Low levels of sulphites naturally occur in wine as a byproduct of fermentation. Some wine makers add even more sulphites to age wine. In the U.S., wines must be labelled if the sulphite amount is more than 10 parts per million -- or ppm. Imported wines don't have label regulations, so identifying imported low-sulphite wine is difficult. Although only 1 per cent of the population suffers from allergies to sulphites, there are many low-sulphite wines options.
Red wines have a lower amount of sulphites than white wines, and dry red wines typically have the least amount of sulphites, depending on the winery. Dry white wines are a step above, in terms of sulphite amounts. Sweet wines generally have the most sulphites as measured in ppm. No-sulphite-added wines, such as organic-labelled U.S. brands, must be used within 18 months of being bottled.
Italy has more than 20 wine regions, each with different tastes and qualities of wine. Italy does produce a few wines categorised as low sulphite. Badia a Coltibuono Winery in the Italian Chianti region, creates organically grown wine. Its Chianti Classico is a low-sulphite wine with only 12 ppm per litre -- the average wine has 80 ppm. Nuova Cappelleta produces a low-sulphite, organically farmed Barbera, a kind of wine with a medium body. Vernaccia di San Gimignano's from 2006 is a dry white wine that's organically grown. It is spicy, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. It has 16 ppm per bottle.
There are many types of French red wines, including a few classified as low sulphite. The 2004 Château Saint-Germain Rouge is organically grown and has 6 ppm per bottle. It's a blend wine, meaning that it's made from Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre wines, and it's a wine best served with food. The 2004 Perrin et Fils from Nature Cotes du Rhone smells like strawberries, blackberries, and pepper. It's a full-bodied wine, with many flavours, and it only has 9 ppm per bottle. The Perrin et Fils winery also has a CDR label that has the same amount of ppm per bottle. The 2007 Château Véronique Coteaux du Languedoc is a table red with low sulphites. The 2007 Château Laubarit Bordeaux White is a white wine that tastes good when accompanying food. The 2007 Perlage Prosecco Sparkling is a low-sulphite sparkling wine.
Purchasing low-sulphite wines from the U.S. is much easier thanks to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's labelling laws. Organic U.S. wine is made from organically grown grapes and has no added sulphites. This means that nearly all U.S. organic wine is low sulphite, which varies based on wine type and winery. They are also free from pesticides. Orleans Hill, Our Daily Red and Well Red are brands under the Nevada County Wine Guild that offer wine with no detectable sulphites or sulphite-free wine. It has an extensive list of white and red wines that don't sacrifice taste over sulphite usage. Frey Vineyards is the most popular brand of organic, low-sulphite wine and the winery is located in California. It was the first to begin biodynamic wine making, which is a way of naturally farming wine. It offers wines that range from a dry white to merlot. Badger Mountain Winery is in Washington, and its NSA label offers wine with no sulphites added. It offers Riesling, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, table white and table red.
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