive used in the making of these wines that produce these results after injesting.

  177. Mike Says:

    About six months ago I developed what I believe is an allergic reaction to red wine. I love merlot and drink it all the time (in spite of what they guy in the movie Sideways said). What happens is, about 15 hours after I drink the wine, my lips swell up. It always starts in the same spot, the right corner of my upper lip. It then spreads across my upper lip until the whole lip is swollen. Then it starts on the left side of the bottom lip and moves across until the bottom lip is swollen. This has only happened about 4 times in the last six months, plus 2 or 3 more where it didn’t go through the whole process and the only common denominator I can see is the wine. I had to miss work because of it once since there is no way I could go in looking like I did. The last time this happened was yesterday. I felt the swelling start and took a Claritin right away. The swelling never progressed to the whole upper lip and eventually went away. There’s no way to know if that would have happened without the Claritin anyway, but I’m just glad it didn’t ruin another day. I hope I don’t have to give up red wine, I love it!

  178. Patricia Blewer Says:

    I have just found out that I have an allergie
    to sulfites in Red wine – only when I drink
    two glasses or more – I have a sensitive digestive system and I first suffer bad with wind
    then all hell lets loose in the loo – not a
    nice time, I’ve taken a long while to work this
    out – its especially bad with cheaper wines – must be the quantities of sulfites they put in!

  179. Sally Says:

    I have heard that the blisters around your mouth can becaused from a red color enhancement product that is put in some red wines ( less expensive ones)??? Is this true? I will try to find the name of this stuff!!

  180. vg Says:

    I have found that there are two grape varietals that I have allergies to Merlot, Malbec and Chardonay – and any wine with a blend of this grape. At first I thought it was just a coincidence but after a while, I started to notice a trend. Then one day, a new girlfriend used a chard in a risoto – unknown to me. soon after begning the meal, I can’t breath and need to leave the table. I suffer from bronchital/flu type symptoms for about 2 weeks afterwards. Weezing, coughing, fever, etc . . its all there . . . BUT I CAN DRINK every other type of wine, beer and alcohol.

  181. Marilyn Says:

    The only reaction I’ve noticed from drinking even one glass of red or white wine is, both sides of my lower neck have some swelling. Any idea of the ingredient that could cause this. Has anyone else noticed this?

  182. Brian Says:

    Re: Mike’s swollen lips, I seem to be experiencing a similar problem. Only 2 weeks ago, had dinner at friends, had best part of a bottle of Merlot Paarl, and a few Con sur Chillian Merlot. Next day in the afternoon after having something to eat my top right lip became hot, numb and started to swell up. Looked like the nutty professor! Ended up in A&E, had antihistmine intravienasly, swelling went down after a couple of days. Put it down to someting I ate. This week, had a about 4 glasses, 1 bordeux, and chateau Neuf de pauf and the about 10:00 next morning my bottom lip became vary swollen, went to A&E again, given more Strong Anthistiment tablet, took those rest of the day Thursday, Swelling went down, now on Saturday all gone, no need for Antihistmine. I to love Red Wine! and have a lot of it so I do hope is is nothing to do with all Red wine, else my season tkt ay Balls Brothers will be for sale!! Seeing my doctor next Tuesday, will let you know how it goes…oh and the French Bordeux stated it did contain sulphites, I have been drinking for years with no problems,,, this doesn’t make sense to me, if any one has any more info or can enlighhten the reason for this I would be very grateful… Rgds

  183. Brian Says:

    Re: Mike’s swollen lips, I seem to be experiencing a similar problem. Only 2 weeks ago, had dinner at friends, had best part of a bottle of Merlot Paarl, and a few Con sur Chillian Merlot. Next day in the afternoon after having something to eat my top right lip became hot, numb and started to swell up. Looked like the nutty professor! Ended up in A&E, had antihistmine intravienasly, swelling went down after a couple of days. Put it down to someting I ate. This week, had a about 4 glasses, 1 bordeux, and chateau Neuf de pauf and the about 10:00 next morning my bottom lip became vary swollen, went to A&E again, given more Strong Anthistiment tablet, took those rest of the day Thursday, Swelling went down, now on Saturday all gone, no need for Antihistmine. I to love Red Wine! and have a lot of it so I do hope is is nothing to do with all Red wine, else my season tkt ay Balls Brothers will be for sale!! Seeing my doctor next Tuesday, will let you know how it goes…oh and the French Bordeux stated it did contain sulphites, I have been drinking for years with no problems,,, this doesn’t make sense to me, if any one has any more info or can enlighhten the reason for this I would be very grateful… Rgds

  184. Lars Hällerman Says:

    I have a theory about wine in oak barrels.
    It could be related to Colophony Allergy, I sometimes think I am allergic to some oh these stuffs and I am also suspicious about smoked ham, smoked salmon and wine from oak barrels.
    Have a look at
    and write if You have some id+eas abouty it.

  185. Linda Says:

    I am allergic to wine, even salad dressing with red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. I immediately get a migraine headache. So when I go to any restaurant or to friends for dinner I always ask if the salad has wine vinegar. I also found that the product realemon and realime have sulfites and also give me a migraine.

    I have discovered sulfite free wines which I can drink. It can not just be organic but Sulfite Free or No Added Sulfite wine. I am loving it……

  186. Linda Says:

    Does anyone know what vinegar to use in a recipe in place of Wine Vinegar???????? Thanks…..

  187. lyla Says:

    this page has been so helpful to me…. over the last couple of years, when i drink white wine only, and only starts after about 2 glasses i almost go out of my mind….i scream,,,cry,,,and become almost hysterical, it frightens me so much that i have to call for help and my friends have a hard time controlling me…. at first i thought it was just my mood.. but then found the last time that i had only 3 glasses 12 ounces and my mind absolutely snapped and i was totally hysterical and remember nothing until i wake up…what could i possibly be allergic to that would cause this terrible reaction…and only sometimes…and only after white wine which is all i drink…anyone have an answer…i sure hope so…i cant seem to find help….

  188. sally Says:

    I can get a hangover after drinking just one to two glasses of wine, four beers (in 4 hours) – not a lot. It’s worse if it’s red wine rather than white. The biggest symptom of a hangover for me is being mentally disoriented “slow” and very tired. Does anyone else have that?

  189. sally Says:

    I can get a hangover after drinking just one to two glasses of wine, four beers (in 4 hours) – not a lot. It’s worse if it’s red wine rather than white. The biggest symptom of a hangover for me is being mentally disoriented “slow” and very tired. Does anyone else have that?

  190. Lori Fowler Says:

    I started drinking a new Californian white wine about 2 months ago (does not say “contains sulfites”) and have had problems with a racing heart ever since. I blame it on the wine because it’s the only change in my diet and lifestyle. It’s a pounding heart but not an arrthymia (or palpitation).

    I had to call 911 two nights ago when I woke up with a heart rate of 140 beats/minute. They took me to emerge but found nothing wrong after blood tests and xray. (No one asked me what I had eaten for dinner. I had been out for dinner and had 3 glasses of white wine, sulfite content unknown.)

    I run 10 to 15 km a week and my normal heart rate is 60 beats a minute, so this is distressing. Needless to say, I’m cutting out all alcohol to see what happens.

  191. Mitch Says:

    As a social drinker, aged 50, I have sudenly become allergic to something in alcoholic drinks. Symptoms: extreme congestion, even after one glass of wine or a small beer. To be honest, I really miss a glass of wine with a nice meal, however, this site has given me some information to work on. I’m going to give up all alcohol until symptoms clear (about a week) then try a glass of sulfite free wine (presuming I can get hold of it). OK, worse things happen at sea but to honest its a REAL bummer!

  192. Srinivas Says:

    Alcohol while helping you fall asleep, will always wreck the second half of your sleep. If u wake up with palpitations about 2-3 into your sleep, find it difficult to go back to sleep, in all likelhood, u ODd.
    Avoid all alcohol atleast 4 hours before bedtime.

  193. Cheryl Says:

    I was so happy to discover this website! I have recently began allergy shots due to severe hayfever and also began drinking white wine on the weekends. I couldn’t believe how my Thursday shots were not lasting throughout the weekend. I’d wake up in the middle of the night with watery eyes and ears, itchy nose and sore throat. I just put 2 and 2 together. Thanks for your info!

  194. cocoa Says:

    I have had a sulpha drug allergy for about ten years and a sulphite allergy for about 5 years and asked the doctor if they were related and was told they are two different things. I cannot drink any wine of any color and being cheap or more expensive in the wine department makes no difference for me. I have not yet tried making my own or trying these “sulphite free” wines. I might in the future. I have recently become more sensitive and have found I cannot have any beer either even with low ppm levels. And of course there are all sorts of foods I have to avoid as well.
    There was a person who posted that they break out in pimples and bumps when they drink any alcohol and it gets worse with hard liquor….PLEASE GO TO YOUR DOCTOR TO MAKE SURE, but it sounds like you are cystic. My brother in law breaks out as well if he drinks. He found out he was cystic when he got lumps so big that we thought he had tumors. It gave us all a real scare. But it just turns out he is cystic. The only other thing I remember that he has to avoid is caffiene.

  195. Patrick Says:

    Good paper on Allergies.

  196. Andrew Says:

    Like a lot of you, I have a mild allergy to sulfa. Last semester I drank cheap wine, box after box. I started getting some strange patches on the inside of my legs last winter. They weren’t too bad though. I stopped drinking for a while and they disappeared. Lately, I drank mainly rum and now I get significant redness and slight itching on the inside of my legs, back of my knees, and inner arm. This new rash isn’t so easy to ignore. If I recall correctly, rum always seemed to make my stomach ache intensely and the worst reaction I had was a night that involved cheap rum, probably McCormicks. I had this same feeling when I was little (I didn’t drink alcohol then, of course) and I had it happen once two years ago at lunch after drinking red punch of some sort. I don’t notice anything if I only have 2-3 ounces of alcohol a night. This site is comforting but really doesn’t help at all except it may be sulfites or histamines. I can’t deduce anything since I don’t have brands, amounts, anything. But I won’t complain, I’ll try to solve this. Send me your symptoms and what brand does you in. Send what you drink that DOESN’T give you reactions too. This is just as important. I’ll use Excel or Access and make a database and see if I can’t differentiate some of the similar but different reactions. Hopefully this is allowed, send as much info as you can (I don’t need your name) to I hope this will help.

  197. zane Says:

    I don’t know if it’s already been mentioned (there are a helluva lot of comments to this post), but it’s not the sulfites you are allergic to. If this were the case, there would be a dozen other things you developed allergic reactions to, as sulfites are also added to many fruits and vegetables for preservation. The answer this is simple. Someone mentioned the fact that the skins stay on the grapes of red wine during the process, which is true. Sulfites, however, are not what is contained on said skins, but histamines. That is why it’s recommended you take an anti-histamine before drinking red wine if you feel as though you are susceptible to an allergic reaction.

    Unfortunately, not much can be done about this, aside from comforting yourself in knowing that you don’t have a strange allergic rxn to sulfites, but histamines instead… much much more common.

  198. Leslie Says:

    When the body encounters allergens, it releases a natural chemical called histamine.

    Therefore an allergy to something your body produces is very unlikely. Histamine gives you the symptoms (sneezing , itchness ,hayfever like symptoms) so yes if you have those symptoms an antihistamine would probably help. You more than likely have an allergy to the sulphites or even the alcohol itself . Sulphite allergies are very common , thats probably why you see the sulphite content on a lot of bottles of wine ( at least in Canada) . All wines contain sulphites to some degree. Some have quite a bit , some very little (organic for example) And it is found in all types ( Red, white etc) It is in alot of other foods , but again , to varying degrees . Balsamic vinegar ( for example ) gives me a very bad reaction . I recently took a sulpha based medication ( the pharmacist told me it was quite light as far as the sulpha medications go , and I felt as though I had Strep throat on top of severe hayfever like symptoms, for 3 days . I stopped the meds and It went away. When I do drink wine , I get severe hayfever like reactions , but again, depending on the sulphite content in the wine . When I go to events where I am drinking wine ( And in Victoria , its all the time ) I take an antihistamine to be on the safe side. I’d stop drinking wine , but I like it too much. Cheers!!!

  199. Patel Says:

    Everytime I consume alcohol, the following morning my hands and feet are red and swollen. This rash goes away after about a week, and then all the dead dried skin peels off for about a month. Could this be genetic? It happens with all types of alcoholic drinks.

  200. lisa Says:

    I have a known severe reaction to sulpha containing drugs due to a kidney surgery when i was young and years of sulpha, i later in my 30′s too developed severe reactions to many antibiotics, including severe corneal burns etc. swelling of my tongue..etc. i had an anaphylactic reaction severe one also to rocephin.. I want to mention that I also discovered the aspartane is one of the worst foods for allergy reactions,, can cause anything from racing heart rate to death, i finally discovered this was causing what seemed to be panic attacks to the doctors when in fact it was a allergic reaction to aspartane.. once i eliminated it i do not have it, I had it happen recently me to me again, heartrate over 240 and dizziness, with the tunnel feeling as well and feeling i would pass out. i have found too that flushing my body with water quickly as i can seems to help, but i have to have readily available water and if you are on the highway not there..
    does coffee contain sulphites?
    it sounds as tho there is nothing i can eat.

  201. Josh D Says:

    From time to time after drinking alcohol with sulfites I will develop severe muscle pain in my shoulders neck and upper arms. It feels like a cramp that will not go away. Luckly this only lasts for about 20-30 minutes then it is gone.

  202. Dennis Says:

    Recently, I’ve noticed itchy eyes and stuffy nose after drinking red wine. It could be wine and balsamic vinegar combined. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned is avoiding taking any pain relievers if drinking any type of alcohol. Enteric coated aspirin is usually the only thing I use. I’m not one to get nauseous easily, but have discovered that if I drink just one glass of white wine and should take aspirin, even hours later, I get violently ill. It took a while to discover, as I usually only drink red wines and don’t take aspirin very often.

  203. Bob Says:

    Wow, Never knew this website existed.

    Over the past few years I have not been able to drink Merlot. If I have a glass, or for that matter even a sip, of anything with Merlot in it, I develop Migraine type systems. My partner is a wine salesman and we get all kinds of varietals of wine. A couple of years back I started complaining about the intense headaches I was getting, one in particular was the morning after we had only drank Merlot. A week or so, and several different varietals later, we had some Merlot, and wall-ah, headache. When I was at my doctor’s office (waiting of course) I noticed a sign on the wall that stated that the tannins in wine can trigger migraines or migraine type symptoms, Merlot specifically. I knew this had to be it.

    I do remember drinking Merlot in the past with nothing happening, but the body does change, what is it, every 7 years or so? I now have allergies that I never had before.

    To this day I don’t drink Merlot, and I do not have any issues with Migraine type headaches.

    Here is what I have found over a few years:
    Wines to stay away from:
    “Red Wine”-unless marked with merlot
    Cab/Sav.-a wine makers trick is to add up to 24% merlot without having to report it. I ask the wine maker, or rep, or look it up online.
    Meritage-This is a specific blend with Merlot.
    Most Napa-I an not trying to exclude this area, I love it there, but they use a lot of merlot!! Especially the cabs they are so proud of.
    Good Wines:
    Anything from Bonny Doon-The wine maker can’t stand Merlot and won’t use it!!-
    Pinot Noir-You probably won’t ever find anything blended with this
    Syrah, or Shiraz-Usually 100% (or maybe with a little Viognier)
    Zinfandel-Not the “white” stuff. The true varietal.
    Tempernillo, Nebiolo, Sangiovese(Chianti),
    Usually anything Spanish, German(hard to find a red), or Italian.

  204. helen Says:

    I am also allergic to white wine and Champagne. It took me a while to realise that it was white wine and champagne in particular, and not all alcohol. As i often mixed my drinks, when I was a student. Years later I realised that after even a few sips of champagne,or a glass of white wine, i would develop a headache, followed by nausea, and violent vomitting, and retching that would last for 24 hours, I couldnt even keep down a glass of water. Also I would have such a pounding headache, that I wanted to chop off my own head! Luckily I realised this before my wedding day, and had to toast with sparkling water, while everyone else sipped on champagne. Its always a bit annoying not being able to drink champagne on special occasions.
    Occasionaly I have the same reaction with Rose .. especially white Zifandel, but not with grenache rose. Lukily I can drink red wine with no averse reactions, although i sometimes get a really bad pounding headache
    the next morning.. but no sickness. I love red wine too much to give it up.. so I guess I will just have to suffer the headaches. I would love to know what it is about white wine that makes me so ill.

  205. helen Says:

    I am allergic to white wine and champagne. After a few sips of champagne I develop a thumping headache withing 10 minutes followed by violent vomitting for around 24 hours. With white wine, it takes the symptoms much longer to develop, but the next morning i will have such a terrible headache i would like to chop off my head, and agin violent vomitting and recthing for around 24 hours. I can not even keep down a glass of water. The first time I had champagne i realised I was allergic to it, it took me a while to realise it was the same with white wine as i often mixed my drinks, so it was hard to tell what was making me ill. I have the same reaction with certain rose wines like white zifandel, but not with others, I can also drink red wine, and will usually have a bad headache, but no sickness. I can cope with that as I love red wine, and usually a paracetamol will cure it. But its becomming a bit like russian roulette with the rose.. I would love to know waht it is that is making me ill…

  206. Diana Says:

    I have never been able to drink wine or wine coolers or Mike’s Hard Lemonade, champagne, etc. After one glass I get an intolerable feeling of pressure on the side of my neck that will not go away until I make myself vomit. Once the offending drink is out of my stomach, I feel fine. The only other time I have had the same neck pressure was right after my gallbladder was removed. I asked the nurse about the pain, and she said it was due to some gasses the doctor put in my stomach to create more room to remove the gallbladder. I wonder if the wine, champagne, etc. produce the same gasses somehow?

  207. Eileen Says:

    Have similar experience to Helen’s. I’m sitting here feeling very sick to my stomach after drinking a tiny glass of White Zinfandel last night. I got a headache, tried Advil then later tried Tylenol. Nothing has helped. This has been building up over time for some strange reason. I’m 52 and used to be able to drink wine easily but over the past 6 months I’ve noticed that I get headaches with White Zin. Went to a wine tasting last weekend and had some very nice Cabernet and Chardonay with no problems. Is it just the cheap wine I buy? I’ve sworn not to touch the stuff again as I feel truly awful!

  208. Shannon Says:

    Embarrasing! Wine makes my bottom itch. I can drink vodka no problem. Beer does not seem to be as bad. Is it the sulfites or is it the yeast?

  209. Lynda Says:

    Glad I found this site I never had a problem in my 40+ years until the last 3 weekends. I have been having an allergic reaction that causes my tongue and base of my mouth to swell enormously. I have been treating it with allergy pills, benadryl, & had to go to the doctor for prednisone pack treatment. In addition, I’ve suddenly had mouth sores, plus at times heartburn, & heart palpatations. I actually missed a few days of work as it was so severe I could not talk. I finally realized the common denominator was drinking even just one glass of red wine, white wine, or champagne. I am trying to understand why my body would suddenly change and react in this way. I do have asthma and allergies to dust and mold. These manifest more of a sinus condition. The wine allergy causes quite different symtoms in me.

  210. janis Says:

    Wow! I know that I’m allergic to red wine after reading almost everyone’s stories and symptoms.

    I’ve been trying to drink a little red wine every night, for taste and health issues since red wine is supposed to be heart healthy.

    Tonight, after drinking 1 glass of inexpensive red wine, my heart started to race. I know alcohol is supposed to slow the heart, so I couldn’t understand the racing. I went to the computer and found this web site.

    Also, 3 days ago, I woke up; with swollen eyelids. I went to the eye doctor and we guessed it was new eyeliner but after reading the information, I think it’s the red wine I have been drinking nightly. When
    I see the doctor next week, I’m going to tell him about the sulfite connection.


  211. L. Champagne Says:

    I have read through this site and have to say I am amazed at how many of you ask what can I do? Really, the simple answer is Dont Drink Wine! I have drank wine for years as my relaxing beverage of choice,While I am cooking, as cooking is my favorite passtime, usually without problem . I turned 48, and BAM! Hives for 3 months that nothing but steriods would cure. Miserable huge huge huge hives! Did I mention they were huge? Anyway,…..I would give everything up if staying away from the hives was the answer….But have discovered that I can have a white Rum and Coke without hives. Now dont get me wrong, I shall miss my wine…..But I shall not miss the hives! I also discovered people with shellfish allergies and such are more apt to be allergic to wine sulfites. Bingo! …Happiness and peace…Just say NO to wine! ;0)

  212. chris Says:

    canot believe that so many people have sympomes like me. have drank wine red or white for many years with no side effects then suddenly last year my face started to flare up and all down my kneck my breathing was very bad and had to take a antihistamine tablet. What i dont understand is that it doesnt happen all the time. i drank some wine last nite-fine-had the ramains tonite and my face has flared up and my breathing is bad. is it connected to what ive had to eat?

  213. chris Says:

    please can anyone give an answer to the problem that why it doesnt happen all the time to me. during this message i have sneeezed more than a dozen times and my nose is streeming i cant believe it that im drinking the same wine as yesterday and had no ffects. but this is not uncommon as some days i can dink any wine with no effect then the next day or week i hav this reaction i dont understand why this dont happen all the time and not just now and again as im never sure when its gonna start

  214. kate Says:

    Many people of asian decent have “allergies” to alcohol. This is because many asian countries drank tea instead of alcohol in the old days when you couldn’t drink just water. Through time, the ability to break down one of the metabolytes was lost (alcohol breaks down to acetaldehyde through alcohol dehydrogenase and acetaldehyde goes to acetic acid through aldehyde dehydrogenase…many asians lack the aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme). Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done about this.

  215. Lindsey Says:

    I’ve been staying away from all wines for the last few years (I’m only 27) since I had two very bad reactions to red wine. I’d heard about allergies, and assumed my reaction could be chalked up to that, but the vast majority of posted allergic reactions didn’t include diarreah. I only saw a couple of postings on that. I also have to watch out when consuming rich foods; however, the first incident occurred after drinking only wine (Moldovian), whereas the second occurred after consuming Italian food and red wine. If I have to drink wine now, I never finish even half a glass, and always stay away from rich, heavy sauces for fear of being sick. It’s not fun to have to worry about getting sick on wine, especially when travelling overseas.

  216. Mike S Says:

    I’m not Asian, so it’s not a genetic disposition…

    I have an allergy to ALL alcohol, not just wine. My nose flares up and my sinuses become completely clogged. I have polyups in my nose and I can’t smell (or taste). Drinking any alcohol plugs me up even more. I don’t have any other reactions like hives or breathing problems when I drink. It’s just the nose.

    I was completely fine until I turned 33. No allergies, or other problems.

    Anyone else with this?

  217. isobel Says:

    Four years ago when I drank more than a couple of glasses of wine I had a slight tingling sensation in my fingers. A year later this progressed to my toes. The Doctor took looooads of blood to test for many illnesses. I was given a clean bill of health. The tingling progressed to aching hands and feet which travelled up my elbows and knees. The aches are repetitive intense spasms lasting from seconds to ten minutes. After a few days of no alcohol the pains subside and disappear, I feel great but my husbands glass of red is so tempting…must be strong as now it only takes a few sips and symptons start immediately. I have allergies to shellfish too, which developed in my teens. I am 47. Does anyone else get these symptons?

  218. Raquel Says:

    I have been allergic to alchohol for about 35 years. Red wine sits better with me, then whie. My allergic reaction does not occur all the time, but that may be because I take a Bendadrly before drinking. Or if I don’t have a benadrly I stop drinking as soon as the flusing starts. When I was younger I would get a rash all over my body, because I would not stop drinking at the first signs. I even have scars on my arms from some of the hives. I am allergic to all alchohol. The surprsing thing is that some times I can get away with one or two drinks without any side effects and there are times that my feet start to itch and I find that my body had turned almost completly red. I have not had any allergy testing, doc says, stay away or, as soon as you start feeling the effects, stop, that is usually a flushed face and heart papulations. I have now decided to stop drinking because as I get older, I am not sure if I am doing damage to my heart. And, I need my heart more then the glass of wine. Good Luck.

  219. Anonymous Says:

    So I’m 18, have sports and allergy induced asthma (probably has somthing to do with this annoyance) and unfortunately, like you all, I have a similiar problem. When I drink (especially to fast, like normal college kids do) I get the red nose that looks like I just came back from a ski resort. Basically, my whole nose blushes and the blushing stops in between my eyes–so theres basically a line that seperates my red nose, from my pale forhead, hah. Also, my ears (usually its one or the other, normally its not both at once) get red, my neck gets splotchy and then it reaches to my arms and shoulders. Thats when I decide to take____ (woops, mixing alcohol and drugs, not so good, however) it slowly goes away–not so much my nose–but everything else….Okay, so i was getting tired of this reoccurence so I decided to experiment. One night I’ll only drink vodka the next only tequila or wine…I never concluded anything, but if anyone else has did you figure anything out? What affects you worse? I also believe my skin is a human thermometer. When I am warm, my skin gets pinkish; if hot, it gets red; when cold it does the opposite, but when i get back into warmer temperatures my nose gets really red. I find different foods, make me warmer, therefore my skin shows it (mainly my nose, then onto my arms). Really, I’ve just learned to accept it, I hate it, but what am I suppose to do. I guess just not drink. I just hope my nose doesn’t become a swollen up tomato by the age of 50.

  220. Anonymous Says:

    The name of medicine i take to stop the redness around my neck and shoulders, and the hopes that it’ll stop the nose i Benadryl!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BENADRYL, it works sometimes, but mixing it with alcohol will make you sort of tired…

  221. Kate Says:

    I get hives when I drink Merlot. I can drink Cabs etc, but not Merlot. I still get Red Wine Headaches from time to time, and mixed with the right food, a glass of wine can set off a migraine, but only the Merlot makes me break out in a rash. Does anyone know WHY only Merlot would do this? I like Cabs better anyway, but after reading all these things I’m a little nervous that as I get older my reactions will get worse…

  222. Gina Mockler Says:

    I have been experiencing swollen eye lids for almost a year. I can’t figure out what is causing it. I even went to an allergist, did all the tests and nothing really came of it. The swelling doesn’t really seem to be consistent with any specific actions or food. However, I am starting to suspect wine and or cheese.

    The swollen eyelids seem to be the only symptoms I have from whatever this is and they sting like crazy when I try to put any sort of cream on them once the swelling goes down. Can anyone help me??

  223. Kim Says:

    I have developed the stuffy nose/wheezing/itchy, swollen ears combo from drinking red wine. My favorite, of course. I am not much for white wine or beer. I also have allergic reactions to sulpha drugs, which I have known for years. It took MONTHS for me to peg the wine to my symptoms. I drink wine with dinner every single night, so needless to say it’s a total bummer that I can no longer do this. I’m sure my ears, nose and throat will be thankful, though :)

    By the way, I am 35, which is generally the age that lots of you discovered your allergies. I have been drinking red wine regularly for about 7 years or so.

    I am hoping that I can enjoy an occassional glass at some point. Maybe I will try the wines without sulphites to see if I don’t get a reaction.

  224. Debby Swen Says:

    Whenever I drink Red Wine I become so intoxicated very quickly …one drink 8 ounces in a 3 hour period and I need to be driven home? I also black out and don`t remember much of the night …I am not a big drinker but have noticed a pattern over the years , once night I received a concussion…..recently one night I was argumentive and police were called and I was taken to jail and didn`t remember why?…I am 43 and its taken me this long to realize the connection to all of these incidents has been red wine? Anyone else? I would hate to give up my occasional glass…maybe I could drink organic?

  225. christine Says:

    at last the mystery has been solved, I’m allergic to red wine .My husband and I love to have a good steak and a bottle of red wine on a weekend ,snuggle down and watch a romantic movie, you can guess where this is going? No! I start sneezing by the 3rd glass and sit with a box of tissues all evening sneezing and my eyes itching,Oh well it’s back to the gin and tonic for me.

  226. J. Badia Says:

    My daughter decided to buy some red wine actually grape colored, more purple. We drank the bottle, and I had sores al over my mouth on the inside. Could hardly see them but could sure feel them, along with the sneezing…I bought another bottle just to see and that was it. No Black Swan Chardonay for me..ever again.

  227. Carey Says:

    I’m in my late thirties and in the last year started having stomach pains after drinking even a little beer or wine. My internet research indicates that this can be indirectly linked to increased copper levels. Too much copper drives down molybdenum levels and molybdenum is part of the sulfite breakdown process.
    I have been taking a molybdenum supplement for about 2 months and can again enjoy a beer or a glass of white wine (not red, ouch) without any problems. I haven’t tested beyond a single serving.

  228. Susan Says:

    I am 24 and have never been a big wine drinker, but my boyfriend loves wine and I have been drinking more in the past few weeks. At first, I noticed with white wine (Gewurtz and Chardonnay so far) that I had a small pain under my rib cage. But in the last four times this has happened, the pain has been accompanied by severe nausea and the pain is so intense, it hurts to be touched or even talk. I have never been affected like this by alcohol. From the looks of other comments, most people experience the cold/flu like symptoms. Has anyone else experienced this pain in their rib cage area?

  229. Paula Says:

    I am 56 years old and have developed allergies to trees, grasses, ragweed, corn, wheat, eggs, iceberg lettuce, garlic, tomatoes, chicken, and alcohol (especially red wine, some to white wine and some beers)I actually get sinus infections if I eat and drink high concentrations of the things I’m allegic to in a short span of time(days or weeks. Tonight, I had about a third of a glass of burgundy and felt weak, hot and faint and developed a slight headache after I drank it and stopped drinking it. I had to lay down.I was back to near normal within about an hour and a half. I think I am histamine intolerant.

    Last week, after I had developed a cold and it went into a very bad sinus infection, I bought “Airborne” to boost my immune system. I took it as directed and within a 24 hour period the infection cleared out and I felt wonderful. I think this could help my allergies.

  230. katelyn Says:

    Well, after reading three and a half years worth of comments on this page, I have found no answers addressing gastrointestinal side effects due to wine (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). If I have just one glass of wine I get these side effects, as well as exaggerated drunkness. I’m an avid beer drinker and can tolerate most of the hard liquor I’ve tried. Only wine makes me sick. Are there any answers out there?

  231. Beck Says:

    Am gutted but at 27 I think I have developed an alcohol allergy . I do sneeze when drinking , however it is much worse the morning after with a lot of sneezing and headaches -not with all wine but its definitely a common occurence . The deciding factor was waking up this morning with hives below and above my eyes so much so couldn’t open one eye after just two glasses of white wine last night . Gonna stop drinking for a few weeks see how it goes .

  232. lori park Says:

    ………..just some things to add:
    My brother in law gets gout in his feet when
    drinking red wine, he alway

  233. lori park Says:

    …oops…….anyways he always has gout but it definately worsens alot with red wine. For myself,redwine makes my hands swollen and stiff in the morning, also kind of itchy. My face looks swollen in the morning with the baggy eyes. When I drink water, the night i’m sipping wine it helps.I hope this helps. Does this stop my from sipping red wine and eating cheeze-its? Heck no! :) P.s. I’m 42.

  234. Mary Says:

    I’ve been wondering why I get completely congested after drinking (red) wine, champagne, beer, and now sometimes gin and rum as well. This web site has been very helpful. I’m in my early 40′s, and I’ve noticed the problem worsening as I get older. I’m not now nor have I ever been much of a drinker, but I do on occasion like a glass of wine or beer. Very sad, indeed.

  235. Tiffany Says:

    Alright, I’ve just realized that I’m allergic to CERTAIN red wines. I’m a big red wine drinker and have at least one glass per day. I’ve consumed many different brands of wine without any problems. A few weeks ago I decided to try a few ‘cheap’ brands–$3 per bottle–so I bought 3 bottles(two of the same brand and one that was different). Well, the one ‘different brand’ I finished off the first week without any problems–but as soon as I opened those last two bottles, that’s when the trouble began. For the past week and a half, I’ve had a mysterious rash on my upper body–inside of arms,neck,armits–all the sensive areas. At first I thought it was the new bath soaps that I’ve been using so I quit with them. Well, the rash never went away and last night I finished off the last of those two bottles. I had about 3 glasses worth and my strange rash has spread down my waist this morning–accompanied by a bad case of diarrhea. I doubt I’m allergic to sulfates–otherwise I’d have had a reaction to all of the other wines that I’ve consumed. ‘Cheap’ wine has nothing to do with it–the first $3 bottle gave me no reaction. By the way, all three of those bottles I bought were made in California–so it didn’t matter ‘where’ they were made either. If you’ve had a reaction to a certain wine, try another brand–no more Cabernet Sauvignon for me!

  236. Tony Says:

    For those allergic to something in the wine, maybe organic wines would do the trick. Bonterra Vineyards has some good wines. It may not work for everyone, but at least it won’t have sulfites or traces of pesticides.

    With regards to Lori Park’s comments, alcohol of any sort often aggravates the symptoms of gout.

  237. Kate Says:

    A few weeks ago a had a glass of red wine and broke out in hives all over my upper body. After an hour or so they went away, but I tried it again the next night and the same thing happened. So far, every time I drink red wine I experience hives, white wine is completely fine, and so is cheap beer. I had a nicer beer awhile ago and I had the same reaction. The mixture of different wines and different beers has me all confused. I know what type of drink gives me hives but I don’t know why!

  238. LC Says:

    I too and very surprised to find this web site. I think I am allergic to white wine. Some of you have described the swollen lips and blistering. I have been dealing with severly chapped blistering lips for a month now. I thought it was a food allergy, but it’s not it has to be the wine. I went to a dermatologist a month ago and she gave me some ointments to treat my lips. They worked and I thought I was cured etc etc.

    Well last night I had some of my good old standby white wine and low and behold my lips are severly chapped and blistery. It Has to Be It!

    A few people mentioned being very emotional and a little out of their mind when they drink white wine and some people describing black outs, um guilty as charged with the emotional make that very emotional Like weepy and sometimes argumetative moods as well.
    it’s the wine baby! I swear not just the fact that you are drinking alcohol ( we know alcohol no matter what kind can affect your mood) but I think that it is very interesting that you notice these moods, or changes on a specific alcohol. It’s your whole body protesting what is in it’s system. It may not be like being violently ill with stomach pain and the hives, but it is definetly a different way of showing a symptom.
    I will have to say I am done with white wine, no more nada.


  239. jackee Says:

    i am also suffer with this problem but i day when i watch tv i see ad about hangover so i try that tablets now i am
    always felling better

  240. Jakee Says:

    avoid fish with wine because its also causes for allergies.and take little amount of wine for good health

  241. Jemma Says:

    I love drinking wine, but I develop a severe sore throat when I drink it. I only have to have a few sips an my throat flares up and is really sore, usually only one side of the throat. This lasts a couple of days. So I have given red wine up and now only drink white. I am confused because sometimes I still get these syptoms when drinking white wine but not all the time. I had it last weekend after white wine in a restraunt, starting with one side of my throat, then the other, I felt really ill and found it hard to swallow. Does anyone know which ingrediant in some wines this might be?

  242. tina Says:

    After months of trying to figure out what was wrong with me, I’ve discovered I’m allergic to something in alcoholic beverages. When i drink wine (red or white), i sneeze uncontrollably and end up completely congested and with swollen salivary glads. When I drink spirits, the left side of my face gets all swollen and itchy. I’ve been to the doctor countless times, have taken all kinds of drugs and i’ve had a CT scan–all to no avail. By researching on the internet and this site, I’ve figured it out on my own. Thanks all who posted to this site. Tina

  243. T Says:

    I believe there is a wine-diarrhea. I do not drink very often, and only a glass or two of wine, but I always spend the next day pooping like mad. :(

  244. Jamie Says:

    I’ve noticed that drinking red wine has given me a mild skin rash on my temples and around my nose. When I stopped drinking red wine it went away and when drank red wine again it came right back. I hate to give up my love of good red wine, but it seems I may have to. :-(…

  245. Milton Toal Says:

    Re Lori Park’s Brother-in-law and gout. Lori, tell him to take a 1/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda (Sodium Bi-carbonate) in a glass of water 3 times daily and to drink plenty of water. Carb Soda is highly alkaline so reacts with an acid – in this case uric acid, the cause of gout to create a salt which can dissolve in the blood and be excreted by the liver and kidneys. He may go through greater pain from time to time but should persist as this is the Uric Acid crystals moving out of the joints and into solution in the blood and the extra water will enable the liver and kidneys to flush the blood. For a couple of months, if he will stick rigidly to a gluten-free diet that should help immensely (and will probably take some waist-line away) as it allows the liver and kidneys to cleanse themselves and become more efficient at getting the uric acid out of the blood.

    Unfortunately during this time red wine will probably aggravate the gout but if he stays gluten-free, he can probably eat and drink all he wants once the gout has cleared up.
    For me, I am looking for a specific reference to Merlot causing skin reactions so if anyone knows where it is, can they please post a note? I have seen it before about 20 months ago but cannot find it.


  246. PJ Says:

    Just narrowed the itching hands, legs and arms, burning face, and swelling lips down to one particular wine. After only one sip (didn’t really like it) of a 2005 Carbernet Sauvignon on two different occasions, I had these allergic reactions within minutes. Fortunately, the reactions lasted only about 30 minutes. No other wines have ever done this to me! Thanks for all your postings. They were quite insightful.

  247. johanna Says:

    So I love red wine… though lately I have been getting really congested when I drink it and my throat starts to itch and burn :( This happens after only one glass and its really saddening. Any idea as to what I’m allergic to? I’m allergic to cats, sulfa drugs, raw avocados, bananas, carrots and walnuts. This is also starting to happen to me with beer, though it takes maybe two servings or more to produce the effect though with wine it only takes a glass.

  248. linda Says:

    has anyone had a bloody nose as a reaction to drinking wine or any alcohol
    help please!!!

  249. pam sullvan Says:

    I drink white wine and all is fine, but occasionally i have such a bad reaction that it can wipe me out for a day with migraine type symptoms, feeling sick, sinus problems, pain in my neck, throat,head. I am trying to pin down the culprit and it does seem to be when I drink cheap wine–ie when drinking in pubs. I never have more than 2 glasses so I know its not the volume it has to be the chemicals added. I also never get to see the bottle so dont know which one to avoid. I am now going to monitor it more closely as things are getting worse.

  250. rahgu Says:

    i had a bottle of mildbeer some sips of hard beer ,
    and soda water whisky…….about 6100 ml….

    and 2 day mornin i am sufferin frm serious skin allergy… hands and feet are all red……….and itch like hell
    i also had vomited 2 the night back and …….
    so finally can i claim alcohol 2 be the ultimate reason or what?
    i did not evn have any junk food not evn chicken

  251. rahgu Says:

    2 correct it was 100 ml of soda whisky…….and i am 22 years old

  252. Vicky Says:

    I suffer with a problem called chemosis. Swelling of the white of the eye. It seemd worse after having champagne. Has anyone else had a problem with this.

  253. Val Says:

    I too have an allergy to red wine. I get a rash on my back, feet. arms or ears start burning. Sometimes it happens within minutes, other times a few hours later and it may be triggered by other foods: chocolate, smoked salmon, cheese, nuts, but always on the days I drink red wine, so I think it is the main culprit. I think it’s probably the histamines in wine that can add up to other histamine rich foods.

  254. Freaky Says:

    Well I’m a big white wine drinker and suffer from Chronic Sinusits … I think I’ve just discovered why my doctors could not!

  255. master z Says:

    wines have histimines in them that is what causes “allegies” ie stuffiness etc. a very small amount of the human population has any problems with sulfites…it is just a marketing ploy. there are some wines that have “no sulfites added” but since they are naturally occuring in the wine, try the wines with “no sulfites detected” they have the sulfites removed though a process that strips the wine of all goodness and flavour.

  256. Clyde Says:

    Hearing of health benefits of red wine, a number of years ago I would have a glass of red wine each evening. However, this caused my my face and cheeks to become extremely red. Therefore, I stopped drinking wine and the redness went away. Recently, I purchased a bottle of Resvinatrol Complete, “The Red Wine Alternative” for touted health benefits–antioxidants for cardiovascular health, immune system support, etc. Same symptoms have appeared although there is absolutely no alcohol & no mention of sulfites. Perhaps its the resveratrol, quercetin, ellagic acid or who knows what else. Has anybody else had a similar reaction to this product?

  257. jeff Says:

    sulphites do not give me a rash but they do give me mouth sores…like cold sores and often burns the skin off of my mouth. The worst effect though is the muscle spasms I get from it. A weak point like an injured back becomes the focal point for the attach. The nerves get inflamed and the muscles contract so hard they go into total seizure. This seizure can last for 6-8 weeks in a bad attach. I mean I am in so much pain it is unbelievable. Pepto bismal soothes the intestine and gives some relief, so take it if you anticipate sulphite ingestion. As far as an antidote I know of none. By the way frozen peas and beans (although sulphite is not on the package) instantly makes my mouth and teeth sensitive, a good test for what is to come. If you notice any tingling or burning on a food ingestion…stop eating it and grab a couple of big glugs of Pepto. Swish it around in your mouth to stop that activity first, then swallow. Hope this helps on our quest for an antidote. Jeff

  258. Fabienne Says:

    I get the same reactions as described above. I’ve been trying to figure out which ingredients make me sick.

    I read that sulfites are found in dried fruits, esp. dried apricots, so if you are allergic to sulfites, you should be allergic to dried apricots. (I am not)

    However, I get sick when I drink beer, sake, eat soy sauce, so I believe my problem is with brewer’s yeast. I have no problem with cooked wine, breads, distilled alcohol, so I think it’s just with active yeast.

    I’d be interested to see if others have made similar connections. I think it’s important to know which ingredient is the culprit, so that it can be avoided in other products.

  259. Gray Says:

    My feet have been itching sporadically for months. It happens at night, so I can’t sleep because my feet itch so much.

    I have finally drawn the conclusion, after tracking which days I get itchy feet and listing what I have eaten/drunken that day, that it’s highly correlated with drinking red wine. Haven’t noticed yet with white wine, or drinking red wine without sulfites. Probably the sulfites.

  260. geraldine gramil Says:

    At my age of 53 I am finding that I have flu like symptons after drinking wine for sometimes a week after. I love red wine but notice that the day after I am achey and get chills. I have no energy and want to sleep. This doesn’t go away for some time. I have been checked for lupus, diabetes, mono, and all the test come back normal. Now I realize that drinking wine is causing my illness.
    I am glad that I found out what is making me feel so awful, but disappointed that I can’t drink wine anymore.

  261. Apple Says:

    i had also allergic reactions to alcohol. I drink for about 2-3 glasses of absolut vodka friday evening. The next day 4am i was really chilling.. got high fever and my blood pressure turns from 87/60…around 7 am i had lbm and i puked. The next day, i got red patches on my skin. its very itchy. I took anti-histamines but it did not help subside the itchiness… another day has passed i woke up 3am, i got severe allergic reactions.. i went to the doctor and she gave me oatmeal soap a T-Lotion and then 1 tablet of aerius in the morning and 1 zyrtec in the evening… i’m really hopeless… the next day i woke up 2am i’m still having the allergies all over my body its too extreme i felt like my skins are burning due to scratches. I had myself a blood test (cbc) to check if there are infections all over my body…and i’ll see the results later. I’m a bit scared… bec. i couldn’t sleep well bec. of these reactions on my body…

  262. Joanna Says:

    I went to a party the other night and drank one half glass of red wine. The next day I had a sore throat but no fever. I have continued to have the problem with drainage for 4 days now. I have had problems with a stuffed nose about 15 minutes after drinking red wine in the past but this did not happen the night I drank the glass that made me so sick. I was glad to see that I am not crazy for telling people that red wine made me sick. I had childhood asthma also. The first time I had red wine my face flushed and I felt extremely hot. Everyone please be careful if you have any concerns regarding red wine. I have read that it can actually be fatal or lead to asthma attacks.

  263. Ann Marie Says:

    Here is somemore information that I found online that may help…
    “Wine Allergy? Insects May Be to Blame
    Some Wine Allergies Stem From Insect Chemicals, Doctors Report”
    Aug. 15, 2007 — Some allergic reactions to wine stem from insect chemicals, new research shows.

    In tomorrow’s edition of The New England Journal of Medicine, doctors in Spain describe the cases of five patients who had allergic symptoms after drinking grape juice or newly pressed red or white wines.

    One of those patients had anaphylaxis — a sudden, severe allergic reaction. Another patient experienced asthma symptoms. The three other patients had allergic reactions in their mouths and flushed faces.

    The doctors, who included Alicia Armentia, MD, PhD, of the Hospital Rio Hortega in Valladolid, Spain, gave the patients various allergy tests, including skin tests.

    The skin tests showed that the patients were allergic to Hymenoptera, which is the order of animals that includes ants, bees, and wasps.

    Chemicals from Hymenoptera insects may be present in some wines, according to the doctors, who also found that none of the patients was allergic to aged wines.

    The doctors aren’t implying that all new wines or grape juices contain the insect chemicals, or that no aged wines trigger allergic reactions, or that all wine allergies are due to insect chemicals.

    The Spanish report only focuses on a few patients; it’s not a thorough primer on wine allergies.

    If you have a wine allergy, talk to your doctor about what types of wines — if any — you might be able to drink.

    SOURCES: Armentia, A. The New England Journal of Medicine, Aug. 16, 2007; vol 357: pp 719-720. U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Systemic Entomology Laboratory.”

  264. David Says:

    I too have very odd allergy-like symptoms. I just got a rash on my face which feels uncomfortable after literally drinking a couple of sips of Côtes du Rhône 2005 Château de Panéry La Marquise.

    Usually I find I get reactions only from cheaper wines and the more expensive French wines don’t give me the reaction – I also avoid Spanish wines as they seem to cause problems too.

    Quite depressing as I love red wines. But obviously I am concerned that the allergy might get worse…

  265. David Says:

    After reading through the website.. I think I might actually be allergic to Syrah (sometimes called Shiraz)….

  266. Denise Says:

    I have what seems to be an intolerance to red wine and white wine. As soon as I take a sip of wine I get an instant pain in my head/headache type feeling and my face feels extremely flushed and goes very red. Now and again I also get an achy feeling in my neck (sort of like my head is really droopy and might fall off!). I only have to drink one glass or less and I already feel quite disorientated and tipsy.

    Falling asleep is also a major problem for me after consuming a glass or two (mainly red wine), I really have to fight to stay awake, but invariably I fall asleep anyway.

    I’ve never been a big drinker and have always thought that because of my symptoms I get from alcohol that I can’t handle alot, but maybe its the fact that I get these symptoms that my body is trying to tell me that wine doesn’t agree with me. I’ve just assumed that for many years that I’m just a lightweight when it comes to alcohol so because of this I don’t drink alot anyway.

    I am 31 years old and from what I can remember I’ve always had this when drinking wine, although up until a few years ago I barely drank it as I used to drink beer. I don’t drink beer now though as I have an intolerance to barley and corn, so have really only been drinking wine regularly for the past 3 years.

    I don’t know whether its cheap or expensive wines that affect me more, all wine seems to have the same effect on me, and as I’ve only just found this website I didn’t realise so many people have problems similar to mine.

    I do get diarrhoea quite often and i sometimes itch on my arms, back, legs etc. I also get bad stomach and back pain on the left side of my body however I don’t think this is related to wine as I have many food intolerances.

    I am going to try and investigate the wine drinking further and see if I can come to any conclusions myself as to what is causing these symptoms.

  267. SUE Says:

    I am of of asian and italian descent. For me it is the yeast and/or wheat. I figured this out years ago when I would drink White Zinfandel and my face would turn red. Eventually if I drank back to back weekends I would look like a hot mess. I would develop red welps on my face. I wouild have to take benedryl and use benedryl creme and it would take weeks for my skin to be normal. That was in my 20′s when I was going out a lot and drinking socially. I get red and flushed with beer as well. Wine is the worst for me. I don’t drink at all and haven’t for a long time. It just isn’t worth it anymore. I have rosacea now.

  268. SUE Says:

    interesting read

    Many consumers think that the main cause of an adverse reaction to wine is due to sulphur dioxide, which is an antioxidant and preservative. Unless an individual has a similar reaction when eating dried fruits, such as dried apricots, this is unlikely as the concentration of sulphur dioxide will be much higher in the dried fruits than in the wine.

    Histamine is commonly believed to be a main cause of an adverse reaction to wine, possibly due to its relatively high concentration in certain wines, although many foods such as egg plants, tomatoes and fish contain a significantly higher concentration than does wine. Conversely, certain substances in wine may induce the release of histamine from mast cells or certain individuals may have a reduced activity and/or amount of one of the enzymes that break down histamine in the intestine. Histamine-related symptoms are similar to those observed with immunologically-mediated food allergy.

    A recent study has assessed adverse reactions to histamine in wine in 16 individuals, which were intolerant to wine. No correlation was observed between the concentration of histamine in wine and an adverse reaction. However, the consumption of wines, which had a low concentration of histamine increased the blood concentration of histamine in these individuals by 10 minutes post-consumption, which suggests that there may be histamine-releasing chemicals in wine.

  269. Ellen Says:

    Two years ago on Christmas night I developed a rash, itching, swelling, diareah and trouble breathing. Ended up in the ER. I could not pinpoint what I was alergic to. Even going to the allergist did not help. He have me steriod, anti-histamine and an inhaler in case it ever happened again. The very next Christmas I took a sip of our very special wine which we only drink at Christmas – Sterling Vineyards – and within minutes I started swelling up and was having trouble breathing. I realized immediately it was the Sterling Cab the previuos Christmas that caused my allergy. A couple of shots of inhaler and the drugs, and I was fine. It has since happened with Toasted Head Merlot and a Rodney Strong Cab. Big bummer – as wine is part of dinner!! I now have to be very careful at parties and resturants and carry my drugs with me at all times. I am curious as to what these wines all have in common. My allergist said the red dye can also cause allergies and wineries are all competing for the special color, that there all sorts of additives for color. Had anyone else had a reaction with these wineries?

  270. Sarah O Says:

    As I sit here, the upper outer sides of my nose and upper cheeks burn, my stomach feels ‘acid-y’, my feet feel a tingling, burning sensation, possibly a slight swelling.

    Not exactly the same as anyone else – we are all having slightly different responses – no body is exactly the same, not has the same responses

    I had just drunk a small glass of white wine…

    Just before I wrote this message, I read or scanned the previous 269 messages, mostly from people who had had uncomfortable reastions to wine. I noted two observations:

    1. we have the illusion that the body/our body is a fixed thing, and seem perplexed when it has a different reaction to what we expect/want. Rather, might it not be in a constant state of flux and change, just like the planet? Perhaps if we ‘listened’ to it more, we might be able to read or anticipate if our system can take it – the drinking of alcohol, or not, that day.

    I know this to be true of myself. Sometimes it’s no problem to drink alcohol, sometimes I will have a massive reaction, up to migraine. But not always. I think this is due to many factors, what else I’ve been eating/drinking. How much stress/relaxation/exercise has been going on. How much we are actually in tune with this magnificent intelligent body of ours…? And how bizarre it is that we are surprised when our individual body does not respond in the same way as another… we don’t all look the same (thank goodness – for our individuality!), neither is our internal make-up similar.

    I also get reactions from tea and coffee (tannin?)…but not always. Sometimes I can tell it’s not a day to drink them. When I chose to ignore this, I suffer the consequences. Other times I know I will have no reation.

    2. my second observation is …why on earth do we persist in drinking something which many feel causes us to feel poisoned?? The body is telling us not to drink it – for a clear reason? Just how many clear messages do we need?

    I’m off now to drink LOADS of water, and cool down my burnng face. I don’t want to wake up, again, in the middle of the night dehydrated or with a thumping headache.

    May our body wisdom reach all our brains sooner than the next round of damage we ignorantly do to ourselves…

    Peace and well-being to all!

    Sarah O

  271. Deb Says:

    I am giving up reds completely after serious stomach problems. I have no trouble with whites, or with other liquor. No cold or allergy type problems, though, just a really, really bad upset stomach. After only one glass!

  272. Simon Says:

    Try getting IgG Antibody tested for Brewer’s/Baker’s Yeast – usally as part of a food allergy panel. Most complementary practitioners will have the knowledge to order this. Yeast is in all alchol to various degrees but especially in wine and beer. Beware of blaming everything on sulfites, although this may well be the case in many people. I am allergic to yeast and cannot tolerate any alcoholic beverages – even vodka which has a very low yeast content. Symptoms – migraine initially, then 2-3 days of severe fatigue. Now relying on hot tub for relaxation and caffeinated drinks if I need a pick up!

  273. Susanne Says:

    Keep your fingers crossed for me. I may have found the cause to the allergic reactions I have experienced to alcohol over the last 1 1/2 years (since having nasal surgery). After my surgery, my doctor put me on Nasonex. Since that time, I started experiencing extreme stuffiness, nasal discharge and other allergy type symptoms an hour after having only one glass of wine. Initially, it was just wine, then over time I started having the symptoms with beer and vodka too. And the symptoms worsened over time and was socially embarassing. Taking an antihistamine would help, but still produced symptoms and wasn’t a cure. Even though my doctor said it probably wasn’t the cause of the problem, I decided to get off the Nasonex at the beginning of the year. I knew it would take awhile to get the Nasonex out of my system, so I kept taking an antihistamine prior to drinking. Finally, two months after getting off the Nasonex, I was out with some friends at dinner and was able to drink two glasses of wine without symptoms. I still had stuffiness, but not NEARLY as bad as in the past (in the past it made me sound like I had a cold it was so bad). I kept experimenting, and for the last month I’ve been able to drink (wine, beer, vodka) without problems. AND, as a bonus, I’ve regained my sense of smell. Since my nasal surgery, my sense of smell would come and go (mostly gone). Now, I can smell all the time — which is so great. In addition to getting off the Nasonex, I also came down with a bad cold/sinus infection in Feb., and took an antibiotic and a week’s course of a steroid. So, I’m wondering if the Nasonex was causing a fungal infection which triggered my allergic reactions to alcohol and my loss of smell (although I was supposedly tested for that about 9 months ago and it came back normal). I also had other symptoms when not drinking, but drinking would bring on a fast reaction. Whatever the cause, it’s been so nice to have a glass of wine or beer with friends and not have to worry about it. I still experience an increased amount of post nasal drip when drinking, but it’s not that bad and drinking water while drinking alcohol helps. Anyway, I’ll keep the board posted on my progress, but thought others may benefit from thinking about the medications they are on, in addition to what ingredients in alcohol may be triggering your allergic reactions. I’m hopeful this has helped to identify mine. Anyone with a similar experience?

  274. Merlin Says:

    I have drunk copious amounts of red wine for many years (I am 69) and never noticed any problems until recently. I attended a party and a guest brought some “30 Year old” wine. Of course I was suspicious of the fradulent claim on the label, but I tried it anyway. Very smooth and dry, good! The next morning, I awoke with eyes crusted over, and other severe signals of distress. I was normal 36 hours later, after using a lot of eyewashs. Then I drank a glass of my inexpensive house wine, and for the first time – itchy eyes the next morning. I drank no wine for three days, and I am now Okay. My internet check showed adding sulfites to improve taste is the culprit. Sulphites in low amounts are always in wine, a natural coponent of grapes. The massive dose from the “30 year” wine nearly made me allergic, and did cause a severe allergic reaction. Beware of good tasting cheapo red!

  275. Nick Says:

    Thanks for your all your observations, advice, and comments. As a rare wine drinker, now in his mid 30s just starting to sample a little more red wine – i seem to have developed an allergic reaction in which the crescent between my thumb and index finger on my right hand only – turns bright red and itches like crazy. Seems to be the only symptom. We’ve tried organic wines, sulfite free, etc., seems to vary a bit with such experimentation, but no definitive solution and still inexplicable symptoms.

    I’ll keep searching….


  276. J D Says:

    I have slowly developed an allergy to wine over many years. Over the last couple of years it has become worse. I have become careful to tell the waiter at all Italian restaurants about it. Pizza from a favorite restauant, spaghetti in a local restaurant with no liquor license, even salad dressing surprised me by having wine in them.
    2 weeks ago there was sherry in French Onion Soup.
    After 2 spoonfuls my lips & mouth began to tingle, then my throat began to close. I ran to the drug store to get Benadryl pills and also found children’s liquid. I had to lean back to breathe. On to the emergency room when they took too long to work. Doc gave me steroids. I was itchy all over my body. Better by the next morning.
    Now I carry Benadryl pills in my purse. May have to carry a shot next time. Chiropractor told me that I could also have held the children’s liquid in my mouth for a few minutes to cut down the swelling.
    Don’t mess with this, everybody. Don’t try “just a little” to see how you react the next time. Each episode sensitizes you even more. If you wonder if there is wine in it, tell the waiter.

  277. Jen Diamond Says:

    I have had no problems drinking in the past and I’ve done my fair share. Last night I was celebrating my anniversary with a glass of red wine, a brand which I’ve have many times before. I started coughing really badly and wheezing a lot. Today I still feel a little wheezy but better. I was happy to find this site and realize that I was probably suffering from an allergic reaction.
    I am allergic to sulphur based antibiotics so it makes since that I would be allergic to the sulphur in wine but it never bothered me before. Maybe it is like some people here seem to be saying, that it builds up. I am 39. I have had some problems with an annoying cough and asthma like symptoms for the past 7 months. I’ve never had asthma before this and now I am hoping that it may just be some new allergy that I can control.

  278. zoe Says:

    i’m 38 and have enjoyed red wine for many years and still can drink 2 glasses twice a week without any reaction.yet every so often i get a hideous reaction-violent headache,vomiting the following day that goes on so long that there is nothing left in me to reject,joint pain and now 48 hours later still nauseous(though i can eat bland food),headache and still joint pain.i cannot pin point which wines will cause this as it seems to strike me randomly.i realise that i should give it up completely but most of the time i am okay.i do not get any sinus or breathing problems mentioned here alot and am not allergic to anything else that i know has been very interesting reading other peoples experiences as until this recent ‘ordeal’,i hadn’t thought to research it

  279. Glennis Says:

    I am glad that I am not the only one suffering from this reaction to wine. I think my problem stems from having IBS 20 years ago, since that time I have had an assortment of reactions to wheat and have had a lot of unexplained stomach problems. The wine thing started about 3 years ago after 2 glasses of Cava which made me ill for 2 days. Then at a leaving do I had 1 glass of very good wine and was ill again so since then I have avoided wine at all costs. Unfortunately last weekend I ate a strawberry dessert and halfway through eating it someone said it had wine in it. Very awkward I was a guest at someones house and could not start fussing and moaning so finished the thing off hoping against hope that it would not affect me. That night I had awful stomach ache and in the morning flu like symptoms and very itchy eyes which were so red my husband said I looked like a vampire. I still feel rough 3 days later and cannot go to work today. I am really pissed off about this but realise as so many people suffer there must be something really nasty in wine and offend or please I will always ask what is in desserts or anything else before I eat them.

  280. mary Says:

    whenever my husband drinks red wines, his breath is horrible and his body develops a real bad odor. Does that sound like he is allergic to the red wine…would white wine be better. Made him stop drinking the red wine for a week now….he’s on beer only. No horrible odor from his body and breath is much better. Anyone else have these symptoms?

  281. millay Says:

    I’m 35, have been a moderate drinker for many years – never had a problem, enjoyed drinking wine, beer, mixed drinks, etc. Last year I suffered from an extended bout of severe fatigue and body aches, actually it lasted about a year. It was never diagnosed, and went away a few months ago. I started noticing that drinking made my symptoms worse so I started experimenting and found that indeed, even the slightest sip of alcohol, even trace amounts of rum in a huge pot of eggnog shared with seven other people, gave me severe body aches that lasted for hours. I have had this reaction to “non-alcoholic” beer, which is not actually completely free of alcohol. The symptoms usually begin about half an hour after the first sip and intensify over the course of the next hours. Sometimes they don’t crop up until the next day, which is usually worse because they last all day. I don’t drink anymore, which is sad and I hope that someday I’ll be able to again. The other day I had a few sips of vodka and while I didn’t have the body aches, my head felt foggy and I just didn’t feel good (or get a pleasant buzz).

  282. Tom Says:

    I am sure that due to the large number of comments listed that many of you suffer from a mold allergy. You have probably only had brief contact with the air born type and thought it was just a mild sinus issue or a mild panic attack if your breathing was affected. If you are allergic to mold you will have a reaction to cultured foods.You may think you are lactose intolerant, but try this. With a lactose pill eat ice cream. No problem. Now with a lactose pill eat Parmesian cheese. Problem? The cheese is cultured it contains mold that more and more Americans are becoming allergic to. The ice cream is not cultured and contains no mold. Other foods: Vinegar, Beer (yeast) Tomatoes (I don’t know why)Rice (again). Aged meats(Taylor Ham). If you suffer from from deep muscle aches and fatigue see an allergist.Its so painless. Don’t let allergies rob you of being who you know you could be if you felt better.

  283. Sheryl Says:

    Wow I can’t believe all these different reactions and sensitivities to wine!
    I do not drink alcohol but my husband likes red wine. He gets a scaly red rash all around his “T-zone” on his face. (Forehead, nose and around his mouth)
    He had one glass of his dad’s homemade red last night and this morning got up with a major face rash again.
    Funny thing…his dad’s wine is made without all the chemicals, so there’s a compound or ingredient in the wine that’s setting his allergy off…(not sulphur?)

  284. Charlene Says:

    Well I love to enjoy a nice glass of wine red or white, but recently I will drink a glass, that I may have been enjoying for the last couple of days, and just one day I get an allergic reaction. My eyes swell up so that they are slits, my throat gets very tight and I wheez most of the night. I also get itchy skin on my face and 3 or 4 random hives on my body. i take benadryl and advil for the swelling but the reactions stay with me for a day or two. I have no allergies to any other foods and never eat seafood if I am drinking wine, (just to be on the saef side) I’m really confused beacause I can drink wine one night and be fine and the next night I get a reaction. I also get reactions with vodka and Champagne, but dark liquors are no problem. Any help would be appreciated.

  285. Sudhir Says:

    Boy am I glad I’m not the only person here that suffers when I drink red wine (or champaigne). With just 1/2 a glass of the stuff, I get a terrible terrible headache. Its like John Bonham and Keith Moon are playing drums in my head. First noticed the problem about 20 years ago (thankfully after university), with tinned beer. Then red wine, and now all beers (ok more than 3 glasses). No problems with micro-brewed beer or vodka, whiskey, etc etc.

  286. Simony Says:

    I have been getting red itchi bumps all over my body, kinda like mosquito bites but they are from one inch to 5 inches long.
    I only drink chardonnay and they are over $25.oo us dollars a bottle.
    I will try other types and see if it helps.

  287. KB.t Says:

    I’m a regular, joyful consumer of moderate to well regarded California reds and have never had any problems enjoying wines within my means (up to 4 evening glasses or ~1 btl. if we start in the afternoon and progress w/ moderation through the evening). Earlier this week a friend and I shared a moderately-cheap btl. from France resulting in a stomach pain I’ve never experienced before, accompanied by pronounced fever-like symptoms. In all seriousness, when my stomach woke me in the middle of the night, I thought I might die–and i really didn’t know what hit me. Figured something i’d eaten during the day might have been poison! I considered consuming the activated carbon in my brita, then calling for a ride to the hospital. Instead, in a righteous shake and sweat, my stomach twisting me over the laptop, i queried everything i’d consumed that day, appended w/ ‘stomach pain’, and eventually came to realize that our cheap french was most likely responsible. I thought I might die. I drank my weight in water, ate an organic food bar, propped my feet on a pillow, found the position that felt most comfortable and laid myself to rest. Thanks for all your posts–saved me a hospital run.

  288. Jennifer Says:

    Thanks for all the above contributions – found this site after trying to see if there’s any link between drinking red wine in the evening and having a crushing headache and feeling lethargic the next morning. It seems likely that they are linked – but will have to watch what I eat and drink from now on to be sure.

  289. Casey Says:

    I am currently 43 years old. In my early drinking days I used to get flushed and blotchy on my face and neck from drinking. As the years went by I was diagnosed with rosacea. In April of 08 I was given Celebrex to treat tendonitis. After a single dose, within 6 hours my face turned red, and I began to have terrible itching on my face, neck, hands and upper extremities. My throat and tongue swelled up and I ended up in the hospital where I was given prednizone and benadryl IM (which made me completely INSANE…beware prednizone can give you what is called steroid psychosis). I now know that Celebrex is a sulfa drug, and I am allergic to sulfa drugs. My doctor suggested I probably am allergic to wine. I do believe that toxins can build up in your body as you age, so I might try some kind of detox program. I still have a rash that comes and goes, and my skin is still a mess. Probably because it made my rosacea go haywire. I am going to try taking a benadryl before I have wine tonight, and see if it helps. If not, I am going to go off it for a few weeks. Thanks to everyone here for their information and insight.

  290. Lynda Says:

    I’ve had 2 anaphylaxic attacks (life threatening allergy attack) after drinking wine. Some people have described part of what I went through. If you think you have an allergy to wine then immidiately take Benedryl (anti-histimine) at the first sign of the allergy. I ended up at the ER wheezing, palms of my hands itching/red/swollen, skin turning red, nausea and fainting. Don’t take the risk with an ingested allergen, take Benadryl (or 2) right away.

  291. Colleen Says:

    I recently started having bouts with itchy red, swollen eyelids and skin around the eyes. I thought perhaps it was my makeup, or a lotion I was using, or my shampoo, so have been eliminating those things. I also read a blog abotu this that reccommended using Nizorol shampoo as the symptom could be related to a fungal infection of the scalp. I did have some improvement but not complete cure. Then dissapointinly I have since had more of these flare ups with bright red puffy eyelids, and they take about a week to clear up (with the dry cracked skin mess),and the swelling never completely goes away before it flares up again. Today I had some red wine, and my eyes are getting bad again. Thinking back, the last time I had a flare up I was drinking red wine! So I googled “wine allergy red itchy eyelids” and found this site! Good to find all this information. I think I will be giving up red wine (darn!!!) but will also see about getting some testing so that I can pin down the culprit. I have nasal and asthma symptoms as well, but have had those for years.. who knows maybe those will improve without the wine!

  292. Annie Says:

    I’ve never had any problems drinking red wine, but that could just be because I rarely drink it. A few nights ago I had one glass of it and went up to my bedroom. I immediately became extremely tired, and was unable to get out of bed to brush my teeth or even turn out the lights. I slept for 13 hours. A couple nights later I thought I’d try another, smaller glass to see if it would be different. I did get very tired, but managed to stay awake. I figured it must have just been that particular bottle. Then last night I had a few glasses of a different red wine with dinner and on the walk home I got a horrible head rush (couldn’t see where I was walking for a few seconds, only black) and thought I was going to faint. I had to sit down and found it extremely difficult to breathe for a minute. Friends said I was sweating profusely and was white as a sheet. I don’t know if this is an allergy as you are all describing, as I didn’t get any sort of rash or skin reaction, which I would expect as I have eczema and have frequent skin reactions. Regardless, I don’t plan on drinking any more red wine unless I clear things up with a doctor first, but I am just very curious about the whole thing!

  293. Nichole Says:

    I know for a fact i’m allergic on a deathly level to whatever it is in wine. I was camping a few weeks back in the middle of no where and had cooked some corn on the cob and gave my friend a bite of it (well he was drinking wine) and i know it sounds grose but he left some back wash on the part of the corn he had taken a bite of, i bit right next to where he bit not thinking anything of him taking a bite, a little bit of the back wash wine had been on the bite i took next, immediately my lips started to itch so horribly bad. Then blisters started to form, i usually take benni. with me everywhere i go just in case i have an allergic reaction to god knows what, but i had forgotten it. my throat started to close due to huge blisters forming in the back of my throat, i thought i was going to die in the woods around a bunch of drunkards, lucky for me my sister brought some with her i broke two up and and swallowed it with some soda (this helps for faster action in almost any pill, so i’m told) my reaction didn’t progress but it wasn’t going away either, so i took two more and in an hour it was all better and i was passed out in the camping chair the darn sleepyness always gets me when i take it. So to all out there who have allergic reactions to wines to the extreme like i do, don’t share anything with someone who is driking wine. :)

  294. C Murphy Says:

    I am 23 and have suffered from allergic reactions to alcohol from 19 years old. It started with red wine then it slowly developed into having into,lerance to beer.

    I have had allergy tests, i am alergic to all rubbers, yeast and most metals. For the last two years the reactions got worse and worse I would have excess catarrh swollen nose and tightness in throat as if there was a lump there. I then would panic over my symptoms and this would worsen my predictment. I stopped drinking lager and tried spirits, i was ok for few months till my body built up its immunity and the whole process started again.

    I am now 23, it has damaged my social life with friends as i have decided to completely give up alcohol. I took this decision as I suddendly realised how bloody stupid and disrespectful to my own life I was being. There is more to life than drink! I reckon I may of saved my life by giving it up as my reactions were getting worse.

    Yes, I have lost out on the social side and belief me it is hard coming from an irish family who drink alot, though I truly belief that putting my life in risk through drinking is truly irresponsible and selfish.

    In my spare time now, I use it to do positive things I still gety ill alot bcos of my allergies but I cherish the factb that i have more money, more focus, and more time to acheive more positive things in my life for myself and others.

    Overall if your allergic to it, GIVE IT UP! Trust me it just aint worth it! Go and do something positive and stop believing all the commercialised crap that says u need to get drunk to have good time, U DONT!

  295. leigh Says:

    i think i am also allergic to something in wine i usually drink rose and have done for years but since having my son 6 months ago everytime i drink it my eyes swell up the next day and get really itchy and sore and it takes a long time b4 it goes away the docttors have no idea what it is and frankly dont seem to care so am laying off the wine and hoping for the best!!

  296. antoinette Says:

    i went to a wine tasting party late saturday afternoon and that night noticed that my back and thighs were itchy. i didnt think anything of it, but when i woke up in the next morning there was a rash on my back, thighs, stomach and breasts. im not sure if this is from the wine, but its the only thing i’ve had different in my diet. im almost tempted to go to another party just to be sure. i’ve never been allergic to any foods so i am very confused.

  297. Selina Says:

    I also have reactions to some not all alcohols and I have been trying to work out why only some are bad and others not. Recently I drank champagne and the reaction was obvious. Blotchy face, difficulty breathing and so on. That champagne clearly said contains sulphites. But I usually drink Yellow and are fine. This one doesnt seem to affect me. So now I think the sulfites are the key to the reation. Previous reactions have been with cockails and now I think it may be the OJ in these which was bad as juices and dried fruits also contain sulphites.
    I too am asthmatic – which is common. But more interestingly I am a coeliac and are wondering if this is a common link.

  298. Chrissy Says:

    Last saturday me and my fiance went to our friends house party and I drank neat rose (I usually dilute with lemonade), i felt very tipsy on my first drink but carried on drinking, then all of a sudden I felt so ill and was sick, i woke up the next morning and was fine then as the day went on i got worse, i was sick again but this time i had pins and needles in my whole body and my hands and arms kind of twisted, it did stop after a few minutes but since then i have a strange feeling in my arms and hands and i feel sick and strange as though i am not myself.

  299. Lis Says:

    I have found all the posts on this site very interesting. It would seem that an allergy to wines can definitely develop with age. I also have an allergy to wine – first just reds then all – which seems to have developed during my late forties. The following day I would feel as though I had the flu. It took a while for me to make the connection (I never drank wine on a regular basis) but now steer clear of any wines. I can, however, still drink rum and other liquor without ill effects. Interestingly, I can also drink fortified wines and sweet wines – port, sherry, ice wine, sauternes etc. The sweet wines generally have higher sulphites, so this would tend to suggest that this is not the issue in my case. I can also still cook with wine with no problems. On a final note, I have to say that I was surprised by the quantity of wine some people are drinking – a bottle per day is probably more than your body really wants to process!

  300. Poochie Says:

    I had this experience tonight for the very first time. I drank red wine and sneezed and sneezed for about maybe 15 times in a row in a very few minutes. I am no longer sneezing, but still drinking the last of the wine. I am wondering why it happened, since I’ve NEVER had that experience while drinking wine before. Indeed, I have never sneezed so many times in a row in my life. And…I’m OLD. Over 50.

  301. nancyeb Says:

    I just started having an allergic-type reaction to wine. In my 50′s and never had this before. My head is very stuffy the next day after drinking a glass of white wine – usually pinot grigio. I like the dry whites. I also found I have celiac disease or gluten-intolerance this year. Not sure if they are related. I appreciate other people’s comments and info. Its nice to be able to enjoy a glass of wine. I did find that the pear wine they sell at Nashoba vineyards in my state – Mass – did not cause the stuffy head (really nice wine. As someone else mentioned, the fruit wines may be ok. Luckily in New England we have lots of wineries that make fruit based wines. I got interested in them and have been working on a website focused just on new england wineries. its very much under construction but check on it in the future if you like.

  302. Rose Says:

    My reaction is as SEVERE as as it gets! I too love red wine. My symptoms started gradual over the YEARS then became extremely severe. At first I’d get a flushed face and slight cough. I chalked it up to the first sip. Then as things graduated…….flushed face, slight cough and burning tongue. Eventually as things progressed……… tongue actually cracked and the burning was severe. Next……..I had a severe burning sensation the entire whole way down my esophagus and into my stomach. I would salivate uncontrolablly and I had a constant gnawing in my stomach. I would constantly put food in there to try to make it stop. It stopped for only an hour or so then start again. I thought I had a stomach ulcer. I visited my doctor and she ordered blood tests. It turns out my liver enzymes are elevated. I truly believe it is from an allergic reaction to the sulphites in the red wine. I think my liver must have been screaming to STOP the red wind.(If only I were aware of the signs) My next test is an abdominal ultrasound then more blood work. It is so not worth it to continue to drink the stuff especially when it starts to take a toll on your health. If anybody notices any of these symptoms…..STOP NOW. Listen to what your body is telling you ! ! ! !

  303. Rebecca Oulton Says:

    You may have saved my husband’s life. His health has been deteriorating over the last three years. He had problems with his equilibrium, suffered with frequent ear aches, had severe sinusitis, endured morning retching, had headaches, was unable to drink coffee tea or fruit juice, had indigestion and heartburn, suffered daily diarrhea, had a dreadful cough, and was thoroughly miserable. He felt he was dying. The doctors offered no help. Early one morning, a search string brought me to your web site. I asked my husband if he would skip drinking wine for one evening. He was pretty stressed, but agreed and had a few mixed drinks instead. When he woke up the next morning, he was “cured”. It has been two weeks now. You have given my husband back his health – - – and his life. Thank you so very much, and may God bless you for blessing us.

  304. Ellen Says:

    I love red wine and that is about the only alcohol I drink because at least it has some good health properties to it (good for the heart). I am 45 years old. About five years ago or so I had some tests done because when I went to sleep or tried to go to sleep my throat would bother me (felt like it was smaller, had problems swallowing). The docter could not find anything. Shortly after that in the spring, I developed nasal problems, watery eyes, congestion. It was written off to allergies probably pollen because the pollen is so bad in S.C. I was put on a prescription allergy medicine (Allegra D). Over the years going to routine doctor visits and discussing these symptoms a doctor said I was probably having a reaction to alcohol or the red wine I was drinking. I have been able to manage my symptoms when I drank wine (one glass a night 3 to 5 nights a week) until about 2 months ago when I can down with a rash. I don’t know how my body has changed but my consumption had not. This is a miserable rash. I am going to stop drinking all together and see if it goes away. Hopefully with increased water intake and a Benedryl and no alcohol I’ll be able to sleep better soon. Open to suggestions.

  305. Jan Cosgrove [Mr] Says:

    I thought I was experiencing panic/anxiety attacks – got medication on that basis – but began to suspect it might be red wine linked. Symptoms – huge adrenalin rush, extreme anxiety feelings, shaking, nausea, the runs next day, and completely washed out, also feeling trouble breathing. Could be anxiety-related. But left red wine alone for over a year. Recently, had about 1/3rd glass, symptoms returned for 1st time for a year. Still not sure it was not anxiety related. However, just cut short pre-Xmas visit to good friends in France. Unknown to me, one of the meals they cooked had red wine in it – violent re-occurence of all symptoms, trashed me so much I cut short my stay. So I’m off to my doc for tests to sort this out for once and for all. Been able to drink white and rose, but feeling off all alcohol at the moment.

  306. Chuck Says:

    Reading these posts is fascinating. I had a really bad breakout of rashes and hives (urticaria) about 8 months ago. I went to see the doctor who told me it was something I injested but could not pinpoint what it was, so he told me what kinds of foods to avoid. Wine was one of them. Eight months later, I still breakout in bumps and feel flushed, but I’m starting to think it’s wine that’s causing this reaction, though I am still uncertain if I have developed a sensitivity to food preservatives. Either way, recently I had an Argentinean Malbec one evening only to wake up in the middle of the night feeling hot, flushed, and itchy. These symptoms along with the swollen and puffy eyes, and general fatigue and foggyness lasted about 48 hours. Last night I had some red wine again, only to wake up in the middle of the night with heart palpitations. Today I have the red bumps on my body again but it’s not quite as bad as it has in the past. Going forward I will abstain from all wine and see how things go. Though I don’t want to blame my problems entirely on wine, I believe that it’s one of the culprits of my malaise.

  307. Penny Says:

    Allow me to join in the party. I bought some chardonnay, then went for a lovely snuggle with my boyfriend. I broke out in hives and began to get asthmatic. I have been drinking Pinot Grigio for a long time…have eczema…itchy eyelids. . the whole 9 yards but now this gigantic rash! I feel some oak-related allergy may be the cause. I do not drink red wine as I get the dreaded headache. I cannot eat dried apricots without having difficulty breathing. I am joining the club but will have trouble giving up wine!

  308. Chuck Says:

    I wanted to post an update to my post #306. I couldn’t help myself over the holidays and had a glass of Blanc de Blanc, a glass of Kistler Chardonnay, and a glass of French Burgundy. Luckily, no problems. I’m starting to think wine isn’t the problem necessarily, but whatever the reason for my break outs is, wine occasionally triggers something. Thankfully, it isn’t the sole reason for the break outs. I’m thinking I have an allergy to preservatives. More updates to come I’m sure!

  309. Roberto Says:

    I have been having bumps resembling mosquito bites (but bigger), swollen lip and cheek, sometimes, ans itchy palms. I always enjoyed wines (white and red), and sometimes champagne on special occasions. Many people I mention this to start to talk about sulfites, but i’m not sure if that is a cliche or if its the reason. I have yet to experiment with other types of alcohol (whiskey, vodka, etc…) but sometimes i also get a wheezing sensation…. cafeful

  310. I like stuff Says:

    I too sneeze & get stuffed up when drinking wine. Specifically, I sneeze a couple times quickly, then a brief pause and a third, then a longer pause and a fourth. Occassionally after a long pause there is a fifth. Then I’m mildly congested for a few minutes, then I’m fine.

    I have the same reaction with beer, basically any food (I unscientifically tested this), and – believe it or not – ejaculation, of all things.

    I don’t remember being this way when young, it’s developed over the past 10 years or so (I’m 38). It’s not debilitating right now, but I’m worried it will progress and become intolerable.

  311. Dan D Says:

    I stumbled upon this site when I searched for ‘wine allergy’ out of curiosity and also because of symptoms I have that I’m not sure are related to the sine. I must say I’m very surprised with the vast number of responses contributing to this issue. It was impossible for me to go through all of the posts but I did find many useful informations. I did some additional reseach of medical papers and as an MD I came to the following conclusions:
    - allergic reactions come in different forms and degrees of severity.
    - the most severe form of allergy: hypersentivity, anaphylaxis involves swelling of membranes of the oral, nasal and airway, extensive skin rash, hives, can be debilitating and even life threatening. It may be difficult to determine the allergic substance but it would be wise for the sufferers to avoid such drink in the future.
    - more commonly, the reaction is less severe. The so called alcohol nasal symptoms: stuffiness, runny nose is well recognized and can occur with any alcolic drinks but probably more commonly with wine. Histamines, tannins, sulfites and alcohol itself have all been implicated but individually cannot be explained as the sole cause as they are all present in abundance in other food and drinks that do not cause the problem. It may well be that collectively they contribute to a reaction especially in people who are prone to be allergic (atopic). Regardless, it has been found that taking a longer acting antihistamine such as loratadine (Claritin) and the likes can partially alleviate the symptoms.
    - another form of nasal symptoms (rhinitis) may not even be due to allergy. This is called vasomotor rhinitis. Antihistamine is not very helpful here.
    - headache from alcohol is also poorly understood. I personally find it to be very unpredictable and seemingly more correlated to the amount of alcohol and the person’s underlying health situation.

    - a different form of nasal symptoms (rhinitis)

  312. Pay Says:

    HI! I am so glad to find this website. I have just come in from my favorite Japanese restaurant and have drank only one glass of my favorite plum wine…and I have the same symptoms I have always had after drinking this wine! Mind you, they are not as severe as they have been in the past, which is why I am able to type. But, nevertheless, I have experienced the same symptoms.

    First, it starts with pain under my shoulder blades, in the back. It is like a pressure, of sorts. Then, the pain works its way up my shoulders. I get this sensation of something going through my veins. I can literally feel the pressure in my veins, followed or accompanied by pain and burning in the pains. It literally feels as if I have had an injection of something. It gets worse as it goes down my arms, into my hands and fingers. It throbs, etc., and hurts. Then, my heart starts racing fast.

    I have known for a long time that I am allergic to sulfur, as it relates to hair care products. I never made the connection about the sulfites in the wine. I have also known that I have allergies as they relate to mold in the air (mildew especially), but, I never made the connection about mold in wine. And, I am notorious in our family and circle of friends for bad allergy problems as they related to histamines (I get shots ever six months for them). But, I never thought about histamines in wine. It all makes perfect sense.

    I knew to “cut” the effects of the wine to drink water in between sips of wine. So, I was doing that tonight, which may have helped lessen the severity of the usual effects. I also have been taking antihistamines for seasonal allergies. So they may have helped me, too.

    It is funny, though, because, we visited my inlaws over the holidays and they had some red wine in a box. The red wine caused me no problems whatsoever. But, the plum wine….whew!

    Thanks for the the posts!

  313. Sarah Says:

    Hi, I seem to develop allergies after long term exposure. The wine allergy is new. I too sneeze after my first glass of white wine, and sometime get a stuffy, runny nose and an itchy throat. My eczema has been the worst I have ever known it, especially around my upper chest and throat. My hands have swollen – mainly my fingers- and are covered in eczema. My face has started to look puffy and my skin has gone bad – very dry. Last week I had my first ever migraine after a night in with Frascati. I wonder if this is a link to pesticides? All wine triggers it – I can’t narrow it down any more.

  314. Shelly Says:

    I drink alot of red wine, always dry and very dark reds and I get a really sore red tongue and roof of the mouth, lips get dry and sore. What is it in the wine that causes this! Would love to know as I think I am gonna have to give up my red wine!

  315. Kelle Says:

    Wow! It blows me away to see all this suffering! Is this all over the world? Last night I had one glass of a shiraz/cab blend from Australia and by the time I got home the back of my neck was so tight and my head was pounding. I felt like I was getting the flu! I wonder if there is something other than sulfites in cheaper wine because I will buy Organic and still feel really awful after 2 glasses. White wine is not as bad, however I still have the flu like symptoms from white. I can’t imagine a life without enjoying a glass or 2 of wine a few times a week.

  316. Val Says:

    I am slowly recovering from the most intense headache, nausea, vomitting and palpitation episode from drinking a glass of wine about 48 hours ago. Each and every time I decide that it simply can’t be the wine, so I’ll have a glass, just this once!, I end up like this. So, as I still feel like hell, and can do very little else, I decided to surf the web and was shocked to find how totally uneducated I was on this whole sulfite saga. Thank you all for personal stories and info. which have given me a whole new perspective. No glass of wine is worth this suffering, I wonder whether ciders will be any better? What A Pity! I live in the beautiful wine growing area of Stellenbosch in South Africa, producers of some of the best wine world wide!

  317. Caroline Morrell Says:

    I love red wine but my hands and feet itch during the night. there is no visible rash!! I am allergic to aspirin-does anyone know of any connection! I love my reds and would find it hard to give it up! Tis my way of relaxing!!

  318. Gail Says:

    I am 52 and have been tested for allergies to pollens, etc. and everything came back negative. Recently I’ve noticed that I am getting colds very frequently. I blamed it on my new job with children but I have been able to determine that they come on usually on a Monday after drinking red wine over the weekend. I became suspicious that they are really colds because no one else in my family gets them. I get headaches and sinus blockage and sore throat, etc. The symptomes last for days. After reading all these posts I remember that in college I would develop little blisters on my hands after a night of drinking vodka. I also gave up drinking white wine because my stomach would be messed up for weeks. I blamed that on the acidity.
    I am going to give up red wine and see if my colds are less frequent. I understand people enjoying a glass of wine but if it makes you sick – why do it?

  319. zzzkitty Says:

    I have recently developed a problem when drinking wine, and sometimes other types of alcohol. i never had a problem when young, just in my 50′s. I have read that it could be a sensitivity to the insect content, and my mother was allergic to wasps and could not drink wine without getting sick. I have also read that it could be an enzyme deficiency. However, I thought I would write because I have discovered, strangely enough, that some cheeses totally stop the redness. I start eating a few ounces of cheese, and the flush dies away after a few minutes. Then I can drink my glass of wine with no effect. Cheddar seems to work the best, especially the Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese that I like, but other cheeses have been successful as well. This is extremely strange, and I don’t know why it works, but it has on numerous occasions now. I turned red at someone’s house recently, and asked for cheese, and it once more helped. I love wine, so I thought I would share the info. Hope it helps someone else!

  320. zzzkitty Says:

    Oops – forgot to relate my symptoms. My face and ears turn red to varying degrees depending on the wine, and my arms itch.

    And about the insects; apparently it is the hymenoptera (wasps, bees, ants)venom content in the wine that causes the problem.

  321. Arlene Says:

    Finally – I am not alone!!! I LOVE wine and developed an allergy to reds in my early 30′s, now at 42, whites have turned on me. With reds I get immediately flushed & have a heads-up to stop. With whiles, some make me sneeze (so I stop those) but others are fine… until the next morning; swollen eyelids that itch like crazy & develop into scaley flaking skin and hives on my neck and chest. I live in Santa Barbara where the wines are wonderful!!! And I now can’t drink vodka mixed with any citrus- same reaction. So I will try the claritin, the organic and the sulfite free wines- never give up! Never surrender!!!

  322. Jill Says:

    I had a horrible experience the other night. After 3 glasses of chardonnay, I ate a bunch of fresh fruit (mostly strawberries and grapes). I was completely drunk out of my mind and started throwing up violently. It took 2 days to recover. I regularly drink 3-4 glasses a night while cooking dinner and relaxing after dinner. Could the sugar in the fruit and wine make me that much drunker than usual and make me that ill? I don’t get it.

  323. Frank Webber Says:

    All wines have naturally occurring sulphites.

    Personally, I cannot drink any Whites whatsoever. I can enjoy Port and Reds.

    White wines (Champagne, sparkling etc.) are absolutely loaded with sulphites. The vintners add a lot in addition to the naturally occurring ones to prevent these wines from turning brown.

    Red wines (Port, all the different grapes etc.) naturally do have more sulphites than the Whites. However, considerably less is added by the Vintners.

    Port has the least amount added due the higher alcohol content and the super concentrated amount of tannins.

    California reds are know to have a lot of sulphite added to them. Certainly there are other regions as well.

    The main factor for added sulphite is to extend the shelf-life and collection life of the wine. All red wines without it would fall apart in three or four years. White wines would be turning brown (oxidising) within a few months.

    The problem is the consumer with the labels, does not know how much sulphite is in there. “Contains Sulphites” is pretty vague. The real reason is, if people really knew how much was added, they would likely be much more careful as to how much sulphite you were drinking.

    Most of the so called “Organic Wines” is a not true either. Organically grown vines yes, but not when it comes to the bottling the sulphites are added. There are very few wines which are “Organic” at every step of the vintnering process. And even so, if you are hyper sensitive to sulphites then even “Organic” wine is out of the question due to them naturally occurring in the grapes which is then concentrated even more in the process.

    The nice part is you can explore the wonderful world of beer which is much larger than the world of wine. Micro brews all over the world and every country has different styles and preferences. In many ways I often find beer to be more complex and satisfying.

  324. christine Says:

    Like so many people here, I have a list of increasing symptoms, and no answers! But I want to thank everyone for their input which makes me realise I am not alone.

    I’m 52 and have noticed over the last few years increasing sensitivity to some antibiotics–usually hives, or itching/burning hands and feet. Now this past year I have found myself having a strange syndrome which I have only recently connected to what I’ve been eating/drinking! (Could have been going on for longer and I just have always thought it was a virus or something.) Seems daft, but the symptoms are spread out over several days–starts with fatigue, stomach discomfort (no nausea or vomiting like some people, just discomfort under ribcage and appetite loss), and the very sore throat–at which point I think I am coming down with cold or flu. Then around third day, hives.

    On a couple of occasions I’ve questioned chefs about what they’ve used in food, but now I am thinking it might be wine, as for so many people here. Tho I only have one glass, two at most, once in a while. Probably not the sulfites, as I don’t think I have a problem with molasses, dried fruit, etc. Perhaps the histamines, as I do have seasonal allergies….

    What’s infuriating,and a common theme here, is the sporadic nature of this thing, so it’s very hard to pin down the source or identify the culprit. Just when I thought it was white wine, I cooked last night with some left-over red (a good Rioja) and in the late evening and still today (not the three days later I’ve noticed before) I’m itchy and tingly all over, but especially the face. However no sore throat or flu-like feelings…
    The increasing allergies to whatever-it-is put a dent in my recent vacation (had one glass of a lovely Falanghina with dinner and felt ill with sore throat and fatigue for three days…. but could be preservatives in food as well? like Chuck above, I wonder about both) and in a week I am going away to France (cote du rhone area!!) and then England (to be with my wine-loving family!) and I am now afraid to eat or drink anything!! Though we all know that won’t stop me!! :-)

    Obviously while away, and even more once I’m back home, I will have to keep a good food journal, eliminate all possible culprits, and then gradually introduce things one at a time….

    I suspect Dr Dan D of post 311 is right, it’s not so much one particular ingredient as it is a combination.

    All I know is, the older I get, the more allergic I am to lots of things. I’ve always tried to eat a good diet, no junk food, few processed food with lots of ingredients…but now I will have to be even more careful.
    It is mysterious and very annoying when the reaction lasts for several days and affects quality of life.

    Thanks to all for these posts. If I ever pin down the culprit/s, I’ll let you know!


  325. Pat Says:

    My husband makes good quality red wine here at home. He’s been making it for about 30 years and enjoys drinking his own, plus good commercial wines. He always has two glasses before dinner, and thats all. No more – no less. He never overindulges!
    Problem is that in the past 6 months he has developed a wheezing in his chest, and a horrible cough. He went to the doc and had a chest/lung xray, plus other tests and they came out fine.
    I have suspected that it’s the wine, but he doesn’t agree. He continues to drink it, and is getting worse.
    We were away from home for two days and he didn’t drink any wine. Got home tonight and he drank his usual two glasses. His coughing was so bad that i thought I was going to have to take him to the ER. It was really scary. Of course it has to be the red wine, but I’n afraid he will die before he admits it! DOES ANYONE ELSE GET A BAD COUGH?

  326. Shirl Says:

    One year ago, I started breaking out in itchy bumps on my chest, neck, arms and legs. Then my chin became scaly and red, I thought it was rosachia. I started buying creams for rosachia and psoriasis. I then switched from reds to white wine. My face got a little better, the scaly chin went away. But recently, in the last two days, I started having diarrhea in the morning. I have at least two glasses of wine every night. I became suspicious and decided to lookup side effects of wine, which is how I found this website, I had no idea how wine can make your body so sickly. I am now going to listen to my body, which started with itchy bumps, now diarrhea, what’s going to be next, something major? Don’t ignore your body’s messages. By the way, I’m 57 year old.

  327. Irene Says:

    This website says the “red wine headache” may be a metabolic problem, and not an allergy at all:
    I am inclined to agree, as it runs in my family.

  328. lysee Says:

    For me i get really bad headaches- Migrane quality and just feel crappy the next day.The only thing thats saves me is the Migrane meds i will take the next morning when i wake up and i feel lik ei havebeen run over by a truck.

    I live in beautiful wine country. Its all around me.Everyone wants to go out to dinner and have some the local faire.
    I have been told that I am allergic to mold. I am not allergic to sulfites. I can eat dried fruit with no problem. I personally feel its the yeast and sugars in the wine. I can’t tolerate Beer either. Sometimes i saty away and feel great, but eventually i have some and I am sick again.
    Its realy not worth it.

  329. ginz Says:

    Reading through all your varying symtoms makes me wonder why we are still drinking red wine.. I love red wine and too get the sytmoms you are all expressing, however with some reds particularly – the driest of them, i cant seem to drink merlot or cab sav, + cheaper brands>>> I get the flu like symtones + i get lockjaw. The bottom of my face gets numb-like and i feel extreme tensness in my jaws under my ears and a unstaiable thirst for water. So you may be thinking i had too many>> this is ony after about one and half glasses. i am assumign it the sulphites or tannins that i reach for the antistamines for release. IN my youth i could drink any kind of wines. but since getting older, this development of physical reation to red wine is a bit worrying. Preservatives ( aka sulphites) has to be the main cause, surely they dont make wine liek they used to. so now i stop drinking it and i enjoy a glass of champagne or white wines these days.
    i can understand as individauls we all react differntly we are made up with differnt immune systems, therfore have differnt degress of reactions. anyway cheers all G

  330. lynn Says:

    I drink a glass or two of wine about 3 times a week and have for years. I am 49. The last month, the first sip or two of wine (and just the first sip or two), I almost instantly have a dry cough and a slight tingling, I guess, in the lung area. I of course am thinking something serious may be wrong, but upon reading all this, did any of you start like this? No other symptoms. THanks.

  331. Robyn Says:

    No one has mentioned about black stools after drinking red wine -No it is not blood in my stools I have been tested.My son also gets this when drinking red wine I would be interested to hear if anyone else has this sympton and was too shy to mention…….

  332. Melissa Says:

    I drink several glasses of wine when I am cooking dinner. I have for years. Lately I have had a sorethroat and symptoms of acid reflux. Do you think it could be from the wine? I hate to think I have to give it up.

  333. legalsmartz Says:

    I am 44 and have always loved a nice cabernet. Recently I experienced the worst “sinus infection” I have ever had, 400.00 and 3 antibiotics later the symptoms finally went away. I never equated the fact that at the same time the symptoms were ceasing I had decided to drink martinis to “knock myself out” due to not being able to sleep. When I got home I went to my favorite spot and purchased 2 bottles of my favorite cabernet and after one glass I started sneezing I thought it was something in my home but then the next night I had 3 glasses and woke up in the middle of the night with my throat closed and my sinuses blocked and my head so congested that I can’t think. My man thought I was allergic to him but then I came to this site and WOW was all I could say. I feel like I was slowly killing myself and didn’t even know it. Thank you for sharing your stories and saving my life!

  334. Destiny Says:

    Red wine for the past couple of years has been causing some really bad acid reflux, but I’ve largely ignored it and continued drinking 1-2 glasses with dinner at least four nights a week. I have also been experiencing panic-attack symptoms over the past few years, increasing in the past year. I’ve has a few unexplained rashes as well. Tonight it all came together, I was drinking more wine then normal (drank about 1/2 a bottle) and broke out in a rash on my wrist, following quickly by a feeling of panic, ringing in my ears and tighting in my throat. I am still up at 12:45am hoping the symptoms will go away so I can get some sleep. My daughter brought fruit roll ups in the house and I had one of those while drinking my wine and I hear that could of increase the systems. I love wine, but its not worth this. Dumping out the rest of my bottle now and no more for me except for very special occasions of one or two glasses and no dried fruit!

  335. Renee Says:

    Does anyone have a reaction to other alcohols as well? I have heart palpitations, burning eyes, and an awful headache when I drink wine but also from other types of alcohol as well. I am wondering if it is preservatives- I do have a reaction to sulfites in food as well so maybe this is it. Also, has anyone found anything to lesson the symptoms?

  336. Lori Says:

    I found the almost PERFECT solutions to a hangover and/or wine headache. I accidentally discovered that Renew Life’s First Cleanse prevents a hangover. I was taking the supplements for a cleansing program. During this time, I drank too much one night. The next morning I was headache and hangover free. I tried taking the supplements again after drinking and had the same results. I have an allergy to red wine and absolutely cannot drink it no matter what. I feel sick, my heart races and I feel like I’m going to pass out. With white wine, I just get the usual headaches. So after drinking white wine or mixed drinks, I will take two of the nighttime supplements, and in the morning take two of the morning supplements. Works like a charm. It may or may not work for you, but it will not change the symptoms of your allergy. I believe it is cleansing the liver of toxins and, therefore, prevents my body from feeling so awful later. If you try it, read the ingredients to make sure it is the right product for you. I am not promoting it, just telling you it works for me.

  337. Suzanne Says:

    I have been terrified i thought i may have cancer in the mouth, have been to doctors twice and no answers. My tongue,roof of my mouth and gums burn like i have pepper on them, this has been ongoing for 5 weeks some days are not as bad as others by the end of the day its at its worst. i was having 2 glasses of red almost every night, now i have stopped. How long before i see the symptoms subside? This is scaring the hell out of me.

  338. Liza Says:

    Thanks for all your comments, it has really helped me. About 3 Months ago I was cleaning around my apartments and allover sudden I felt so dissy, so I blamed I started feeling very lightheaded and since i had just started a detox diet I thought that was the cause so i stopped and ate normal food, but it didn´t go away, so i went to see the Dr. whom I have been going to for the last 20 years, after doing a blood test he said he found no infection only things that my blood test showed was a massive allergic reaction, i had taken 1 or 2 glasses of red wine 2 days before the blood test, so I thought that could have been the cause I reffrained from drinking red or any alcohol atll fro a couple of weeks, the dissiness and lightheadedness went away. Last night I took 2 glasses of wine and alot of water to go with it and today I feel so lousy so I decided to check in the net, and that how I landed here. You know what I am conviced alcohol must be the cause and I can live without it !!my friend and confidant will rejoice as he hates the smell of wine in my breath.
    once again Thankyou and thank God for you all

  339. Jeremy Says:

    I experience swelling under one eyelid and in and above my mouth between 3 and 12 hours of drinking alcohol. The first time it happened was in England after drinking a beer called “bitter” which has a lot of live yeast. Since then I’ve tried to figure out what causes it and for me it’s certain ales, some wines, vodka, and much less so for whisky.

    My theory is that it’s a yeast allergy, but I often eat bread. I’m wondering if it’s only noticable in high doses which occurs in certain beer and wine.

  340. amy Says:

    I have been drinking chardonnay for years. About 3 glasses a night as i cooked and ate dinner with absolutley no ill effects. About a year ago it turned on me and I feel like i went on a college-days-drunken-bender the next day. Headache, stuffy nose–totally crappy. And always a case of the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Switched to rose (had to search to find one that I liked enough to drink) and have no ill effects with that. Can occassionally get away with a sauvignon blanc but even those can get me–no way of knowing when I’m drinking it if it’s going to hurt me the next day or not. LOVE wine and not willling to give it up–but not many restaurants around here offer decent Rose-and nor do my friends keep it in stock. Turned 50 and wonder if my ability to process chardonnay just “ran out”. Bummed-I miss a good glass of Chard. Sniff! I might try allergy meds mentioned here or the cleanse pills that someone else mentioned. Anyone else have a varietal-specific problem?

  341. Grogged up Says:

    Wow stumbled on this because I was trying to find any relationship between runny poo and wine. I started reading and found many similar stories not about the runny poo but about the going red and sometimes having hives and sometimes pretty severe attacks.
    I cannot drink red wine as I end up looking like a b grade dracula. I drink Chardonnay and really like the feeling mostly and the taste, but have been suspecting I drink too much and too often and that it is effecting my health. I do know that you can buy preservative free wine but it is quite expensive. I am going to try it and see if any difference. Because I suspect it is not one thing but the combination of long term consumption, sulphites, fruit and preservatives. Will keep you posted.

  342. kari Says:

    Thank you to everyone for the comments. Drank red wine few days ago (which I drink once every 6 – 12 mos). Never attributed the reaction to the red wine: swollen itchy red eyelids and face, almost ‘raw’ looking, hives, foggy & groggy going on 3 days now, cough, borderline nausea Nothing in my routine or time of year or seasons changed this time except the red wine

  343. mIke Says:


    You might want to see your dr and have your thyroid checked. I had similar over night icthiness, red rash and turned out my thyroid was off and my dr gave some meds and I am on the road to recovery.

    Chuck :

    Reading these posts is fascinating. I had a really bad breakout of rashes and hives (urticaria) about 8 months ago. I went to see the doctor who told me it was something I injested but could not pinpoint what it was, so he told me what kinds of foods to avoid. Wine was one of them. Eight months later, I still breakout in bumps and feel flushed, but I’m starting to think it’s wine that’s causing this reaction, though I am still uncertain if I have developed a sensitivity to food preservatives. Either way, recently I had an Argentinean Malbec one evening only to wake up in the middle of the night feeling hot, flushed, and itchy. These symptoms along with the swollen and puffy eyes, and general fatigue and foggyness lasted about 48 hours. Last night I had some red wine again, only to wake up in the middle of the night with heart palpitations. Today I have the red bumps on my body again but it’s not quite as bad as it has in the past. Going forward I will abstain from all wine and see how things go. Though I don’t want to blame my problems entirely on wine, I believe that it’s one of the culprits of my malaise.

  344. Delinquent Says:

    I read #12 with interest as my sister and I have had a similar reaction with the first sip of any alcohol–a pain or tightness of the shoulders and neck, that gradually decreases to nothing within an hour or so. I noticed a couple of years ago that I no longer have this reaction–and unexpectedly missed it because it was a good way to gauge whether that tasty cocktail had any actual alcohol in it. My mom told us that she had us tested as kids and that we were allergic to alcohol–but I suspect she was just saying that in hopes we wouldn’t drink. I never became much of a drinker anyway.

    Since I turned 50, though, I’ve noticed that occasionally when I drink wine [always white, I just don't care for red], my toes and feet will instantly swell up after the first sip. I don’t experience any of the other symptoms you folks mention… except itchy skin here & there, now that I think about it, so I’ll be watching that to see if there’s a link… but the swollen feet are annoying and may force me to give up wine. Has anyone else experienced this? I only drink one or two glasses per month and I may experience the swelling 3-4 times a year, so it’s totally unpredictable but does seem to be happening more frequently. My doctor had no clue.

  345. Shannon Says:

    thanks for your post and all the comments – wow! I too started with the itchy throat, running eyes, and crazy salivating as though I was going to be sick to my stomach. Sometimes just after a couple sips. It started with white, and now some reds (i’m constantly trying my luck!). I went to the doctor and she told me to lay off caffeine and alcohol for 1 month AND take probiotic vitamins (Lactobacillius Acidophilus & Bifidus – you can get this at any health store). IT WORKED! It was tough the first couple weeks, I was really tired and craving my Earl Grey tea. I switched to Green tea (which may still have caffeine but it’s benefits out way that I guess). Unfortunately my symptoms did return and I’m going at it again. Try it out and let me know if it helps you too!

  346. AnonyMiss Says:

    Hello all, I had to go to the emergency room yesterday when my eyelids swelled up! (Does anyone recall that scene in ‘Hitch’? – not quite as hideous but close!).

    I drink wine nearly every day (1-2 glasses), and enjoy many great meals with fellow wine lovers. Last Sunday was a marathon wine and food lunch lasting past sunset; the Wednesday night before yesterday’s ER visit was a fabulous pinot noir from Oregon to go with dinner a new French restaurant.

    Yesterday I woke up with a mildy red, swollen, and itchy right eyelid, but thank goodness we girls can cover up with make-up. I went to work as usual. By afternoon my staff were looking at me funny and trying as tacfully as possible to inquire about my eyes. 8-/ ? …8-O

    This has only happened to me once before about 5 years ago, but at the time I could not recall drinking wine before that ER visit – so the allergic reaction could be triggered by preservatives in food as well…because I am a junk food junkie too.

    The ER doctors did the same exact thing as last time: an anti-histamine and a steroidal via shot and IV, then oral maintenance and symptom-relief meds for the next few days. I still look horrendous – swollen red eyelids – but hopefully if I sweat it out on the treadmill later I can speed up the healing process.

    My amateur theory is that my body probably has a limit on how many preservative allergens it can handle at any given time, and I went One Glass Too Far on Wednesday night. I also probably don’t drink enough water. I don’t believe the quality or color of the wine has anything to do with it.

  347. Sympathetic Says:

    I can relate. I drink white wine but most bottles, particularly the cheaper ones, give me a stuffed nose, itchy nose and make me wheeze. Sometimes I will get ulcers in my mouth at the same time.

    I have noticed that it gets a lot worse if I drink the same bottle of wine the next day. I have been off wine for the last week and had some this evening, only to get the same reaction again!! The reason i am searching the web is because the bottle had – ‘Contains suplhites’ written in BIG letters so I thought there might be a link- seems I am not the only one!

  348. Ed Says:

    I had a feeling the reaction I was having was from Red Wine. It started about a month agao, itchy skin and erd areas on different parts of my body. I have hyper-allergenic skin as it is. The last week has been really bad, I wake up in the early AM itching everywhere, particularly my legs, upper arms and butt (lol). Also, I always have black loose stools the next day. After reading here I am pretty sure the itching is from the wine. I’m taking anti histamines which barely keeps it at bay and hoping it flushes out of my system soon.

    Great site!

  349. Barbara H Says:

    I’m miserable, and love the company on this website!
    For the last year, have been suffering with swelling inside my mouth, and the most wretched, blazing, humiliating diarrhea lasting about 24 hrs the day after drinking ANY kind of red wine.
    I love wine. I make my own, take winery tours, try the suggestions on wine websites.
    No more. My body will no longer tolerate even a glassful of organic stuff.
    But I’m so glad to know that this isn’t really all that uncommon.
    Back to beer, and on to the Oktoberfests!!!

  350. Barbara H Says:

    I’m miserable, and love the company on this website!
    In my 50′s now, and have been enjoying wines for about ten years.
    For the last year, have been suffering with swelling inside my mouth, and the most wretched, blazing, humiliating diarrhea lasting about 24 hrs the day after drinking ANY kind of red wine.
    I love wine. I make my own, take winery tours, try the suggestions on wine websites.
    No more. My body will no longer tolerate even a glassful of organic stuff.
    But I’m so glad to know that this isn’t really all that uncommon.
    Back to beer, and on to the Oktoberfests!!!

  351. Dandy Says:

    I am so relieved to find this web site. I do not suffer any symptoms while drinking wine, but lately I have felt like my allergies have gotten worse. Atleast that is what I thought. After reading everyone’s comments I know that I must be allergic to something in wine. I wake up with so much nasel drainage that I sometimes gag. The worst thing is that having a glass of wine makes the symptoms dissapear. This is NOT a solution. This is building a road to a huge problem. No more wine for me!

    Thank you everyone for your honesty!

  352. dave mitchell Says:

    Nobody has mentioned sleeplessness. Last night I had one glass of an Australian chardonnay we havent tried before. Went to bed at ten and was awake till about 0230, I should have slept like a baby from my days exertions. I have noticed it before but usually its after a few glasses. Reds dont seem to have the same effect thankfully. All in all its a pretty mild symptom compared to some less fortunate people on this site.

  353. paula Says:

    I am 46 y/0. About a year ago I started getting dreadful headaches & vomiting after drinking white wine or champagne. I can’t even toucvh 1/2 a glass without a severe reaction several hours later. I feel like I have been poisoned. I had always been able to drink all types of alcohol prior tho this, but these days am afraid to touch anything due to the severe reaction I have had with white wines. Is there anyone else with this problem. I am a female and possibly pre-menopausal. Could this be a symptom of menopause?

  354. Kaye Says:

    whenever I drink red wine lately, I start to blinks big time. What is the cause. It’s been happening around 1 year so far. I will not give up my wine.

  355. Reem Says:

    i am having the same exp and this is the 1st time i thought that it might be actually the wine since i really dont drink red wine alot ‘more or less in winter’!!!!

  356. Justin Says:

    I was interested in the comment by Dave #2. I too had a glass of Australian wine that I had never had before and also had a horrible sleep due to an upset stomach (racy and fluttery). Additionally, I had an itchy eye and my nose lines were red the next day. I wasn’t sure if it was a reaction the the H1N1 vaccine but I pretty much narrowed it down to the wine. Thanks Dave you helped me out.

  357. Beverly Says:

    To Paula – The same thing happens to me – started about 6 months ago. Before that I could drink wine with no problem. Now if I drink 1/2 glass of white wine, I am sick as a dog. I already went through menopause so I don’t think that is your problem – I just wish I could figure it out. I used to love white wine or champagne with dinner occassionaly – now I am scared to touch any alcohol.

  358. Janie Says:

    So happy to have found this site. Same symptoms as lots of others. Really bad rashes all over upper body, arms,neck and this year on my face. In winter Im ok but as soon as the pollen starts its all over. So Ive given up the lovely wine to see if it goes away and also any food with sulphites in it. Here in New Zealand its labeled 220 and all the numbers 220-228 are suspect. Thought about trying the odd Vodka but I think its made from wheat so anybody with a wheat allergy should be aware!

  359. Heats4 Says:

    My doctors believe I’m allergic to wine, possibly because it’s fermented which means I’d be allergic to beer, other alcohol, vinegar based foods, etc. I have terrible itching – this time it’s just on my 2 arms. I itch so bad, I scratch and break the skin. It’s uncontrolable. However, this isn’t a firm diagnosis. Now I’m thinking I may be allergic to wines aged in oak (wonder if there are any molds that grow in the oak)…. so I’m experimenting with wines aged in steel.

  360. dee Says:

    I also have had congestion problems when drinking wine-esp. red. Happens about 1/2 way through drinking a typical 4 oz. glass. Start to sneeze and then I have to grab the tissues because my nose becomes completely blocked. Not to mention my eyes. They begin to itch badly. Tried a non-drowsy antihistamine and it seemed to be the only thing that helped. But I do not want to combine anthihistamines with alcohol. I have also been to an allergist more than once. Was told: not allergic to anything–just have a hypersensitivity to irritants. So maybe it’s something in wines that irritate? Wish there was a solution other than antihistamines because I love wine!

  361. Jenny Says:

    I am so relieved that others are having the same problem. I have stopped drinking wine all together. I am scared to drink anything but one beer every now and then. The last time I had a glass of wine, I thought my husband was going to have to take me to the hospital! I felt like someone had poisoned me! I am going to the Doctor next month to find out if is is pre menopausal or what!

  362. Ursula Says:

    Comment to Paula and Beverly,
    It happens to me too. I am 49 (pre menopausal) and I used to drink red wine (usually Australian Shiraz or Cabernet) a lot. I never had any problems. I got violently sick with headache/nausea/vomiting approx 2 months ago after drinking 1 glass of red (not the same brand as my usual)I blamed it on the brand… Last night I had one glass of my usual Australian Shiraz, I was awfully pale before I went to bed but felt OK. I woke up this morning with terrible headache and nausea and I had to stay in bed all day. No more wine for me… Ursula

  363. Seany-c Says:

    I have had ’5 Seeds Cyder’ and also a few glasses of sweet white wine on weekends the past 3 weeks..ended up in hopsital everytime…I came down with a sore throat, runny nose, eyes all puffy and my tongue was itchy, oh and not to mention a big red itchy rash all over my body, head, neck and face. Im thinking it has to be something in the White wine and Cyder, like ‘Sulfites’ because thats all i had drunk on those nights. I have always drunk Vokda, and never had anything like this before. Has anyone heard of this before and can they help me? Is it the wine and Cyder?

  364. Lisa Says:

    Mystery of the rash on my face is still not solved but I am slowly putting the pieces together.

    I recently turned 50. I have been drinking red wine for years. Thinking back I can remember times when I only had one glass of wine and the next day felt like I had a bit of a hangover. But life went on.

    One day about 3 years ago I would wake up with little red spots on my face after a night of red wine. It took a couple of days for this to clear up.

    Over the past year I occasionally felt a bit of tingling in my feet and even some swelling in my hands and feet and occasionally find a itchy hive like pimple on my body. Occassionally I would even feel like something was biting me. I started calling them “itchy bites”

    About five months ago I developed a pimple on my face that itched and would come and go – It seemed to be worse after a night of red wine. It would go dormant but come back as soon as I had wine.

    Just recently, I woke up with a hive like rash on my face by my mouth and still the pimple under my nose. I played with drinking wine off and on and was beginning to see a pattern.

    A week ago, I decided to switch to white wine thinking that would be better than red wine. I woke up the next morning and my breakout reappeared and was worse with a breakout around my eyes too and the return to the usual places on my face. I went on the internet and learned that white wine actually has more sulfites than red so now I am thinking what am I going to do.

    Today, I went to the dermatologist and I explained my reactions. The Dr. never came out and said it is the wine but did say is had some sort of peri??? dermatitist which I got from ingestion of something. She said most people have a reaction to floride or cinnamon.

    Because she is not an allergist, she could not tell me what the culprit is. I was put on a 30 day antibiotic and some ointment and asked to return in four weeks.

    I am wondering if I should see an allergist. I also wonder if this can run in families. My brother is sulfite deficient but suffers from allergies and it affects him in different ways. He is a doctor and takes something like Immudyne (spell?) from a vitamin shop.

    I appreciate all the comments and feedback and still searching for answers.

  365. Noah Says:


    For the past couple of years if I drank more than a glass of wine I would start sneezing like a maniac and my nose would be a faucet of mucous. It was very upsetting as red wine is the only alcoholic beverage I enjoy drinking.

    And then! For completely separate reasons I chose to stop consuming soy products for a while. I generally had soy milk on my cereal every morning and tofu in dishes 1-3 times a week. Since I have cut soy out of my diet I have not had a sneeze or runny nose once while drinking wine.

    It has been about a month. And I have drank wine fairly regularly throughout the past month. I have rarely had more than two glasses, but at the moment I have just over half a bottle in me and I am sneeze free!! Thank goodness.

    I don’t know if this relates to anybody else’s experiences, but maybe it can help somebody.

  366. RiA Says:

    Last night being New Year’s Eve, my husband bought a bottle of Barefoot Bubbly. We have (ok, rarely) had regular wine from them and I never had a problem. I normally drink beer, rum and whiskey for alcohol. Last night after the first glass, my face felt really warm. I figured the bubbles made the alcohol absorb faster. After the second glass ( over a period of about an hour and a half) my lips and eyes were disfiguringly swollen and blotchy red, my hands were swollen and red, I had red blotches on my arms and my arms itched. I also could feel my heart beat in my lips and face and my heart felt like it was going to beat right out of my chest!
    I didn’t eat anything unusual or that I hadn’t had before.
    My husband gave me some benedryl and I went to sleep. This morning my lips are still a bit tingly, but everything else is realtively normal.

  367. Sunshine Says:

    I’ve just started feeling dreadful every morning and getting swelling directly under my eyes. Little pockets full of fluid and then they disappear during the day – I’m wondering if it’s the histimines in red wine. Has anyone else experiences this type of reaction?

  368. Heather Says:

    After only a couple of sips of red wine, I regularly experience a hot red flush from my upper chest and up my neck. If I take an anti-histimine tablet it quickly disappears. Recently I ate a large dark-red grape from a fruit platter, and I immediately came up with the same hot red flush. It does not happen with green or pale red grapes. I enjoy white wines more than red’s anyway, so now I just generally avoid red wines.

  369. Joan Says:

    I too have had swelling around the eyes, subsiding during the day. I recently took Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM tablets for a problem with my foot, The swelling dates back to this time. I stopped the tablets but will now stop my nightly glass of red wine – what a shame! I think the problem must be due to the sulphur in the MSM and also in the red wine. Does anyone know if a gin and tonic would be ok ?

  370. vicki Says:

    I keep getting itchy blisters on my elbows. I have recently realised it is shop bought white wine that does this. We have been making our own wine from kits and my skin never flared up. I had one glass of shop bought wine and the blisters were straight back the next day. They stay for about a week before they disappear.

  371. Debbie Oelofse Says:

    I am allergic to sulfides and can not drink alcohol in general, especially wine. Most wines are preserved with sulfides and the cheaper the wine, the worse the reaction. I can have 2 sips and have an immediate sneezing fit and be left with the worst “head cold” ever, for a good few days. I live in Cape Town and I have been through a few wine farms. They sterilise the bottles with a sulfide solution which does leave a slight trace and that is enough to make me sick. If you want an instant reaction give me a glass of “Amarula” but make sure there is a box of tissues on hand. I have a sneeze with every sip!! The only way around the problem for me is not to drink!!”

  372. Kelli Says:

    Hi Ursula,

    Was kind of pleased to see your comments to Paula and Beverly…..
    I suffer from exactly the same symptoms as you all do!! I don’t suffer from classic allergy symtoms such as sneezing,itching, watery eyes etc……..all I know is that sometimes all it takes is only half a glass of wine and the next day I feel like i have the worst hangover ever….bad headache and nausea. I really feel like I have been poisoned, and it always takes a couple of days before I feel normal again. I also used to be able to drink a lot more alcohol with hardly any side effects. It can happen with alcohol that I have been able to drink in the past with out a problem also. I am 39 but know that I am perimenopausal as have spoken to a fertility specialist recently. I really wonder if it has something to do with this?? It is the most awful feeling…..I suppose the only solution is not to drink alcohol. I would love to hear if anyone has found a reason as to why this happens??
    Kelli : )


  373. Rita Says:

    General info I have learned. I am allergic to malic acid which is in white wine.It is also in raw apples and lots of other foods. It causes rash and burning sensations in my mouth and on my skin and in my stomach. Most red wine has been through secondary fermentation-malalactic which removes the malic acid. I can’t have any white wine and very little red if it has a high mold or sulfite content which causes the congestion because of a histamine response. I read that some alcohol intolerance is due to lack of an enzyme ALDH which breaks down alcohol. I find that taking enzymes does help. Also wanted to mention to JOAN glucosamine can be from crab shell so if you have crustacean allergies that can cause huge reactions. I am allergic to lots of things so its been years of discovery for me. Hope this helps someone.

  374. Michele Says:

    to Kelli, Paula, and Beverly
    I am relieved (in a way) to see that you have almost identical symptoms! I have always had some type of adverse reaction, swollen sinus and terrible headache, from red wine. I stopped drinking red wine about a year ago and the symptoms were not as severe, BUT now the same thing is happening when I drink white wine as well. It is just awful… It is definitely a feeling like I’ve been poisoned. I have tried natural wines with no preservatives, wines with no sulfites, all types of reds, whites.. I love wine! But now it seems I will have to stop drinking wine completely. IF anyone has a solution or helpful information PLEASE post it. By the way, the natural wine with no sulfites seemed to be even worse! UGH!

  375. ann Says:

    i am so glad i found this site – i am sitting here after a terrible night of nausea after drinking one glass of wine last night. the same thing happened to me last weekend, and i thought i had the flu. it dawned on me this morning that it might be the wine, so i googled it and here i am – so relieved to know that others have had the same experience! we switched to a cheaper brand of white zin and ever since, if i even have one glass i wake up in the middle of the night with nausea and a fluttery heartbeat, and can’t get back to sleep for anything. kelli – i am also perimenopausal – but this did not happen to me until we switched to this cheaper wine – so i’m inclined to think it has to be something specific to the brand – does anyone know if sulfites could cause nausea? thanks everyone! Ann

  376. Kay Says:

    Yeah, I had some Cabernet sauvignon one night and got a horribly puffy face the morning after, which has never happened before. It lasted for a couple hours, and was just embarrassing to walk around with. Bleh, allergies? Perhaps

  377. Sandy Says:

    About last October I took up having a few white wines per evening Since then I believe this horrible itchy rash that started on my legs and is now appearing on my arms & back is related to drinking wine. My doctor said I was suffering from Psorisis. I accepted that at first and applied the cortizone cream to the affected areas. Now that this rash has spread there is no way I am covering my body with cortizone.

    I strongly believe that this rash is associated with the wine and as of last night I will not be having even a sip.. I hope I am correct with this as I desperatly need to be able to get back into wearing a dress and not having to cover the horrible sometimes dry and red itchy legs ( and arms)

    Is there anyone else that may have same sort of symptoms ?

  378. Yvette Says:

    It’s so strange. I love red wine, I used to drink (probably a bottle the odd evening) even if I have one glass now, I wake up at about 2:30 and am awake for hours. I have this itchy rash that coveres my neck and chin, it’s so sore and drives me mad. I just didn’t want to consider it could be the red wine. I had a glass of port last night and it seems even worse! I am very sad!

  379. Dawn Says:

    I have just experienced this issue over the past couple of months. I break out with some kind of hives (not raised). It looks like I have some kind of horrible disease. This happens after 1 or 2 glasses of wine. I thought it was only white wine, but when I switched to red (because I love wine), I had the same issue. Nobody is ever alone..that’s for sure ! LOL

  380. Rhonda Says:

    Lisa, you have been diagnosed with Perioral Dermititis. It started for me while I was entering menopause. I had a horrible bout with it and went to the dematologist who told me it was really hard to get rid of and put me on Minocyclin. I took the drug for 2 months (plus Diflucan for the concurrent yeast infection) and cleared up. I have strugged off and on with breakouts and determined that I am nut allergic (which I have NEVER had any problems prior). I ate some almonds and broke out in a terrible rash. Then I went to Sonoma County for a weekend and came home in such bad shape, I could not go out in public. I did not make the wine/POD connection until last night. My face was perfectly clear. I opened a bottle of red wine to enjoy with our dinner and had about 3 glasses. Within 2 hours, I had 2 blisters on my face. They are still present today, but going away. I believe it is the wine…which breaks my heart. This all started with menopause.

    I have found that for a limited outbreak, don’t touch the blisters/bumps. Just let them go up and go down on their own or you will have a terrible scab to deal with. I am olive skinned so I scar easily. Also, use Calendula cream rather than your regular face cream. It helps to heal the blisters. Here are a few definite things I have done with excellent results.

    Sodium Laurel Sulfate makes the problem much, much worse so I have stopped using anything that contains SLS. That includes shampoo, toothpaste, and soap. I buy only “natural” ingredient products without SLS.

    Stay away from nuts. It seems to make the problem worse.

    I have a histamine reaction to white wine, I get a very stuffy nose. I break out with red wine. Menopause has changed so many things for me!!

    Good luck!

  381. Michelle Says:

    I hadn’t been drinking much the past 5 months or so, but a couple weeks ago decided to have some Rielsing with my dinner while out. Shortly after when we when back to our room my stomach felt uneasy. I went to bed then woke up with violent pains in my stomach. Long story short I had a terrible night of diarrhea, vomiting and the chills. The next day I felt terrible as well. Naturally I just assumed it was food poisoning. Well, 2 weeks later I grabbed a bottle of Riesling at the store and decide to have a glass last night. I didn’t finish the second glass because my stomach started feeling uneasy again. A few hours later I’m up with that same violent pain, diarrhea, vomiting and the chills.

    My boyfriend and I went through an account of the last year and there was nother time I had white wine and got sick as well. Prior to this past year I could drink a bottle and no problem. (I didn’t do that often, but just sayin’

    I’ve had blueberry and blackberry (darks) since then that just gave me a stuffy nose, so there is no doubt I have an allergic reaction, even if small to alcohol.

    What a bummer and light a good thing as once! I’m scared to drink now at all because of the painful experience. It’s nothing like when you drink too much and get sick, this is way worse feeling.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one. Some people mentioned being peri-menopausa and I’m 42 so not sure how that would play in all this.

    So not fun!!!

  382. maz ballantyne Says:

    hi- its quite a relief to read that i am no the only one who has wierd reactions to alcohol. im pretty annoyed really. i used to LOVE a good red wine, and recently i discovered that i cant even have a single mouthful- i instantly get bladder infection symptoms (in fact i get a bladder INFECTION withing the next 24hours, bladder pain, pain after urination, throbbing, feeling totally wiped out etc etc etc) which i totally CANNOT explain- but it has happened twice now and so im never touching it again!!!!
    NOW i have starting suspecting a reaction to white wine as well. i have been getting symptoms like chronic fatigue, feeling really heavy in arms and legs in the morning and a bit depressed and flat, and have been regularly drinking at least 3 glasses white wine per evening.
    recently i had the flu, and i totally went ‘off’ chocolate and wine- which is unusual for me, and i couldnt believe how great i would feel in the mornings. in fact one morning i felt like almost ‘high’ i felt great. slowly i went back to my wines, (watered down initially -then back to full strength) and wo! i have noticed it feels like my flu came back, heaviness in the morning, moody and just feeling flat. yuck!
    even after switching to apple cider- i still had the same heaviness.
    i have had no alchol for 2 days now and im starting to slowly but surely ‘pickup’. this morning i had NO BACK PAIN, and no HEAVINESS in my legs and i just feel so much better!!!! so no more alcohol for me. its annoying though as i just LOVED my evening wine to take the ‘edge off’ my day, so now i guess it will be mocktails, fruit juices (not orange juice- i react to that as well!) and fizz.
    i wonder how many other people out there have been thinking they have chronic fatigue when they just have allergies???

  383. bobbyjo Says:


    I just found this site and had to respond to the question on wine and menopause. I too had terrible reactions to wine when I was going through menopause. It lasted for ages. If I had even a glass I would be sick with a headache or I would get severe digestive reactions. I can drink wine again but certain types seem to give me very itchy legs. I am not sure what the ingredient is but I expect it is either a preservative of some kind. I am also unable to eat oranges and apples for the same itchy response plus tiny, itchy white spots that appear on my face. I have been fine with organic.

  384. C BUTTON Says:

    I am highly allergic to sulphur. It has unfortunately got worse as I have gotten older. A sip of wine can send me off. Within half an hour of having anything with sulfites I get the worse stomach cramps just like labour pains (and I have had a child) and end up with terrible diarrhea. My nose and throat begin to itch and the onset of asthma and sneezing start. Sometimes it can be so bad that I get bad hot flushes and need to lie down on a cold floor. Within an hour my body begins to return to normal although my throat is sore for several hours. I cannot have beer, wine, dried fruits, balsamic vinegar, some sauces and many other foods – restaurant dinning is the worse and I tend to stick to very basic meals like steak and salad (without the dressing). Sometimes I may explain to waiter that I am allergic to wine (which is what they generally will be using in their cooking), and when the waiter asks if I am allergic to sulphur – I want to hug him. Not a nice allergy to have but life could be much worse and I have learnt to live with it (as has my husband – who tends to check labels etc faster than me).

  385. kathy Says:

    Paula and Beverly -Same here just had a baby , no menopause and I am 43 and i am certain when I drink white wine and champagne, I have issues due to my gallstones.

  386. Nancy Says:

    Sulphur, huh? About 20 years ago my husband figured out I was allergic to something in wine. Although I NEVER drank wine because I just don’t like the taste, I would still get terrible diarrhea if I ate anything with wine in the sauce. Restaurants are an adventure. Sometimes they list wine in a sauce, sometimes it is a surprise. I have a friend who is the worst ccok. Nearly everything she served made me sick. Then my husband figured out she was cooking with a lot of wine. Once I ate a ham and cheese sandwich and was sick within 20 minutes. Barely made it home. I investigated and found out the sandwich had Dijon mustard, which of couse contains wine. Now I know. Sulphur. Thank you everyone. I had ruled out everything else.

  387. Olive Says:

    What an amazing website, I too have developed an allergy and only by chance connected it to my beloved red wine. I have seen a Dermatologist and he has done several tests and biopsies on my skin and was bewildered as to what was causing the awful rash that started on my neck and eventually covered the whole of my body. I had put it down to severe stress at work last summer, but it just got worse. It got better when I was on holiday in Greece, maybe because I was only drinking the local house wines from their barrels and not bottled wine, I don’t know. I cannot understand the allergy tests done at the hospital came up with nothing as I know I dare’nt eat bread, be it fresh from the baker or sliced as immediately the corners of my mouth go very sore, and again, the bread in Greece caused me no problems. I am so glad that I am not alone as I feel so desperate at times and feel my G.P. thinks I fuss about it. Thank you all !!!

  388. Susan Says:

    I am 49 years old and i seem to be having a problem when i have more than 2 glasses of red wine – particularly at night…i will wake up in the middle of the night with a very rapid heart beat and feel breathless..sometimes feeling like i have to pass out…then i have a bowel movement shortly thereafter – is this a reaction from the red wine? It really scares me – so i have cut back to just one glass. Could someone tell me if this is a reaction from red wine or something else? It’s pretty scary, but it only seems to happen if i have more than 1 glass of “red” wine.

  389. Carol Walsh Says:

    I too suffer from white wine allergy. I was always full of cold and decided I had to start eating healthy and staying off the wine. After 3 months, I never had a runny nose once. After starting back on the wine, my cold was back again. I am now 50 and it seems to have got much worse, even after one glass, I start to sneeze, my nose runs continuously, my throat feels like it is closing in on me. I also scratch my eyes out with the horrible itch. The symptoms last for about 3 days. I love my wine which helps me to chill out .. but the price I am paying is far too high.. I am now off the wine again!!! I just wish there was something I could take to avoid this reaction. Never mind, at least I will be healthy again.

  390. ECD Says:

    I LOVE the name of this site – it’s perfect!!! I just started to show symptoms of severe allergies – but only on the weekends… I really had a feeling it was the wine (which I only have on the weekends) but everyone I spoke to laughed at me… but every weekend for the last few weeks my symptoms have been so severe: Sneezing out of control, faucet-like nose ALL DAY and non stop wherever I went, trying to change my environment constantly – finally I looked it up “allergic to wine” and found this – THANK GOD, Vindication… but oh no! No more wine?!?!?!?
    I wonder if it is just the brand, though (Barefoot -Merlot) – Probably just wishful thinking that I could just switch brands & everything would be ok :-(

  391. Metoo Says:

    I am so relieved to have found this site! I have read each and every post, some fitting my symptoms to a tee, some not. I have always enjoyed red and white wine, no problem. Just in the last couple of weeks I get hives (not itchy though); red splotches all over my face, neck, an most recently, back. Mostly with red wine. With white wine, a terrible mind-altering headache (no matter hoe much water I drink with my wine). So, I am not sure what to do now except no more wine for me! I am 37 years old, female.

  392. Sue Says:


    This is helpful. Last night I had two glasses of Australian Yellow Tail Chardonnay and my arms and legs were driving me crazy with painful itching. Like “pings” or “sharp” itching. This has happened before. I also have had times the past three years where I broke out in real hives, but under the skin. This is intermittent. I got up and took a Zyrtec leftover from three years ago when I broke out in hives after my Dad died. I thought that back then it was stress or fatigue or whatever. This is very helpful. What have you learned since this posting about your wine issue?

  393. Sue Says:



    I just posted this comment to anther writer. Here it is:

    This is helpful. Last night I had two glasses of Australian Yellow Tail Chardonnay and my arms and legs were driving me crazy with painful itching. Like “pings” or “sharp” itching. This has happened before. I also have had times the past three years where I broke out in real hives, but under the skin. This is intermittent. I got up and took a Zyrtec leftover from three years ago when I broke out in hives after my Dad died. I thought that back then it was stress or fatigue or whatever. This is very helpful. What have you learned since this posting about your wine issue?


    In the past ten years I have been to two dermatologists for what I refer to as the “winter itch.” Now that I think about it, I believe that on and off I have had rashes, itches, blah, blah, for the past twenty years. Just about the time that I turned thirty, had more money available and became a harmless social drinker. Before then, barely anything. The itching is just worse in the winter because it is winter and the furnace is blowing dry heat. I do everything right, tepid showers, nonallergenic detergents, blah, blah, blah. One derma doc game me a sedative so I could sleep through the painful itching. (did not take) It has probably been the wine all along. I tried to drink red wine at first, when I learned to drink, but that flushes me and makes me beet red. Now I realize the white isn’t doing me any good either. How are you doing?

  394. Arlene Says:

    HI All-

    I’ve been suffering with the puffy face, hives and sinus headache reaction with both reds and whites for 3 years now. (I am 44) I tried everything, no sulphites, organic, single vineyard, everything!!!!! I had pretty much stopped drinking wine, but occasionally coudn’t help myself – so I’d have a sip or 2.

    This is what I’ve discovered: if I smell the wine and feel like I’m going to sneeze or smell nothing, just musty smell (usually reds) I can’t drink it. BUT, if I smell the “notes”; herby, grassy, berry, etc. I can drink it with no issues. But it’s not consistant. Some reds, some whites. I’m having luck with Petit Sirah right now, but I also drank a Robert Hall Chard, no prob.

    Never Give Up! Never Surrender!!!!!

  395. LEANNE Says:

    Hello All … I am 53 years of age and developed a taste for wine approximately 13 years ago … over the years my pallet has changed and I am able to tell a good white from a bad white. Like most people who enjoy a wine I found that on my way home from work I would be just drooling with the thought of that lovely glass of cold chardonnay when I got home. I found myself increasing the glasses each evening until I could polish of a bottle without any trouble whatsoever … that is until I started to experience different reactions, the main being snoring which eventually affected both my sleeping and waking patterns. My husband said I even seem to stop breathing at times. A week ago I polished off over a bottle of red wine and had an awful sleep and woke up with a swollen face, puffy eyes, watery eyes, itching eyes. I haven’t had a drink of wine since … until now … and as I sit here with a glass of sauvignon blanc, I feel flushed, my feet and hands are tingling and my sinus area seems to be throbbing … so it looks like I have to give the vino away hereon .. that is sad but a necessary methinks. I have to face facts … I can now cancel that sleep therapy session with the hospital next week and throw away the nasal sprays.

  396. nicola wood Says:

    I have the same problem. When drinking white wine. I will start sneezing and my nose will become blocked, like i’m full of a cold. sometimes i will also get a rash on my chest and neck. It doesn’t happen with all wine though, just certain wines. I used to have a really bad reaction with Jacobs creek but i can drink that now and am OK?? I could do with knowing what it is in certain wines that i am allergic to so i know which ones to avoid. I am gettin married next year and really want to have white wine with my meal but don’t want to have a blotchy chest on all my wedding pics. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what in the wine I could be reacting to? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  397. Maryann Says:

    So relieved it’s not just me! I couldn’t work out why every evening that I have a glass of red wine I start to sneeze and am convinced I’m coming down with the flu’ – streaming nose and blocked sinuses. I suspect that it may be the level of sulphites in the wine as some wines seem to elicit a more severe response than others. And/or it could have something to do with approaching the menopause as others have suggested. Either way it looks like red wine is off the menu now!

  398. sandy Says:

    i drink pinot noir at night, and recently feel like in the a/m my throat seems a little swollen…congestion in the throat…

  399. Sarah Says:

    I am another sufferer who sneezes violently after a glass of wine either white or red. it then feels like I have a really bad cold for hours or even a few days. Worst reaction recently was to Turning Leaf semillion sauvingon blanc. Really bad. My daughter suffers identically although on honeymoon in Argentina recently she was sneeze free for two weeks despite staying in a wine lodge. Apparently Argentinian wine is low in sulphites but it could also be the climate because I am sensitive to dust and mould too and the climate there is very dry. I have had allergic rhinitis since I was a teenager and medical tests reveal house dust mite as the only culprit at the time. I have not been tested lately. Taking antihistamine damps down the reaction but leaves me stuffed up with no sense of smell. I have also tried a steroid spray which leads to nosebleeds eventually. It seems only solution is abstinence.

  400. Emilie Says:

    After drinking one glass of Malbec , a red wine made in Argentina I developed a fluttery heart beat and exhaustion. The first time this happened was Thanksgiving eve. It lasted until middle of the next day. I just thought something was going on with my heart. Sort of short of breath and fatigue. I had one small glass of this wine last night and in about an hour I began to feel my heart to skip, flutter and those feelings of exhaustion. I went to bed early and still felt bad when I got up. By about noon I was normal again. I am going to the MD to have my heart evaluated now but I began to think maybe it was the wine. My face flushes after drinking reds. I am glad to have found this site because now I see this could all be related to my sensitivity to this red Malbec.

  401. Tony Says:

    I have the requisite allergies mentioned by others hear. But I have found that I have NO allergic reaction to HARD CIDER. My sinuses and throat remain clear. Some of you may want to try this. If anyone knows why this works let me know.

  402. Annie T Says:

    I am wondering if there is a “mix” of specific grapes that causes the problems. I’ve had two serious episodes of dizziness, almost out of body feeling awful, and both followed the consumption of red wine with multiple grape varieties. Was it the sulphides? Was it a specific grape? Was it the actual combination of specific grapes?

  403. Patricia Victour Says:

    I found out the hard way that I was super-allergic to sulfites – should have been clued in, as years ago I had a rash from a sulfa drug (sulfa/sulfites – dude . . .) I was prescribed for some condition.

    Long story short, at 67 I was trying to give my old body a reprieve from beer and whiskey by drinking white wines, which I found didn’t have such bad hang-over effects while still delivering the “punch” that I want when I drink alcohol. Woke up one day with horrific hives all over my body. Sulfite allergy – figured that out myself – ER had NO IDEA.

    So, if you want to drink wine (I went back to Jim Beam and Bud, except when a friend brought this wine), go to Trader Joe’s and get the Well Red organic/no sulfites detected win from Heartswork Winery in CA.

  404. SanC Says:

    I find myself in a terrible situation. I do have a sulfur allergy where years ago I broke out in huge hives and my face was swollen. As the years have gone by, I started drinking red wine. My face would get flushed very easily and I would limit my drinking to only one glass, possibly two because I would find my behavior getting out of control…getting mean. I’m truly a docile person and get along with others in public and at home. Yet, I try to only drink when I’m home and after having breast cancer a few years ago, totally fine now, and always having difficulties drinking I started to rely more on red wine in the evenings. I have become very combative and extremely mean and just ugly behavior with my husband at home when I drink wine, sometimes only one glass and certainly worse if it’s two or three. He is the dearest person in the world and loves me coompletely, as I love him but I may reaching at straws but I am wondering if the wine and sulfur allergy over the years have triggered a “Dr. Jekyl/Mrs. Hyde” reaction. If I drink one or two beers or any other drink I never react this way. Needless to say I no longer drink wine as it terrifes me but I am wondering if anyone else has experienced anything similar. I am ashamed as to how I have treated by husband and am doing my best to make it up to him but my last couple episodes have certainly changed his affection toward me, and understandably so because he is not sure who the real me is…..PLEASE if anyone else has expereinced complete mood swings on red wine & has a slfur allergy please let me know asap. Thanks!

  405. Darren Says:

    Over the past couple of weeks I felt I was coming down with a cold. My ears and nose were completely congested to the point my hearing was bad and loud music and voices were irritating because of the vibration. I kept thinking to myself over that time frame that the symtoms were weird in this way: 1) I would be fine one day and then the congestion would start up the next day. In other words my congestion would come and go. 2) It lasted 3 weeks (usually the common cold last a week. 3) I didn’t have any fever–just cold symtoms. Finally, I had a glass of red wine the other night (italian mix) and after one glass my hearing and nose completely stopped up. It dawned on me I was having an allergic reaction. I searched the website and found this site. I’m not the only one. I’m 43 years old and have drank wine for about 20 years with no issues. However, I am allergic to other things like fish and shell fish. I break out in hives–histamines. It’s funny how you can live your entire life doing something and then “bam” your struck with a new allergy. Thanks for all your information. I’m a wino so I have some experimenting to do.

  406. Glyn Says:

    Having a wine allergy where I live is a bit like being a vegetarian in Italy, very very bad luck. If you are lucky enough not to suffer from either of the two, I can suggest a glass of “Testa Matta” by Bibi Graetz, alongside a really fat Bistecca alla Fiorentina!

  407. Quartz Says:

    Anything in the world can trigger an allergic reaction, wine being no exception.

    For me, it’s the pesticides (though it isn’t an allergy, but rather a sensitivity–the difference between the two is that an allergy is caused by a histamine response, a sensitivity is any other kind of reaction). I can have organic wine, organic grapes fine, but anything that’s been sprayed, migraine within ten minutes, and sick for hours to days afterward.

    Lawn chemical exposure–let’s just say spring in the midwest is hell. Get lovely fluid filled cysts in the breasts that make it hard to breathe, hell cramps and gushing periods (to the point where it’s medically defined as hemorrhaging), all because people have some bizarre, freakish phobia of a dandelion. And the same people wonder why their pets get mange hmm, right at the same time they spray their lawns. Must just be a spring allergy. Yeah, that’s right. The chemical man said the chemicals are harmless, therefore they must be, just like the tobacco industry used to claim cigarettes were not only harmless, but good for you.

    OK, semi-off-topic obsessive born-from-pain soapbox over, more useful information regarding this thread: some of you might well want to try organic wines if anyone carries them in your area, I know it makes a big difference for me.

  408. Ashley Faulkenberry Says:

    After drinking a glass I have noticed a small rash on my neck a chest but i shrugged it off like it was nothing bc I never thought it could be the wine but tonight at dinner I drank 2 sips of wine and my husband asked me if I was ok..little did I know that my face was completely red and swollen and I have hives on my chest and back. I took and allergy pill and now I know it is the wine and I’m just trying to figure out what in the wine is causing me to do this.

  409. Sarah Says:

    To San C-
    It is NOT a wine allergy. It is alcohol. Yes, it can make some folks become a mean demon because it is an intoxicant that makes the brain function in a way that is disinhibited. It does not translate you into your “real self” as a bad person. Everyone has a mean side. Being civil and socialized as a human makes us learn to curb our aggression. Alcohol can be more dininhibiting on some than others. You know, folks that work hard to project themselves as docile are folks tend to be the ones that do so because they unconsciously repress a very aggressive part of themselves – for good reason. I have also noticed that folks that have a flavor of Bipolar disorder in their family tend to gravitate to alcohol and may even become very out of control while intoxicated.
    Moral of the story – alcohol is not for everyone. Move on, your man will forgive – just stay away from the stuff and be the loving person you have worked in your life to be to him.

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