Many wine consumers complain of severe headaches after enjoying a glass or two of red wines.
The question often asked is “what causes this unpleasant albeit temporary, medical condition?”.
According to researchers, histamines (that belong to biogenic amines) in red wines cause headaches in some.
Amines start developing by other microorganisms during fermentation and exist minute quantities in beer, cheese, sausages, bananas, chocolate, canned tuna, and wine (mainly red wine).
Some people lack sufficiently high levels of an enzyme that synthesizes dietary amines, leaving them susceptible to headaches, or worse, migraines.
Amine content depends much on winemaking technique employed. Red wines contain more amines that whites, simply because many if not most, red wines are rich in tannins, a protector and constituent that prolongs shelf life, but is bitter and in the mouth feels gritty. Red wines are stabilized using more sulphur, a germ killer, whereas amines occur due microbial activity.
It should be noted that some people are allergic to sulphur, which occurs naturally in wines in small quantities.
If you happen to be sensitive to amines or sulphur, stick with red wines that are not cellared in small barrels, or white wines, most of which contain much less, if any, amines.
The question is not fully answered, more in-depth research needs to be conducted, but above suggestions should solve the problem for most wine lovers.