Natural wine is gaining ground. After all, we want as few added substances in our food as possible. So too in our wine. And because it is a lot pricier, it is certainly not a wine that you drink at a party with a lot of party supplies and balloons (in Dutch: feestversiering en ballonnen), but it is a nice wine for an evening of drinks. And now I hear you thinking, but what about the hangovers? That’s what we’re going to make clear to you in this article. Do you or do you not get a hangover from natural wine?
What characterizes natural wine?
Natural wine is made from grapes that are guided by nature as much as possible in the vineyards. This means that no chemicals are used to keep the enemy away, but instead the work is done naturally.
But in addition to not using chemicals and sulfite in the vineyards, hardly anything is added to the wine in the cellar. Wild yeasts are used to start the fermentation process and there is no filtering.
Degradation of alcohol
To get back to the question “does natural wine give you a hangover or not?” it is important to look at how the body processes certain substances. These are the substances alcohol and sulfite.
Alcohol is absorbed into the body through the stomach and from there takes its way to the liver. Here it is broken down by enzymes. Enzymes are proteins in the body that cause chemical reaction. This allows the substance to be easily broken down.
Degradation of sulfites
In addition to alcohol, sulfite must also be broken down. Sulfite is a collective name for substances that contain sulfur. Sulfite protects wine from bacteria and makes the wine last longer. Wine naturally has sulfite, which is created during the fermentation process. In natural wines, however, less sulfite is added (a maximum of 30 grams). In ‘normal’ wines, this is much higher.
Sulfite is broken down by means of antioxidant glutathione. Because both sulfite and alcohol enter the body, the glutathione is doubly affected, making the ADHL enzyme less able to convert the dangerous substance acetaldehyde – which is produced when drinking alcohol. This is because it is also processing sulfites.
Natural wine and hangovers
Because there is less sulfite in natural wine, your body can better focus on processing alcohol. As a result, the dangerous substance acetaldehyde is converted faster so that it can be broken down. The substance acetaldehyde causes headaches and nausea, so the sooner it is broken down, the less time you will suffer from this.
Natural wine still contains alcohol. Alcohol causes toxins to be produced in the body. But because there is less sulfite in natural wine, the body can process alcohol faster than if there was sulfite in the wine.
So yes, relative to wine with sulfite, you are less likely to get hangovers from natural wine. But if you drink enough of it, you can get hangovers from natural wine too.