Also in wines with the inscription “Does not contain sulphites added” there are sulphites and those who are allergic should not drink them. Some clarification on a rule that confuses
All wine contains sulphites.
Sulphites are naturally present and therefore writings like “Does not contain sulphites” on wine bottles are incorrect, forbidden and even dangerous because those who are allergic to sulphites might be led to think that they can drink Bacchus nectar, but that is not the case. Sulphites are always present in small quantities.
NO WINE MAY BEAR THE WORDS “CONTAINS NO SULPHITES”
However, most sulphites arrive in wine during its production. In winemaking practices, sulphur dioxide or potassium metabisulfite are used with antioxidant, preservative and antiseptic functions. When such additions increase the amount of sulphites in the wine to above 10 milligrams per litre, which means almost always, the bottle must bear the phrase “Contains added sulphites” in the language of the country in which it is marketed. For this reason, most labels have this indication in many different languages.
THE WRITING “CONTAINS ADDED SOLFITS” STATES A QUANTITATIVE OF MORE THAN 10 MG/l
The European standards made compulsory in Italy since 2004 also indicate the maximum limit of sulphites contained in wine. It varies depending on the type. Also in organic wines is lower.
Red with residual sugar at 5g/L CONVENTIONAL 150 Mg/L ORGANIC 100mg/L
Red with residual sugar > to 5g/L CONVENTIONAL 200 Mg/L ORGANIC 170Mg/L
White or rosé with residual sugar at 5g/L CONVENTIONAL 200 Mg/L ORGANIC 150mg/L
White or rosé with residual sugar > to 5g/L CONVENTIONAL 250 Mg/L ORGANIC 220 Mg/L
Spumante CONVENTIONAL 185 Mg/L ORGANIC 155 Mg/L
The range between 10 Mg/L of the bottles “without added sulphites” and the 250 Mg/L of sulphites present in some sweet whites, such as the celebrated Sauterne Chateau d’Yquem is really great and explains the headache that afflicts those who are so in love with the famous blonde nectar to drink a few too many. The migraine comes mainly from drinking bottles before the year 2000, which are bottles produced when the rules limiting the presence of sulphites were not yet in place.
ORGANIC WINE CONTAINS LESS SULPHITES THAN CONVENTIONAL WINE
Summing up this complicated and confusing discussion, sulphites are naturally present and therefore all wine contains them but when they are not added in the cellar and therefore are less than 10 Mg/L the bottles may bear the inscription “without added sulphites” .
Wines that have the phrase on their label “contains sulphites” have a quantity of these substances greater than 10mg/L and with maximum limits provided by law.
In organic wines the amount of sulphites added is less than in the conventional ones.