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What is a Wine Without Sulfites?

If you are asking yourself the following questions “What is a wine without sulfites?”, “How to recognize them?”, “Where to buy them?”; you have come to the right place!

What is a Wine Without Sulfites?

A wine without sulfites is, as its name indicates, a wine of which no sulfur dioxide (SO2) has been added during the process (from harvest to bottling). It is often referred to as natural wine. The spirit of natural wine is that if a wine does not contain sulfite, it must not have any other input. In addition, it must respect the principles of organic or biodynamic agriculture.

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What are Sulfites?

Sulfites are sulphur dioxide (SO2) which has the property of being antiseptic and antioxidant. Sulfites are added to protect the wine from bad bacteria and from contact with the air (so that it does not turn sour). The problem is that sulfites change the composition, taste and energy of the wine. In addition, they can be bad for your health, as they are on the list of 14 major allergens. Learn more about sulfites and wine.

Do all wines have sulfites?

Yes, all wines naturally contain sulfites to protect them from air contact and bad bacteria. This is why we talk about added sulfites and total SO2. The expression wine without sulfites is false, or at least incorrect.
It is also important to know that sulfites added by the wine industry are different from those naturally present. They come essentially from the oil industry.

How to recognize a Wine Without Added Sulphite?

Sulphites in wine are a complex debate. Although it is not mandatory, winemakers generally add the words “no added sulfites” on the label to indicate to consumers that it is a natural wine with no inputs. European law requires winemakers to add the words “contains sulfites” on all wines containing more than 10 mg/l of sulfur dioxide. The problem is that between wines with 15 mg/l of total SO2 and those with 200 mg/l, it is impossible to tell the difference…
You simply have to trust your wine merchant or sommelier… Recently, there is the French label Vin Méthode Nature which is the equivalent of the AB label for natural wine. However, it is far from being unanimously accepted and still very few winegrowers have adhered to it…

Why Drink Wine Without Sulfite?

There are two main reasons that we believe are essential to the choice of drinking wine without sulfite:

  • The first reason is medical. Many people are sensitive or allergic to sulfur dioxide. Indeed, registered on the list of 14 major allergens, sulfites can cause irritations, headaches, respiratory difficulties, hot flashes, swelling, itching…

  • The second is taste. Whether you like it or not, sulfites change the taste, the aromas, the mouthfeel and the energy of the wine. Between a bottle with no added sulfites and another with 200 mg/l SO2, there is a big difference! We let you make your own opinion…
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Where to Buy Wines Without Added Sulfites?

Buy in Town

To buy wine without added sulphites, you can go to your natural wine cellar in town. He will necessarily have a few cuvées to offer you (otherwise he is not a serious wine merchant 😉!). See also our selection of best wines without sulfites.

Buy Online

If you want more choice, don’t have a cellar near you or are looking for specific natural wines, here is a small selection of our favorite online natural wine shops where you will find a vast choice of quality natural wine:

Raw Wine Uk is the largest choice of wine without sulfites references.

Mysa is a wine club (USA) offering a great selection of wines without sulfites.

Pur Jus offers French natural wines at French prices, delivering in Europe.