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Red Wine Trigger and Red Wine Marinated Food

I was somebody who drank red wine regularly with meals. But after I stopped drinking red wine for about six months, I discovered that it was a large migraine trigger. Now I am wondering if meat is marinated in red wine, will it trigger a migraine once it is cooked? I figured I would ask before trying it myself...

  1. well i haven't had a drink since 1996 but i really can't see any problem if cooking with it cause it usually burns off my opinion only

    1. I think cooking with red wine is very tricky. Many think the sulfites in red wine are the culprit, but then others believe the tannins are the issue. Then there's phenylethylamine, flavenoid phenols, as well as tyramines. Seems in 2022 it is still up in the air, with very little research on this topic. I would like to think cooking with red wine burns off the tannins or sulfites, or other chemicals, but the articles below may prove differently. In reality, they may bind to the meat or other foods you are cooking the red wine into, and not dissipate as thought, causing migraine episodes while eating the meal.

      This 2002 EATING WELL; The Puzzling Red Wine Headache article in TNYTs by Marian Burros explains the R.W.H - the red wine headache - what could possibly be the reason - sulfites, tannins, or histamines. But it explains very little about how cooking with it affects migraines.

      Then there is 2022 in Food & Wines about different ways of cooking with red wine - stating "The same components that shape how wine tastes—its acidity, tannins, alcohol, and (sometimes) sugar—are also instrumental in how wine behaves when it's cooked. Sweetness and acidity become more concentrated, as do bitter tannins. However, cooking a tannic wine down with meat or stock lessens its astringency because (Food scientist Harold McGee likens this idea to taking tea with a splash of milk; the tea's tannins bind to the milk's proteins, tempering the tea's bitterness.)

      For me the verdict is still out. The doctor quoted in Cooking With Wine article also goes into cooking with wines from Cali, but not Spain or only with some from France - which makes this dilemma all the more difficult to decipher. I will cook with wines I like, and see if a migraine begins. Then I can mark it off my list. I am still not sure but will continue to research. Waiting and watching for other comments from the community. Such an interesting topic. Rebecca (comm advc)

      1. This is so much awesome information! Thank you so much!!
        It is honestly kind of crazy. I used to drink a glass of red wine every night with dinner. Then I stopped for about 6 months because my husband did not drink. After that break, I got a migraine every single time I tried to drink red wine. It would start before I even finished the glass. I have recipes I used to enjoy and have been too scared to try again. I had not thought to be specific with it when cooking. That is a great idea. - Amanda W

      2. For me, the only other alcohol that messes with my head almost instantly is tequila. As long as I stay with moderate consumption, other alcohols do not bother me. But If I go overboard, it's a killer for sure. I will have a drink, then have some water before I have the next glass. I do this even if we are out at a bar. - Amanda W

    2. So apparently it's the sulfites in the wine. I know someone who can't even cook with wine. She says it's the sulfites and is allergic to them otherwise too.

      1. I also can't cook with or consume any wine or alcohol as it's an immediate trigger for migraine. I have heard that the sulfites in red wine are a major issue. Thanks again for doing this level of research for your loved one. Warmly- Holly team.

      2. I knew one person who was allergic to red wine. She would turn red and get a rash across her chest. But She would still drink a glass occasionally. I suppose I do not have that kind of dedication to red wine, even though I miss it. - Amanda W

    3. I realized years ago that red wine is a terrible migraine trigger as well as warm baked bread (active yeast),

      1. Ah! What an important discovery! I'm assuming these realizations came through trial and error? Or did you try an elimination diet? Thanks for sharing with us. Also, I think some of your comment may have gotten lost. Apologies if that happened. It seems to be a random (and frustrating occurrence!). Warmly- Holly team.

      2. Oh I have not tried freshly baked bread. That is an important trigger. Does yeast mean that you cannot drink beer as well? I know it could be a different kind of yeast...? - Amanda W (team member)

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