All Wine is Great, But What’s Up With Those Headaches

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I think we can all agree that indulging in a glass of wine is the answer to just about any problem. However, it comes with a price you’ll need to pay the next day. That’s right, I’m talking about the agonizing headache that attacks and makes you regret everything.

Let’s wine about it.

You may feel a sense of superiority with that tall glass of wine in your hands, but despite your fancy edge, you are still prone to a splitting headache in the morning. Why? The easy answer–you drank too much. However, if you’re a wine drinker, you have a few other excuses on your side.


1. Release the tannins!

The first, and most popular, theory out there points to a natural compound found in grape skins, seeds and stems called tannins. Although you’ve probably heard this word bounce around a lot, it probably isn’t the main source of your headaches. Tannins, also known as polyphenols, have a stronger presence in red wines, as reds are fermented with the grape skins and seeds. These compounds actually work as antioxidants to help preserve wines, and only certain people are prone to get headaches from them. According to VinePair, a company dedicated to delivering content all about beverages, a good way to test if you are sensitive to tannins is to drink dark coffee or very strong tea. If you’re not easily affected, keep enjoying those reds! The antioxidants are also proven to be beneficial to your health!

2. Histamine? More like histaMEAN.

Okay, bad pun aside, histamine is another compound found in grape skins. So again, white wine will be the lesser of two evils on this front. Histamines are generally released throughout our bodies when we have allergic reactions to something. Evidently, they also come around when we indulge in aged food or wine. According to a Harvard health study, histamines work against your body due to the lack of efficiency in an enzyme that is supposed to break it down. Read: supposed to. Alcohol in general combats this enzyme, curbing its effectiveness right off the bat. Additionally, some people have a natural shortage of them from the start. This can make for one hell of a headache the next day, regardless of how much you drank.

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3. Alcohol and sugar: a tale as old as time

We all know sugar in excess can be trouble, but it can be deadly when paired with alcohol. All I can say to you on this front is: DRINK. LOTS. OF. WATER. Sweet wines will be your enemy here, so make sure to limit yourself on that Riesling and probably avoid Moscato at all costs. Cheaper wines also contain more sugar, so a word to the wise: pay that extra few dollars now or you’ll be paying for it tomorrow morning. That’s why we like to order our wines from Bright Cellars to ensure we get quality wine for good prices!

Finally, the cause of your headache can be from over-consumption, and the cure to that is simply to drink less. That’s no fun though. So when in doubt, take a leaf out of my book: write it off as one of the other aforementioned culprits and pour yourself another glass!

Until next time, cheers!

By our lovely contributor: Kerry Souder

4 thoughts on “All Wine is Great, But What’s Up With Those Headaches”

  1. Hi! I got terrible headaches and quit drinking wine because of them, but I have since learned about wines being made at smaller, biodynamic farms with no added sugar or sulfites that dramatically cut down on that “wine headache”. I’d be happy to send you more information or read more about it at my website below.

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