Do all wines contain sulphites?
I was recently asked by a friend if all wines contain sulphites.
Simply put, yes, they are naturally present in all wines. However, there are different levels of sulphites in different wines.
Sulphur dioxide protects the wines since sulphites are, in simple terms, a natural anti-oxidant and antibacterien. This helps prevent oxidation in wines. Red wines tend to have less than white wines since they are protected by the tannin and (usually) higher alcohol levels. Sulphur dioxide is generally highest in sweet wines. Each jurisdiction has its’ own threshold of sulphite levels which is often stated on the label.
Consumer or personal-made wines (like Winexpert) usually contain the least amount of sulphites (usually less than 50ppm) as opposed to some commercial wines (that can contain up to 150ppm or more). If you open a wine and there is present the smell of a freshly burnt match, there is most
likely a high level of sulphites. Simply decant your wine and much of it will dissipate.