Hypersensitivity and reactions to substances foreign to the body (allergens). The consumption of food rich in tyramine and histamine can be the cause of headaches (migraines). Caution is advised for genuine sulphite allergy sufferers. Even minimal amounts of sulphur can trigger the "sulphite asthma" in them. These people should avoid wine and other sulphurous alcoholic drinks. The symptoms may be similar to asthma and may include itching, hives, runny nose and a drop in blood pressure. In the small group of patients with "sulphite allergies", it is assumed that about 10% of asthmatics suffer from asthma.
Wine can also contain allergenic substances. These are mainly protein compounds (when such substances are used in fining), histamine, sorbitol and tyramine (especially in red wines with malolactic fermentation), against sulphur (is contained in almost every wine) and also the alcohol (ethanol) itself. In this respect, however, there are different limits in the mg/l range for each substance. A list of all substances with maximum limit values can be found under ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake).
Since the year 2014, the declaration of 14 allergenic ingredients in food is obligatory according to EU regulation, even for open goods. All cereals containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley), milk, eggs, celery, mustard, sulphites, peanuts, nuts (almonds, nuts, pistachios etc.), sesame, soya beans, lupins, molluscs, fish and crustaceans and products made from them are considered allergenic substances. There was already a corresponding ordinance before this. What is new is that the allergenic substances must be listed in the list of ingredients with the text "contains..." supplemented by the corresponding allergen(s). However, this did not change anything for wine, as a corresponding regulation had already been in force since the 2012 vintage.
If the limit of 0.25 mg/l of protein fining agents is used or exceeded, this must be indicated on the label in the form of egg, egg protein, egg product, lysozyme from egg or albumin from egg, milk, milk product, casein from milk or milk protein, preceded by "contains...". Only the ELISA method is authorised for the determination of the content. Since 2005, this has also been prescribed by EU regulation for sulphur (sulphites, sulphur dioxide) with the limit value 10 mg/l (see sulphurous acid).
Today, wines are already produced that meet certain requirements for diabetics and vegetarians or vegans, but they may not be called diabetic wine etc. In 2007, NASA scientist Richard Mathies found a method to quickly identify components of wine that cause headaches. The substances histamine and tyramine, which are potentially problematic in red wines, can be detected by means of a sensor. The quantities of alcohol that are not likely to be harmful to health when consumed regularly are described under Health. See also under alcoholism and intoxication.