Why Does White Wine Make Me Sick And Red.Does Not

Do you find yourself feeling unwell after drinking white wine, while red seems to have no effect? You’re not alone.

Many individuals who are sensitive to certain compounds in alcohol can experience an adverse reaction when consuming white wines but feel fine when they drink reds.

In this article, we’ll investigate why this is and what the science says about it.

Read on to learn more about why white wine may make you sick and red doesn’t!

Difference Between White And Red Wine

White wine and red wine differ in many ways, from their color to the types of compounds present within them.

White wines are generally lighter in color than reds due to the difference in how long they stay in contact with grape skins during fermentation. Generally speaking, white wines have a more delicate flavor profile that can include hints of citrus or floral notes while red wines tend to be bolder with flavors such as dark fruits, herbs, spices, leather, tobacco, and oak.

The acidity levels also vary significantly between whites and reds; with most white wines having higher levels of acidity than those found in reds.

A major factor influencing why some people may experience an adverse reaction when consuming white wine is related to the type of compounds present in each variety. Many white wines contain histamines which are natural byproducts of fermentation and act as preservatives for the beverage. Histamines can cause allergic reactions if consumed at high enough concentrations and this could explain why one might feel sick after drinking white wine but not after drinking red.

Additionally, there are other aromatic compounds like sulfites that occur naturally in both varieties of wine yet may be added at higher concentrations in certain whites resulting in negative side effects such as headaches when consumed excessively.

The last piece of the puzzle lies with tannins which contribute much of the flavor complexity found within a bottle of wine. Red wines typically contain high amounts of these polyphenols whereas whites usually possess lower levels since less time was spent fermenting on grape skins where tannin molecules reside. This could explain why some individuals find themselves feeling ill after drinking white while experiencing no symptoms with its darker counterpart – because whites lack enough tannins to help absorb any potential allergens present within them before consumption.

Types Of Compounds Present In Wine

Whereas white and red wines differ in their composition, they also contain a variety of compounds that contribute to the flavor.

For example, tannins, polyphenols, and acids are all present in both types of wine. Tannins give the drink a bitter taste, while polyphenols add color and body. Acids provide balance between the sweet and sour elements found in the beverage.

The amount of each compound can vary from one type of wine to another; for instance, white wines tend to have fewer tannins than reds do. This may be why some people find white wines more palatable than reds.

Additionally, certain additives such as sulfites or preservatives might cause an adverse reaction when consumed by those with allergies or sensitivities.

Alcohol itself is also a factor contributing to potential reactions after consuming any type of alcoholic beverage. Those who are sensitive to alcohol may experience symptoms like nausea or vomiting even if they only drank small amounts due to its concentration level in drinks like wine.

Knowing how your body responds and what it needs is key to understanding what could lead to uncomfortable experiences when consuming these beverages.

Alcohol Sensitivity And Its Symptoms

Alcohol sensitivity is a reaction to the alcohol content of certain types of drinks, such as wine. It can cause nausea, heartburn, headaches and other unpleasant symptoms after drinking.

Although some people may experience these reactions when consuming any type of alcoholic beverage, others might find that they are only sensitive to white or red wines in particular.

White wines contain higher levels of histamines than red wines do; this could explain why some individuals experience more severe reactions when drinking white wines over red ones.

Histamines are naturally occurring compounds found in many foods and beverages; for those who are intolerant to them, ingesting even small amounts can lead to an allergic-type response.

Even though both types of wine contain sulfites—another compound known to trigger allergies in some individuals—white wines tend to have higher concentrations.

In addition to having different levels of histamines and sulfites, white and red wines also possess varying levels of tannins which can affect how easily our bodies metabolize the alcohol.

Tannins are plant substances that give flavor and color to wine; since white wines generally don’t contain as much tannin as their red counterparts do, it’s possible that the body processes them differently resulting in various sensitivities among drinkers.

This could be one explanation why some individuals experience adverse effects from one variety but not another. Transitioning into the next section: understanding the role that histamines play in developing a tolerance or intolerance towards certain types of wine is essential for managing any associated discomfort or health concerns.

The Role Of Histamines In Wine Intolerance

As we have explored, many people experience varying levels of sensitivity to alcohol. While some individuals may only feel a slight discomfort after drinking, others may even become ill from it.

But why does this happen? The answer lies in the role that histamines play in wine intolerance.

Histamines are naturally occurring substances found in plants and animals, including humans. In wine, they can be created during fermentation when certain types of yeast interact with proteins in grapes or other fruit used for winemaking. These compounds act as natural preservatives by preventing spoilage, but they can also cause an allergic reaction if consumed in large amounts.

For those who are particularly sensitive to histamine reactions, white wines tend to contain higher concentrations than reds because the skins of the grapes used for whites are removed before fermentation whereas reds ferment with their skins on which helps reduce histamine production.

As such, these individuals will often experience unpleasant symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and nausea after consuming white wine while being able to tolerate red without any issues. With knowledge of how histamines affect different types of wines comes greater understanding and opportunity to manage one’s own alcohol consumption so as to avoid uncomfortable side effects altogether.

How To Reduce The Symptoms Of Alcohol Sensitivity

Alcohol sensitivity is a common problem for many people, and can be especially difficult when it comes to wine. While white wine tends to make some individuals feel sick, red wine does not have the same effect.

To reduce the symptoms of alcohol sensitivity when dealing with wines, there are several steps that can help. Firstly, limiting your intake of wine is important. This means having smaller glasses or splitting bottles between friends if you would like to enjoy a glass of wine together. When choosing types of wine, selecting ones with lower alcohol content can also help reduce symptoms.

Red wines tend to have more tannins than whites which may contribute to fewer side effects due to their bitterness suppressing sweetness in the drink. Alternatively, looking into organic wines might be beneficial as they lack sulfites that could potentially cause bad reactions in certain people. It’s also essential to remain aware of how much you’re drinking as well as any possible triggers that might lead to an adverse reaction from consuming alcoholic beverages. Eating food before or while drinking can slow down the absorption rate and lessen any potential risks associated with alcohol consumption.

Additionally, taking vitamins and supplements such as probiotics or antacids may alleviate some uncomfortable feelings after imbibing on drinks containing ethanol. Overall, reducing one’s intake of white wines and opting for other options such as low-alcohol red wines or organic selections instead should help minimize any adverse reactions associated with alcohol sensitivity when enjoying a glass of vino here and there responsibly. Knowing what works best for each individual is key in avoiding unpleasant experiences related to drinking alcoholic beverages overall.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Wine Give Me A Headache?

Wine can give some people a headache, but it is not necessarily the cause.

In fact, certain types of wine are more likely to trigger a headache than others.

White wines typically contain higher levels of histamines and sulfites which can cause headaches in those who are sensitive to them.

Red wines have lower concentrations of these compounds, so they may be less likely to result in a headache.

However, everyone’s body chemistry is different – if you find that red or white wine gives you a headache, then it might be best to avoid both.

How Can I Tell If I’m Sensitive To White Wine?

If you’re wondering if you’re sensitive to white wine, it can feel like a daunting task! Luckily, there are simple steps that you can take to determine whether or not white wine is causing your discomfort.

First and foremost, observe the effects of drinking only one type of wine at a time. If after a few glasses of white wine, you experience symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness or an upset stomach – then it’s safe to say that you may be more sensitive to white than red.

Additionally, pay attention to how quickly your body absorbs the alcohol from different types of wines. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the effects much faster when consuming white than other varieties, this could also be another indicator that your system reacts differently with certain drinks.

All in all, understanding your own individual responses is key in finding the perfect tipple for any occasion!

What Other Beverages Can I Drink If I’m Sensitive To White Wine?

If you’re sensitive to white wine, there are a variety of other beverages that can take its place in your diet.

If you like the taste of alcohol, try switching to red wine or hard ciders which have lower levels of histamines and sulfites.

Non-alcoholic drinks such as sparkling water with added flavors, herbal teas, and kombucha are also great alternatives to white wine.

Additionally, if you’re looking for something with more flavor than water but less sugar than juice, consider trying infused waters made with herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Are There Any Health Benefits To Drinking Red Wine?

Red wine has been linked to several health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease.

Studies have also shown that moderate consumption of red wine can potentially reduce inflammation and improve cholesterol levels.

Additionally, red wine may provide some protection against certain types of cancer, as well as help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

However, it’s important to note that the key is moderation: drinking too much alcohol can negate the potential benefits and cause adverse effects on your body.

Does White Wine Contain More Histamines Than Red Wine?

White wine contains more histamines than red, which can be the cause of feeling sick after drinking it.

Histamine intolerance is actually quite common, and affects people differently depending on their individual thresholds for tolerance.

While there are no definitive medical studies that prove white wine has a greater concentration of histamines than red, anecdotal evidence suggests this to be true in many cases.


My conclusion is that there are many factors to consider if you find yourself feeling sick after drinking white wine. Though it may be frustrating not being able to enjoy a glass of your favorite beverage, it’s important to listen to our bodies and respect its needs.

It turns out that red wines don’t have the same effect on me as whites do; in fact, they offer some health benefits! So while I can’t indulge in my beloved vino bianco, at least I know there are other options for me so I can still enjoy a nice glass of wine.

Who would’ve thought?

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