Does organic wine really prevent hangovers?

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Every time my birthday approaches, I inevitably find myself with a card telling me that I have aged like fine wine. While flattering, it’s also a sign that I’ve gone from my 20s to my 30s. And while I’d like to think I’m aging (a bit) gracefully, the truth is, I’m starting to feel older, especially when it comes to hangovers.

So when I read that organic wines decrease wine problems the next day – and have additional health benefits – I almost cried. Full-bodied reds are my vice, and while I could drink them like water in my 20s, my 30s turned out to be a different story – and a lot more painful. Is organic wine the fountain of youth I was looking for ?!

Organic Wine 101

As more and more people flock to organic food, it’s no surprise that organic wines are attracting a lot of interest and controversy. But as with food, what makes wine “organic” and the benefits of it can be a bit confusing.

The Cliff’s Notes version is that organic wine is made from ingredients grown without herbicides, pesticides, or any other synthetic or man-made chemicals. While many believe this only applies to grapes, it means whatever is in the bottle, which can include lots of added ingredients like preservatives, yeasts, colors, added sugar, and sub. animal products.

Say what? If this surprises you, it’s probably because, unlike most foods and beverages, wine is regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, as opposed to the United States Food and Drug Administration ( USDA), and is not required to list the ingredients. on the bottle. Not worrying at all …

The good news is that really organic wines must be USDA approved, just like fruits and vegetables. And 100% organic certification is not really easy. For the stamp of approval:

  • Grapes should be grown without synthetic fertilizers and in a way that protects the environment and preserves the soil.
  • Agricultural ingredients that go into wine, such as yeast, must be certified organic.
  • Non-agricultural ingredients must be on the national list of permitted and prohibited substances and cannot exceed 5 percent of the total product.
  • Sulphites, which are commonly added to wines to preserve the flavor profile or stop the fermentation process, cannot be added.

Not too bad. But it’s fair 100% biological. Other certifications include “organic” and “made with organic grapes,” which each have different standards. And to complicate matters further, there are other categories, like “biodynamic” and “natural” wines, which also have their own meaning, and, you guessed it, standards and guidelines. Oh, and that’s right in the United States – other countries, like Australia (another popular producer of organic wines), have their own certifications and guidelines. Does sobriety sound good already?

Drunk with love: rumors

It’s true that hangover-free mornings after wine nights originally caught my attention, but that’s not the only reason people go organic.

Some claim that the lack of pesticides improves the taste of grapes, and therefore of wine. Others insist that the nutritional value is higher, and therefore the health benefits are greater. And then there are those who argue that organic is better for the environment and, in turn, better for you. (“It’s a circle of life!”)

Then there are anti-molds and sulphites, which believe that organic wine varieties lower the risk of allergic reactions, such as hives, headaches, and breathing difficulties. But no claim is as appealing, or as evoked, as the one about no hangovers, an argument largely based on these sneaky sulphites.

Interesting? Certainly. Factual? To be determined…

Debris: science

My palate and I are happy to report that organic wine has many redeeming qualities.

According to a study of 74,000 bottles of wine—where was i when they were looking for testers?– organic wines do indeed taste better. And although I am not a sommelier, I agree. From what I’ve sipped — and I’ve sipped– organic wines tend to have more robust flavors (what experts call “alive”). Why? It is believed that the lack of pesticides allows the soil to thrive, which improves the flavor of the grapes. Would you watch this?

But unfortunately better taste doesn’t necessarily mean better nutrition (if it did I would eat ice cream all day, erryday).

While it is true that some organic foods are better for you, little research suggests that organic wine, in particular, provides more nutrients than non-organic ones. That said, the potential harms of pesticides – more research is needed, but some studies point to possible developmental delays and links to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and ADHD – are enough to convince me that organic wine might be. a better choice. Especially when you consider that grapes are number five on the Environmental Task Force’s 2018 Dirty Dozen list, with the latest findings indicating that 96% of conventional grapes are positive for pesticide residues.

As for those hangovers… if alcohol without a hangover sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is.

On the one hand, organic wines have lower amounts of sulphites – organic wine can only contain up to 10 parts per million (ppm); conventionally processed wine can contain up to 350 ppm, which if you are allergic to sulfites could definitely mean a smoother tasting. But that would mean you’re part of the 1%, which in this case is the small percentage of the American population that actually suffers from true sulphite sensitivity.

On the flip side, the evidence doesn’t support that sulfites cause hangovers in the first place, so stop salting the sulfur! If you want to point the finger at the histamines and tannins. Or, you know, alcohol.

Which brings me to my next point: alcohol! While organic wines can be lighter in nature and less alcoholic, ultimately alcohol is alcohol, and overconsumption will lead to a hangover (unless you have superpowers that you need to talk to us).

Much to my regret, I tested this theory, and although the results were mixed, I will never forget the morning I woke up after drinking a few glasses of organic Australian Chardonnay and barely could open it. my eyes from the piercing pain that ran through my forehead. Maybe I’m secretly Harry Potter, maybe it’s because I’m 30, or maybe it’s because… alcohol.

Takeaway meals

Organic wine won’t protect you from a hangover or provide noticeable nutritional benefits, but it tastes great and means you ingest less chemicals, which in my opinion is a plus. What really matters is personal taste – yes, taste in terms of flavor, but also general preferences like price and environmental considerations. My advice: do your own experience, because a.) It’s an excuse to drink wine, and b.) You can decide for yourself which wine is right for you you.

This story originally appeared on Greatand is republished here with permission.

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