I love wine. Red, white, rosé, sparkling…I don’t discriminate when it comes to vino. What I don’t love so much? How it makes me feel later. Even if I just have one glass, I will more like than not end up with a raging headache — and don’t get me started on my wine hangovers.
The probable culprit(s) of my ailments? Sulfites. These preservatives are used almost universally in wine-making. Simply put, they help prevent oxidation to keep wine fresh. The problem is that they can elicit an allergic reaction in some people, causing symptoms such as stomach issues and flushing. Wine also contains histamines, the chemicals released when we have an allergic reaction. Histamines are naturally-occurring in some fermented and aged foods and beverages, and they can cause headaches and other not-so-fun symptoms. Basically, alcohol aside, there’s stuff in wine that makes you feel less than stellar.
This is where the magic happens: The PureWine Wand ($50 for 30; shop.drinkpurewine.com) promises to alleviate all those issues. Each single-use wine wand (made from food-grade, BPA-free plastic) contains a filter that absorbs those pesky histamines and sulfites — without releasing any chemicals, or changing the smell, color, or flavor of your glass of wine. And, yes, it works for any and all kinds of wine.
I’ve noticed that when I drink organic wine — usually made with much lower amounts of sulfites, if any — I feel significantly better, so I was very down to take this for a test run. Pros: The wine wands are disposable, small, and individually-wrapped, super easy to pop into your purse and take with you. Con: You have to swirl it in your wine, then leave it in the glass for three minutes, which feels like a long time (especially if you’re doing this in public). That being said, I did notice a difference.
Red wine tends to be more problematic for me than white, so I tested the wand with a glass (okay, two) of California zinfandel. I would normally start to feel headache-y pretty quickly and feel at least some kind of after-effect the next day, but with my magic wine wand, I did not. While I don’t think I’d necessarily go through the three minutes of swirling and soaking if I was just going to have one glass, I’d definitely do it if it was going to be a night of multiple glasses. Oh, and there’s also a larger filter that works on an entire bottle, which I just may have to bust out at my next dinner party.