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Hangovers and red wine
November 29, 2004 7:05 PM   Subscribe

Hangovers and red wine. Have any of you regular red wine drinkers noticed that any particular wines (by region, varietal, maker, year, dryness, tannin levels, or whatever) give you worse hangovers?
posted by shoos to Food & Drink (29 answers total)
 
More tannin-y wines supposedly give worse hangovers, so syrah, cabernet, zinfandel would be worse than, say, a nice mellow merlot. But I've only drunk enough wine for a hangover once, and it was long enough ago that I don't remember the varietal.

Drink more water before you go to bed.
posted by me3dia at 7:08 PM on November 29, 2004


I've noticed that some wines really do me in, but I haven't yet noticed any strong association between any of those criteria and the severity of the hangover. Maybe it's just my physiologic state at the time of consumption?
posted by shoos at 7:09 PM on November 29, 2004


I've often had worse effects in the morning from low tannin wines than from more potent equivalents (varietal and vintage-wise). The worst hangover I've had in recent months was from a relatively mellow syrah about which Wine Spectator said "Tannins are submerged, making this easy to like."

I do drink plenty of water before bed, but there's only so much that'll do.
posted by shoos at 7:24 PM on November 29, 2004


I'm a white wine type, so my red experience is limited. The reds pile up in our cellar (aka, Pier 1 wine rack), yet the whites fly out of the crisper as soon as we get them. I don't tend to get serious hangovers from my white wines and we're talking two bottles in an evening.

However, when I do drink red, for some reason, I've never had a bad (or even mild) hangover after copious amounts of red Australian wine, yet have had really bad ones from half that amount of French reds. I was told this is because of differing requirements on wine producers by nation, but that could just be an old wives' tale.

Of course, all this wine drinking is done with food, lots of water, and no reason to get anywhere near a vehicle.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:32 PM on November 29, 2004


Cabernet Sauvignon. More than two glasses and I can count on waking up at 2 AM dying of thirst, no matter how much water I drink before bed. Other varieties don't seem so bad in this respect.

I think the amount of oak has something to do with it; a well-oaked chardonnay would also be high on my list.

I can drink other whites, pinot noir and merlot in more or less unlimited quantities and not suffer anything that's uncurable by water, orgasm and a big breakfast.

robocop is bleeding, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the dastardly French added suspicious things to their wine. But Aussie wines are less tannic to my taste anyway; at least the cheaper, jammy shiraz types.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:55 PM on November 29, 2004


I'd like to add that Australian Shiraz is particularly excellent this year, even in box form. Doesn't give me head-pounding hangovers, either, and I'm a big drunk.
posted by interrobang at 8:21 PM on November 29, 2004


Organically produced reds don't make my head hurt, and I've been known to have a headache within an hour after a glass of regular red wine. I don't know why this is, but I was happy to find out it works.
posted by zadcat at 8:30 PM on November 29, 2004


Chilean and Californian reds give me hangovers much more readily than, say, BC, Australian, Argentinian, etc. I blame preservatives though I have no evidence for that.....
posted by Rumple at 10:26 PM on November 29, 2004


My spouse invariably gets worked over hard by Italian reds.
Not sure what's going on there.

In this vein, we also notice that a component of red wine backlash is clogged sinuses, which I assume has to do with some sort of histamine response or some such. Anybody?
posted by donovan at 11:08 PM on November 29, 2004


Has anybody here got headaches from certain kinds of wine?

I can't put my finger on it, but once in a while, 2-3 glasses of wine gimme a buzzing headache. Wassup with that?
posted by madman at 11:30 PM on November 29, 2004


In my fifteen years of red wine drinking, I've yet to come up with any reliable pattern beyond 'sometimes it's worse than other times'. In general, I think a heavier, tannic, wood-aged wine is a little more likely to give a worse hangover than a lighter, fruitier, young wine, but in my experience this is just a guideline, not a rule. Unlike zadcat, I don't find organic reds noticeably less painful than non-organically produced ones.
posted by misteraitch at 11:46 PM on November 29, 2004


I've never gotten a hangover from a red wine, only whites, and only when I'm drinking the whole bottle by myself. (we just won't go into it now, will we?)

Of course I do only drink merlot and shiraz, so that may have something to do with it. ::shrug::
posted by kamylyon at 11:57 PM on November 29, 2004


The second page of this article says its something to do with the level of sulfites in a wine. Not much detail there other than that though.
posted by kev23f at 1:33 AM on November 30, 2004


For reasons I don't understand, port never gives me an ill effects, while red wine makes me feel like a small animal died in my mouth.

No alcohol gives me the other traditional hangover problems though.
posted by twine42 at 3:24 AM on November 30, 2004


Has anybody here got headaches from certain kinds of wine?

As little as half a glass of red has been known to give me a horrible headache within an hour. Therefore, I don't drink enough to tell the difference between kinds--though I may try something organic in the future. I think it's a tannin allergy.
posted by Jeanne at 3:27 AM on November 30, 2004


A former girlfriend of mine suffers from serious migranes; can get drunk of white, but can't touch red. JUST STAY WITH WHITE!
posted by ParisParamus at 3:46 AM on November 30, 2004


In this vein, we also notice that a component of red wine backlash is clogged sinuses, which I assume has to do with some sort of histamine response or some such. Anybody?

ParisParamus is on to something-- red wine is full of histamines and can cause headaches, nose/sinus discomfort and blotchy skin/hives. (My red-headed girlfriend's skin looks like a lava field after two glasses of most reds.)

Of course, this only happens to some people. If red wine doesn't bother you, it's good for you.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:13 AM on November 30, 2004


i don't notice any difference.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:55 AM on November 30, 2004


Only drink red wine with food. People in France, Spain, and Italy all consume huge amounts of red wine, and no one ever has a hangover because they would never think of drinking red wine except with a meal.
posted by fuzz at 5:57 AM on November 30, 2004


Chilean and Californian reds give me hangovers much more readily than, say, BC, Australian, Argentinian, etc. I blame preservatives though I have no evidence for that.....

wtf? why would chilean wine have preservatives rather than, say, argentinian?
posted by andrew cooke at 5:57 AM on November 30, 2004


oh, and it may be that i don't notice anything because of what fuzz said.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:58 AM on November 30, 2004


Reds with a high amount of sulfites give my husband a killer headache in the morning. For him, it's even worse when we travel to much higher altitudes. We live pretty close to sea level but my family lives at an elevation above a mile. I think the reduced oxygen and atmospheric pressure make it worse for him there.
posted by onhazier at 6:04 AM on November 30, 2004


People in France, Spain, and Italy all consume huge amounts of red wine, and no one ever has a hangover because they would never think of drinking red wine except with a meal.

More people in America drink to get drunk.
posted by fourstar at 6:43 AM on November 30, 2004


I've read that red wines are understood to be triggers for migranes...usually, for me, reds will just make me intollerably sleepy, but on one occasion, I woke up and suffered through a morning with a migrane.
posted by tpl1212 at 7:54 AM on November 30, 2004


Andrew - like I said, no evidence, but a friend of a freind told me the Chilean and Californian wine industry was heavily industrial and unregulated whereas the Argentinian one has controls on use of preservatives. We're talking the lower end wines here, of course.....
posted by Rumple at 8:28 AM on November 30, 2004


both chile and argentina (along with new zealand, australia and a bunch of other places) are recognised by the eu as having internal ceritification procedures that are equivalent to those used in europe. this is the statute that regulates the production of wine in chile. if you search for "Artículo 27º.- Se considerarán vinos adulterados los siguientes" you'll find the limits on various chemicals.

what on earth is the point of posting stuff as "helpful" for other people if you have no idea whether it's true or not?
posted by andrew cooke at 9:03 AM on November 30, 2004


I have a friend who gets terrible headaches from red wine—except for Spanish Riojas. You might give them a try.

what on earth is the point of posting stuff as "helpful" for other people if you have no idea whether it's true or not?

I don't understand this either, and used to post crabby comments about it (I particularly remember a thread where somebody asked what the language on a sign was and a commenter said "Looks like Arabic to me"—it was actually Persian), but I've given up. Lots of people apparently have a pressing need to pipe up whether they know anything or not.
posted by languagehat at 11:56 AM on November 30, 2004


well, my crabiness is unbounded.... (especially near the end of my shift).
i must be going native - i took the allegation as an affront to my personal pride. but, in their defense, isn't the "wisdom of crowds" a current fad?

posted by andrew cooke at 12:27 PM on November 30, 2004


Oh settle down. Hangovers are a subjective experience. I subjectively find Chilean and Californian wines worse that way. That does, in fact, answer the question that was asked. Whether my explanation is right or not is a different story, and I framed it as gossip not as fact. Maybe its the varieties. Maybe its the corks.
posted by Rumple at 1:08 PM on November 30, 2004


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