A Guide to Enjoying Wine Without the Hangover
When it comes to hangovers, not all wines are created equal. Sure, drink too much of the stuff – it’s still alcohol, after all – and tomorrow morning is not going to feel great. We’re not about to claim that our wines are a unicorn that have mysterious powers, no matter how much is consumed.
Some wines, however, are better for you than others. Knowing what to pay attention to could mean the difference between a productive morning and a breakfast date with ibuprofen. And that’s happened to all of us, more often than we’d like to admit!
There are the obvious tips, like drinking plenty of water and being sure to consume in moderation. After all, common sense is always going to keep you on the right track. Some hangover hacks are more complicated: paying attention to tannins, additives, and sugar content, to name a few. But even enjoyed in moderation, certain wines are just asking you to board the pain train.
From the very beginning, we said that Kind of Wild was launched to introduce wines that were kinder to the planet, leading to more choice in quality wines that are kindly crafted and kinder to you. So this journal entry is going to spend some time explaining one aspect of the last part of that mission, and how to look for wines that will take better care of us – so we can enjoy an evening with wine and wake up tip-top!
Here are a 5 tips to keep in mind for your next wine experience:
- Less is More – Less alcohol means less chance of a hangover, so look for wines with lower alcohol around 13% and below. Some wines that creep above 14% (or even higher) are going to be felt the next day. Plus, oftentimes these higher alcohol wines have a lot of what to stay away from in the next point (hint).
- Limit Sugar Content – Put down the sweeter options and opt for a dry wine with low-sugar content. Avoid added sugars after fermentation at all costs. The higher the sugar level, combined with higher alcohol, the worse it can be. If your body is already trying to stay hydrated when consuming alcohol, sugar is a trigger to consume its own water supply and will cause even more dehydration. Dry wines are typically considered to be about 9 grams of sugar per liter and below, but best to stick to the lower end of that range and aim for no more than 3-4 grams/liter (or about 0.5 grams/glass).
- Tannins in Red Wines – Wines high in tannins can cause headaches by interfering with the brain’s serotonin levels. Reds are produced by extracting color and tannin from the grape skins and histamines that are released can cause a headache for some people. Red wines with medium to medium-full body that are less extracted are great options, especially if they have not been aged in new oak barrels (which impart more tannins and histamines into the wine). Most unoaked white wines are also low in tannins…and sugar!
- 🚫 Unnecessary Additives – Skip the mass-produced wines with lots of additives. Certified organic wines ensure you’re not consuming any of those nasty toxins like pesticides, fungicides, and chemical fertilizers. Other winemaking tricks to add color, tannin and flavor should be avoided. These are no-no’s because they may artificially add problematic elements that disagree with the way your body processes alcohol.
- Stay Hydrated – No matter what you’re drinking, remember that water is your friend. Avoiding dehydration is a great way to skip the hangover. A good rule is a glass of water for every glass of wine.
Fact or Fiction:
Sulfites in wine cause headaches
FICTION: All wines have naturally occurring sulfites that are produced as a byproduct of the fermentation process (turning grape juice into wine). About 1% of the population has sulfur allergies, and that is the reason the federal government requires the statement on wine bottles. Allergic reactions typically manifest as breathing/asthmatic problems and not a wine headache. The amount of sulfur in wine is generally 4-10 times less than what is in dried fruits like apricots, mangos and raisins. However, if you are concerned about sulfur levels, note that wine made with organic grapes must contain very low levels of sulfur (<100 ppm), which is about half of what most conventional wines contain.
Low Sugar, Lower Calorie & Lower Alcohol Wines
Check out this handy chart we put together to show the alcohol, sugar and caloric content in our current releases. We don’t claim them to be “hangover free” – no winery can say this. But we did craft these wines to not only be better for our environment, and of course delicious, but also much kinder to all of us!