If you are one of the many people who tend to develop headaches as a result of drinking wine, especially red wine, you may be on the hunt for one that isn’t going to have that effect on you. Wine headaches ruin your night, and the resulting migraine can last for a really long time, which could affect your psychological state. This is an unfair price to pay for enjoying a favourite drink.
So, how do you keep these pesky headaches at bay? Here are the eight best types of wines that don’t cause headaches:
1. Wines with lower tannins
It is believed that the tannins in red wine are one of the possible causes for wine headaches. Tannins are found in different parts of the grape like seeds, stems, and skins. Red wines typically are higher in tannins, so if you’re a red wine lover, you may want to opt for one that’s lower in tannins, or switch over to white.
2. Red wines with lower tannins
Although some types of wine are characteristic of their low tannins, like Merlot, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel, you are better off hunting the labels or asking your local wine store which wine they would recommend that is low in tannins. Use these wines as a guide, but make sure you know if they are truly low in tannins or not. Certain grapes and certain types of wines can vary in tannin levels depending on where they are from and how they are made.
3. White wines
If you are trying to go for low tannins, white wines are almost always lower in tannins than reds. While a select few may be a bit higher in tannins, it is much easier to find low tannin whites. White wines are popular choices among many people, because they typically do not cause the headaches that most people experience.
4. No sulfites
This is a controversial point. Some researchers say that individuals who drank wine without added sulfites seem to say they do not get the subsequent headaches. However, sulfites are known to cause problems with breathing, but not headaches, so others believe there is no way sulfites are the culprit. However, if you want to give it a shot, try a wine without added sulfites. Sulfites occur naturally in wine, but are also added to increase the shelf life of the wine.
5. Cut the histamines
Your headache may also be caused as a reaction to the histamines found in wine. These are typically more common in red wines, as they are found in the grape skins. Opting for wines that are lower in histamines – for example, dry white wines like Chardonnay will decrease your chances of getting a headache.
6. Wines low in congeners
Congeners are found in darker wines, so once again it is best to opt for lighter reds or whites. Typically it is red wines that cause headaches, so it makes sense that many of the ingredients and characteristics of these wines are the headache-causing agents.
7. Avoid the tyramine
Often found in aged foods and drinks – wine included – tyramine is an amino acid that some people are unable to break down. For those who cannot break it down, it will cause headaches, and they should try to avoid food and drinks that contain it. Because tyramine is found in wine, it’s kind of hard to avoid, however if this is your problem, try to avoid other tyramine heavy foods when drinking wine. This will decrease the tyramine levels you are ingesting.
8. American wines
Studies have shown that California, Oregon, and Washington wines tend to be a little easier on the head, while wines from France and some other regions tend to cause headaches. Try drinking American wine to avoid a headache.