The reason why you get flushed cheeks when drinking wine revealed

Food 14/08/2019

Have you ever indulged in a glass or two of wine and discovered that your cheeks have turned a slight shade of red? And there may or may not be a very obvious blush across your neck and chest?

Well there is a good reason.

The true term for a red glow that develops after a frothy or two is ‘alcohol flush reaction’ and scientists estimate that at least 540 million people worldwide experience it. There is a science behind this phenomenon, and the key to stopping those rosy reactions is by identifying the one of three causes most likely to cause it. 

In winemaking, an ingredient called sulfites are used to prevent oxidation and bacterial spoilage. Unfortunately, some people are allergic to sulfites resulting in skin irritation and even headaches. It’s best to avoid any wine wearing the label ‘contains sulfites’ if this is the case for you. 

Rosacea as a result of drinking alcohol is more common among people with fair skin, and of northern European heritage. In fact, even if you don’t suffer from rosacea in general, if you find your cheeks turning red after eating alcohol, chocolate, spicy foods or drinking a hot beverage, then it’s a safe bet that you’re susceptible to rosacea and the alcohol is dilating the blood vessels in your cheeks.

So if you want to avoid the pesky flush next to sip your wine, make sure to read the labels before you buy!