I am freaking out right about now and frankly in disbelief. It all started last Summer when after a day of celebrating Michael’s birthday I woke the next morning feeling as if I had a severe case of the flu coming on. Major sinus infection, chills, the works! I never in a million years thought it was due to the Chardonnay I so wonderfully enjoyed. It wasn’t until another episode occurred that I shook my head and said “NO way!” I ran to my handy helper and “Googled” away! Sure enough I found much information on the many allergic reactions to sulfates, a preservative commonly used in Wine. Since I am a seasonal Chardonnay connoisseur I brushed it off, NEVER thinking it would happen with my Merlot. After all, all the reports stated that white wines have a higher content of sulfates, and I can probably live without sulfates thanks to the many organic options out there.
Well, not so fast. Don’t think its sulfate related after all. This fall I’ve suffered from allergies more than I normally do. Blamed it on rag weed and pet dander. NEVER thought it had anything to do with the glass of Merlot I so look forward to after a long days work.
As many know I am one who listens to their body and truly analyzes all the effects different foods give me. I went back to reading & research. Luckily I came across a great site for Beekman Wines & Liquor out of Glen Rock, NJ. True to my heart this liquor store keeps a blog of great information on wine & alcoholic beverages. I came across a post on RWH (Red Wine Headache). Luckily I don’t suffer from the headache part, but since it is related I read on. Much of what was written made great sense, but since it didn’t exactly pertain to sinus/stuffy nose I decided to drop them a line explaining my dilemma.
Less than an hour after pressing send, I received a great note from Joel Mitchel of Beekman Wine & Liquors. Got to love good customer service
What I loved about his note was that he reiterated what my instincts were already telling me. Below are a few of the steps he suggested I take:
1. See an allergist. They may be able to test you for various sensitivities common to wine.
2. Try taking an antihistamine before drinking. Even a VERY small dose (half or even 1/4 of a pill may alleviate your symptoms with no alcohol/antihistamine danger.
3. In my experience, Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs cause fewer problems than other wines. Also French wines may be better for you than American.
4. You might also try some organic wines. More and more are available today. Many French (and other) wines are produced organically even if they make no claim on the label. You may have to do some research.
Joel also made a good point. He stated how it clearly wasn’t red vs white related ruling sulfate out and pinpointing to another component found in wines that I may be sensitive to. Unfortunately don’t know what that is…yet!
When I tell you that Wine stores and Vitamin shoppes are my “libraries” I am not kidding! I LOVE standing before a wall filled with all the varieties reading about them all! There are nights where I actually dream about living beside a beautiful wine vineyard!
So no, this is not the end! I will find out what is going on. I will test and research and learn. I know I am not the only one out there, and know that this will not end my love affair with my Vino….maybe just for the time being.
No joke, I was in bed all day Saturday after simply enjoying two glasses of Merlot! That was not good! Now its becoming a quality of life issue, and that I will not accept.
On that note…stay tuned. My allergy free wine journey has begun!
Until the next time….Enjoy a clean living preservative free day!
Besos y Abrazos…xoxo “….Barbara por Atras, Barbara por Adelante, y Siempre Barbara por Adentro!”
PS. Thank you Joel! Looking forward to meeting you in person during my next visit to North Jersey! ~ Beekman Wine & Liquor