How do you choose your wine? We know all wine is not created equal. It is best for you to drink sulfite-free wine when possible.
Sulfites cause the splitting headache you get after one or two glasses of wine...and the foggy hangover the next day. It’s impossible to buy completely sulfite-free wine—all wine contains a little bit of the compound, which occurs as a byproduct of fermentation—but a lot of winemakers add in extra sulfites as a preservative. If you’d like to avoid the non-organic additives, look for bottles that say “no sulfites added” on the label.
1. Frey Vineyards Natural Red NV, California
A pioneer of organic and biodynamic wines, Frey also prides itself on adding no sulfites to its wines. Their basic red blend is comprised of Carignan, Zinfandel, and Syrah – fruity and easy drinking.
2. Cascina Degli Ulivi Filagnotti 2009, Piedmont
This funky, fruity white made from Piedmont’s Cortese grape is rich and silky with a nice minerality to it. The winemaker runs a strictly organic and biodynamic farm, which you can stay at if you happen to be in the region.
3. Domaine Valentin Zusslin Crémant Brut Zéro, Alsace
Only made without sulfur when the “grapes are at 100%,” according to the winemaker, this crisp sparkling wine is full of ripe fruit yet lean and mineral. The “zero” refers to “dosage,” or added sugar, which you often find in bubbly. This one has none.
4. Donkey & Goat The Prospector Mourvèdre 2010, California
The wines at Donkey & Goat are not made strictly without sulfur, but sulfur is dispensed minimally and with caution and sometimes not at all. This one is plumy and earthy with great acidity.
5. Château Le Puy Côtes de Francs 2006, Bordeaux
This winemaker earned a cult following when his wines were featured in a famous Japanese wine-themed comic book, but he resisted allowing the prices to skyrocket. This red blend is a pretty wine, with red fruit and floral essences, and a velvety texture.
6. Pizzolato Merlot – Coming from the rich estate in Treviso, Italy, these hand-harvested organic grapes deliver a deep ruby red color with a slightly violet cast. The medium to full body flavor offers hints of earthy tartness with a bold finish.
7. Pizzolato Cabernet Sauvignon – This organic dry medium to full body Cab also from Pizzolato is lush and supple, with notes of currant, pineapple and cranberry. It’s tart and tangy-perfect for the fanciest fare or your favorite pizza.
8. Pizzolato 50% Merlot & 50% Cabernet – Pizzolato does a great job combining its merlot and cabernet in a rich medium bodied blend with ripe berry and toasted coconut notes. Like the Pizzolato Cab and Merlot, this blend is not oak aged and best when consumed young.
9. Spartico Tempranillo – Spain’s oldest estate bottled wine comes from the Bodegas Iranzo, the only European vintner that is located within a national reserve park. And that’s because the Iranzo Perez-Duque family was making wine there before the park was designated—with a winemaking history dating back to 1335. The organic wine is deep and smoky, with a rich tannin finish.