Invisible dangers

On Sunday morning I went surfing with a slight hangover. It’s not something I do too often these days, with wine so much a part of my life I tend to be careful with my consumption – but the significance of Sunday (and cause of my surprise) was that I had only consumed a half bottle of sauvignon blanc, with food, the night before.

As I sat in the chilly waters and the occasional wipe-out cleared my head, I began to suspect sulphur as the culprit, not alcohol. My headache had set in on Sunday night already and persisted in the night, so it wasn’t like the morning after ache. Some reading into sulphur additions in wine led to the interesting observation that wines of a lower pH, in other words the more acidic ones (like sauvignon) tend to show their free sulphur more explicitly and the side effects are more noticeable. I checked my wine on their website and it claims a free sulphur of 40mg per litre which is well within the allowable limit of up to 150. But apparently individuals who are sensitive can have adverse reactions at around 45mg… could this be me? A serious handicap indeed.

The wine’s identity shall remain secret, since sulphur use is standard it would be unfair to single it out. As for my relationship with it, I have to admit there has been a blow.