Oh, Mickey. You Sulfite. You Sulfite, You Blow My Mind.

Over the past couple of months, it has come to my attention that I may have intolerance to sulfites. It’s generally used as a preservative in some foods, which THAT is no big deal. In fact, maybe cutting out foods with those asthma-inducing preservatives is probably a good idea. It might help reduce this Miss Muffet’s tuffet’. However, sulfites are also commonly found in alcohol, especially wine. Especially red, dry wines.

Commence dramatic weeping.

Upon initial research, I found that white wines or other clear alcohol (VODKA!) may be better tolerated for sorry souls such as I. This was a glimmer of hope as I just don’t like white wines (and Zinfandel? That bastard of wines will not even get past my front door.), but I keep a couple of bottles of Vodka in the freezer, ever at the ready for emergencies.

The other night I craved a Bloody Mary (spicey! With pepper!! And O! M! G! horseradish!!) so I threw one together, garnishing it with a couple of pickled asparagus spears. I soaked in the beauty, both visually and gastronomically. Thirty short minutes later I felt the tightening of the sinuses at the bridge of my nose followed shortly by tell-tale faint wheezing.

I am gutted.

At a recent family gathering, I was offered a glass of wine. I declined and explained my sensitivity. “OH! That’s going to suck. What are you going to do?”

I responded, “I suppose mainlining heroin would be considered a ‘bad thing’?

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8 thoughts on “Oh, Mickey. You Sulfite. You Sulfite, You Blow My Mind.”

  1. I have actually found a better selection of sulfite free wines online, and it is delivered to my door! No driving to the store! Yeah!
    I have to ask, was the pickled asparagus from the store? if so that could have been where your reaction came from. The preservatives on pickled things are sometimes sulfate based, I have problems with that but never have I had an issue with Vodka, cheap or the good stuff. Wine will give me massive headaches and stuffy nose though, unless I quit being a cheap-ass and buy the sulfite free. You may want to check the label on your tomato juice/Bloody Mix, that could have added sulfates as well.
    Make sure that you never take Sulfa antibiotics if you are having these severe reactions to wine. I found out the hard way, felt like my head was going to explode and was covered head to toe in a lovely red bumpy rash after two days of the sulfa anitbiotics. Just in time for my friend’s wedding, with a backless dress even. I was SO BEATIFUL, NOT! 😉

  2. With the others on the sulfite-free wines. I’ve had them, but there’s not much of a selection, even near us. Whole Foods has the best selection, which is why it’s rare we have them. (I have trouble with sulfites too, though it just gives me weepingly blinding headaches. I medicate by running. Turns out a run is pretty damn effective at taking the edge off of things. Endorphins or something like that.)

  3. Alcohol clogs up my sinuses and stuff too. It may not be just the sulfites – it may be the alcohol itself. I guess heroin is the only way to go…

  4. You can find sulfite-free wines, but you have to look. (My MIL has the same problem, so we are used to this.) Try looking into any organic wines you have available — we get several at Publix, but I don’t know if they are a national grocery chain.

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