Over the many years, given my line of work– I have run into so many stories told to me primarily by women about peculiar reactions to wine… I heard stories about blinding headaches, swollen lips, splotchy rashes, tightening of the esophagus/ sinus, distended bellies, insomnia– you name it. And one of the current themes always is… “It started to happen in my late 30s/ early 40s.”
A lot of change happens in your late 30s/ early 40s I am discovering— and I thought I might share my story with you.
I LOVE Rosé wine. I love it for so many reasons: It is a sensory delight; the perfect choice day or night, in the city, country, beach or picnic; at French Laundry or Gotts Roadside Diner or the Swanson Salon.
This past 4th of July weekend, I had one glass (literally one glass) of French Rosé + shortly thereafter endured one of the longest migraine headaches of my life– lasting over 12 hours; The type of headache that even extra-strength EXCEDRIN could not quell/ wrangle/ dilute.
As I suffered through the early hours of dawn, I recalled previous other migraine headaches, and disappointingly– they all reared themselves after a convivial time involving Rosé. Any kind of Rosé: American or French— and always made by decent producers. And oddly, there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to why… The night before, I had a glass from the same bottle and experience nothing different. Why was it drastically different 24 hours later???
It is only until something happens to YOU or a LOVED ONE that we get resourceful and demand answers.
So, I decided to email a small round up of brilliant minds: my doctor, acupuncturist, and a friend who is a Master of Wine. I wanted to know did sulphites or histamines– both common culprits in the realm of wine allergies/ reactions, drive my situation. Their responses addressed such topics as dehydration, lack of food consumption, hormones, intolerance of sugar/ histamines/ sulphur… Basically it all boiled down to the body chemistry of the day/ hour.
Their answers were as vague as the pages of confusing/ contradictory expert opinions shared on the internet. As with all things, I learned most from the COMMENTS sections– and in there were mostly WOMEN also trying to get to the bottom of their conditions. Within the comment section there wasn’t a single consistent scenario: Some people were affected by white wine, red wine, Rosé, beer, yeast, sulphur, sugar, American wine etc. Interestingly, Merlot was often sited as the safest varietal/ wine– causing little reaction.
The take-away gleaned throughout the countless comments was PAY ATTENTION to your body. Track yourself/ your body’s vulnerabilities– as these reactions are REAL to you, and only you.