Health, Effects of Wine Consumption on: Respiratory problems

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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sulphites are produced naturally by fermentation and so occur at low levels (10–50 mg/l) in all wines. Small amounts are also routinely added to most wines as a preservative. Asthmatics who are sensitive to sulphites may experience respiratory problems after drinking wine with concentrations of sulphur dioxide above 45 mg/l. So in many countries, wines containing more than 10 mg/l are labelled accordingly. Biogenic amines such as histamine are generally present in low concentrations in wine, but they can contribute to respiratory problems in histamine-allergic or sensitive individuals (see allergies and intolerances), especially if they consume wine together with foods high in histamine such as some cheeses. Wine also contains salicylates that can trigger respiratory problems in salicylate-allergic individuals.