What was wrong with this wine? or What was wrong with me?
December 14, 2021 8:50 PM   Subscribe

I drank 2 glasses of red wine and then vomited three times in 30 minutes. When i emptied the bottle...

... a cloudy, splotchy residue remained on the inside walls. pictures Otherwise, it tasted and smelled like red wine should. There was nothing unusual in its texture and the screw cap was untampered with. In general I don't vomit. I cannot recall the last time I did as an adult. I had not eaten anything that would have made me sick and the amount i drank was normal for me.
These are the facts. What made me vomit?
posted by MT to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Red wines often "throw a crust" which is mainly cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate), and cream of tartar is a purgative which often causes vomiting.
posted by jamjam at 9:57 PM on December 14, 2021 [32 favorites]

Best answer: My limited understanding is that a crust would happen to vintage Ports or during winemaking prior to filtering, not necessarily something one should see when purchasing a regular bottle of screw top wine.

Was this an unfiltered wine?
How was it stored?
Does it have sulfites (says on the back)?
When you drank it, was the color red or did it have a brownish tint?

I would contact the company and show them the pictures. My guess, if it isn’t one of those unfiltered natural wines, is it’s bacterial and something happened. I wouldn’t consider this normal.
posted by vivzan at 9:45 AM on December 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: How did the wine taste initially? My guess is that the bottle has experienced an extended period of high heat, perhaps during shipping, and it kind of “cooked”. But, that should negatively affect the taste, too.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:15 PM on December 15, 2021

Best answer: Looks like it is a standard commercial wine, no sign that it's a low-sulfur "natural" wine. I drink a lot of high-acid and/or high-tannin wines, so I am used to seeing a crust of some type. Yours does look pretty weird and splotchy, more like vinegar mother, but that has a telltale odor. Ditto for Ethyl acetate, though some people can't smell it. Usually a bottle deposit (crust) is more even and concentrated in whatever end of the bottle was pointed down during storage. The good news is there's no micro-organisms that can grow in alcohol that are harmful to humans. There are a lot of additives that are allowed in wine and some people react to them. Sulfur is actually less common despite its reputation, there is way more sulfite in raisins, but some wines have egg whites, isinglass from fish, and others. I wouldn't assume that it wasn't food-related; lots of veggies that seem safe have fecal bacteria or can grow them, for example. Though if you didn't otherwise feel ill, that does seem less likely.
posted by wnissen at 5:04 PM on December 15, 2021

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