Intolerance to wine, which affects around seven percent of adults, could cause symptoms akin to allergy.
This figure is the result of a survey presented by Peter Wigand and co-authors in the current edition of Deutsches Arzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztelb Int 2012; 109 (25): 437-44).
The authors evaluated 948 questionnaires that were returned from the 4000 sent out to randomly selected people between the ages of 20 and 69 years.
They found that women (8.9 percent) were more often affected by intolerance to wine than men (5.2 percent).
The most commonly reported reactions included flushed and itchy skin and a runny nose.
The symptoms were particularly common after drinking red wine. Additionally, people with a wine intolerance were more likely to report other food intolerances.
The interpretation of Wigand et al. is that these results to not necessarily indicate a true allergy, but rather an intolerance to alcohol, biogenic amines, sulfites, or other ingredients.