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Allergic To Sulfites


Rainero Morgia — Bell Gardens, California asks,

I am allergic to sulfites in wine. Can I pasteurize my wine instead, and if so how? Does this type of preservation last as the chemical mentioned and not affect the taste of wine?

Certainly you can try to pasteurize (heat at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time) your wine if you like. Many foods and beverages (like milk) are so heat treated in order to kill any bacteria, yeast or other organisms. Louis Pasteur, the Frenchman who gave the process his name back in the 1800s, actually was hired by a winery to research methods to increase the stability of wine and to keep it from turning to vinegar. Typical pasteurization for milk involves heating it to 161 °F (72 °C) and holding it at that temperature for 15 seconds, then rapidly cooling it down back to 45 °F (7 °C) or so. I would caution that at that high of a temperature because the higher the temperature, the more damage you will do to the delicate aromas, colors and flavors in the wine. Fortunately, pasteurization operates on a sliding scale and its effectiveness depends on a coefficient between time and temperature. You can use lower temperatures (145 °F/63 °C for example) but you must hold the wine at that
Response by Alison Crowe.