Biogenic amine from the amino acid histidine. Histamine is mainly formed when food spoils and is also produced during alcoholic fermentation. The main cause in wine is the breakdown of proteins by certain bacteria during the main fermentation. It is present in the initial must only in very small quantities, if at all. Red wines generally have higher levels than white wines. A higher concentration is due to poor cellar hygiene, uncontrolled spontaneous malolactic fermentation and longer storage in wooden barrels. However, histamine can be almost completely removed by means of bentonite. Possible positive effects are vasodilatation and thus better blood circulation and lowering of blood pressure, stimulation of gastric juice secretion, and improvement of memory.
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Diplom-Sommelier, Weinakademiker und Weinberater, Volders (Österreich)