Good UK source for low sulphite wine

As I’ve noted before, I have a problem with wine and foods with sulphites as preservatives (e.g. see here).  I’ve been searching for wines that are low in sulphites, but so far it has proved hard to find out cleanly, albeit that organic wines seem to be better.  I had a comment on the post noted above from John whose partner has the same issue, and has started a on-line wine merchant called Good wine online that specialises in lower sulphate wines.  We bought a selection to try :-

Wine selection

So far we’ve had a couple of bottles and they’ve been great.  No ill effects at all (normally I get something, even if it is tolerable).  They have a pretty wide selection, so I am a convert, and am retiring the old static page I used to have on wines I’d found to be ok … though I am copying it below in case folks want the info.

EDIT : I’ll add this here as this page gets seen a LOT.  I’ve also found that a direct wine supplier that we used some while back seems to be fine.  They are called Chateau Bauduc, and their website is here.  The wine we absolutely love is the Bordeaux Blanc (see here) – it’s a house white at Rick Stein’s restaurants, and the best white wine I’ve ever had (not that I have a lot of white wine).  Put simply, we don’t buy white anywhere else, good wine online included (much as we like them).

———–Old static page on sulphite safe wine is below —————-

Some while back I wrote a post on sulphites in wine. Since then I have from time to time experimented with wines that are or might be lower in sulphites (often organic), some of which have been fine, and some much less fine. I thought it might be useful to start a list of wines that have proved OK at least for my level of sensitivity. Please leave a comment if you have also sensitive to sulphates and have found wines that seem OK.

BTW, I do know that the scientific method used sucks – no repeated controls, no double blind, no variable isolation … this is just records. I did try and find a sulphite tester so I could directly measure the sulphite levels, but so far I’ve not had any luck.

Stellar Organics Pinotage (ASDA)

Tastes pretty good – much better than some organic wines wines. Fairly full flavour. Labelled as containing sulphites, but South African and Organic both help keep the amounts down apparently. Had about half a bottle on several occasions with no effect noticed. Did have a very mild effect when I had ~3/4 of a bottle, but may well have been due to hayfever. ( April 08 )

Terra Organica Bonarda Sangiovese (Somerfield, £5.19)

Very smooth, not too strong, but tried with a curry, and went well. Has 3/4 of a bottle with only the most marginal of ill effects – at the level where I doubt whether they are real, or I think they are there just because I am thinking about it. This is the only organic wine I could find in Somerfield ( May 08 )

Fairtrade Argentine Malbec – Famatina Valley (Co-Op, ~£5)

Pretty uninspiring. Not especially smooth, not a particularly full flavour (for a 14% wine). No after effects noticed the next day, and not bad per se., but not something we’d buy again as it feels like there are better things to do with a fiver. Bottle is wider at the top than the bottom as well which makes it fit badly in a wine rack. ( May 08 )

Cotes de Rhones Villages (Co-Op, £7)

Totally failed to remember to update this when we had either of the two bottles I got. No sulphate effect that I detected though. Pretty smooth and rich taste – I’d certainly get it again.( June 08 )

Tempranillo La Mancha (Co-Op, £4.25)

Was OK as I recall – no real sulphate effects( June 08 )

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7 Responses to Good UK source for low sulphite wine

  1. Pingback: Sulphite intolerance and wine « Greg Pyes blog

    • Lisa says:

      hi, please could you let me know the suppliers name for the sulphate freen wine has i started with asthma 14 years ago, and have had bad sinus problems and had seeveral operations on the sinus. I have been researching the effect on wines and sulphates in wine, has i do drink wine.

      Kind regards

      Lisa

  2. Pingback: AWToday 18/01/09 « AWToday

  3. peggy k says:

    Are beringers and sutter home wines low in sulfates?

  4. Greg says:

    No idea I’m afraid. If they are organic then it’s a good start.

  5. Pingback: Excellent : Sulphite level labelling on wine | Greg Pyes blog

  6. john lang says:

    Hi Greg (everybody else)

    Just to answer a couple of the questions here. Both Beringer and Zutter Home will have a comparatively high sulphite content. Producing wines with low sulphur is labour intensive, expensive and potentially risky as any error can ruin the whole batch of wine. So no big brand will even attempt to do so as the risks outway the reward. If you’re after low sulphur US wines opt for US certified “organic” as these are not allowed to add sulphur. Incidentally in the EU the corresponding term is actually “Wine made from organically grown grapes” and ONLY CERTIFIES THE GRAPE GROWING – up to 80 different chemicals are permitted to be added at the wine making stage!!! Even Biodynamic wines are permitted to add up to 90 mg/l of sulphur!! If you’re looking for low sulphite or sulphite free wines in the UK, the best place is our website http://www.goodwineonline.co.uk as we specialise in these wines plus have a lot of information on the subject.

    Just another technical point which many people confuse, it is sulphites which are the problem, not sulphates. Sulphites have either 2 or 3 oxygen molecules and are very aggressive at seeking out further oxygen – which is why they are used as an anti oxidant, and which is also why they cause allergic reactions in some people. Sulphates have 4 oxygen molecules and are quite content and “full up”.

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