What Sulfur Doesn’t Do
Traveling around France i’ve met a good number of natural winemakers with very strong opinions on the topic of adding sulfur to wines. There’s a number of reasons that they reached this opinion, from the basic “our wines are better without sulfur” or “sulfur bothers my stomach.” Others take a more philosophical stance on sulfur, thinking that the addition will take out a lot of the terroir and vintage characteristics even if the wine is not “perfect.”These reasons make sense, and these are often the low sulfur wines that come across the cleanest and most honest.
And there are those who start to give sulfur more credit than it’s worth. Hungover? Wouldn’t happen without the addition of sulfur. 2 drinks get you tipsy? You can drink 12 bottles of unsulfured wine. These are ideas that come from the idea that additives are the enemy, and natural can’t possibly be bad. Misguided and perhaps a bit dangerous.
And then, in the cave of a winemaker living in the smallest town in the middle of nowhere, we hear one that has kept us laughing for weeks. The winemaker is going through the regular points about sulfur and why she refrains from using them. We nod our heads and continue tasting and then the punchline comes.
“You can’t get a DUI if you drink unsulfured wines.”
Guilhaume’s eyes go dinner plate and he nearly spits out his wine.
“Sulfur is what makes alcohol attach to your blood” she continues “This is how they bust you”
We’re incredulous at this point. She can’t really be telling us this, can she? Where the fuck is MADD when you need them? We don’t even know where to begin arguing.
Somewhere in the south of France there’s an accident waiting to happen.
(Fear not. i did not test this theory, and hope my readers are smart enough to do the same.)