White Wine & Headaches: Everything You Need to Know

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Drinking too much can give headaches. But did you know certain wines can give the same headaches? White wines, in particular, can cause more headaches than red wines. So let’s find out how white wine causes headaches and how to cure them.


How does white wine cause a headache?


Sensitivity to Sulphites

White wine has more sulfites than red wine does. With that said, it’s in tiny quantities. However, there are some people that have sensitivities to sulfites or are allergic to them. But this is not the only thing that causes headaches when you drink white wine.  

Person in a bathtub grabbing a wine glass from a table with a candle and berries on it - White Wine & Headaches.


This is one of the main reasons people may have sensitivity to wine. It is a natural by-product of the wine and fermentation process. Some people just can’t process or metabolize histamines. 

With that said, an allergic reaction can happen, and headaches can be reduced. To combat this, take a non drowsy antihistamine (not mixed with wine, of course!) so that you can enjoy a glass of wine. 

Keep in mind, it sometimes happens in white wine, but more often with red wine and champagne. 



There are fewer tannins in white wines than there are in red wines. Often, the skins on the white wine grapes are not used vs. the red ones that are. 

So while there aren’t a lot of tannins in the white wine, if you are sensitive or allergic to tannins, it may induce a headache. 


Alcohol Content

The stronger the alcohol content in the wine, the more chance it has to hydrate you. White wines have high alcohol percentages. This means after having a few can increase the chance of having a headache. 



If there is excess sugar in the wine, it can cause a headache. This is because cheaper wines often add sugar and other additives that make the wine seem delicious. Sometimes there is a sugar hangover that can cause headaches.

Keep in mind that if you are already dehydrated, you will get a headache no matter what kind of wine you drink. 


Tips to prevent a headache while drinking wine

These tips will help you avoid a white wine headache the next time you reach for a glass:



This is easier said than done. Headaches come on because when you drink alcohol, your brain is dehydrated. When that happens, you will get a headache. With that said, it’s best to have a glass of water with wine.


Quality Wine

Quality wine costs more because of the aging process and the type of bottle it’s in sometimes. But, if it’s been corked, you know that it’s of the utmost quality.



It’s important not to drink too much, as it can quickly dehydrate you. This means ensuring you stick to the recommended amount of glasses daily. For men, there can be two glasses of wine that can be had per day. For women, it is one glass per day. 

Final Words on White Wine and Headaches

White wine can sometimes give you a headache. But, by selecting a good quality wine, the chance of getting one is rare. Just remember to drink wine in moderation. Also, remember to stay hydrated while you enjoy your next glass of white wine.