Totally bizarre and unexpected…

Does anyone know what common ingredient (other than alcohol) might be in Amber Woodchuck Draft Cider and Kendall Jackson Chardonnay that would NOT be in merlot or white cabernet? I had a severe allergic reaction within 10 minutes of drinking the cider on Friday and the chardonnay on Saturday at the event this weekend. As those who saw me can attest, I looked like a sunburn victim. My nose itched. My hands and face swelled. It was not pretty. Both incidents resolved with time and benadryl.

Oddly enough, I’ve had both products on previous occasions with no ill effects whatsoever. I also experienced no reaction at all to the merlot I drank on the day before, and the white cabernet I drank on the the day after. I suspect it might be sulfites, since I’m also allergic to sulfa-based antibiotics. But come on — sulfites are used as preservatives in almost everything these days, I’ve enjoyed many different brands and varieties of wines in the past with no ill effect, and this was a very rapid and extreme reaction. Clues, anyone?


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One thought on “Totally bizarre and unexpected…

  1. kijjohnson

    July 9, 2007 at 11:07pm

    Cheap wines and beers have nitrites, also some nicer ones. I’m allergic to those.

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    • Author


      July 13, 2007 at 2:00pm

      Nitrites. Interesting. I’ll have to look into that one. I’ve briefly wondered if it has anything to do with aging the liquid in oak barrels…

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  2. dragonet2

    July 10, 2007 at 1:39am

    Yikes, dearie!

    Sounds like the allergy has ‘flashed over’, you should try to avoid at least chardonnays and ciders. I had this happen when i became allergic to clams, it started with a few hives. And led to having to ask and avoiding Red Lobster altogether for a while (they use clam juice to moisten their seafood, I always ended up with a necklace of hives after eating there…

    Nest time you see your regular doc, you might ask if he should prescribe an epi-pen, in case the reaction goes beyond flushing, hiviness and a bit of swelling. I’ve been in one emergency allergy situation — and it took a day or two for all the swelling to go down.

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    • Author


      July 13, 2007 at 2:01pm

      Re: Yikes, dearie!

      Yikes to you, too! Doc didn’t seem overly concerned, but he didn’t blow it off, either. I do believe I’ll be carrying benedryl with me for a while…

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