After a long, hard day of work, there’s nothing better than a nice, relaxing glass of vino. Thanks to several ingredients, however, such as histamines, tannins, and sulfites in wine, you may be getting a little more than you bargained for in your beverage—especially if you happen to be someone with a sulfite allergy.
Enter: Drop It wine drops (on sale for $11.99)—an all-natural, FDA-approved formula that promises to lower both tannins and sulfites found in wines with just a few drops.
What are sulfites in wine?
Sulfites, which are found in all wines, are chemical compounds made up of sulfite ions. While they are added to many foods to act as preservatives, they naturally appear in wine during fermentation. Many winemakers add even more, however, to help oxidize the wine, prolong its freshness, cut down on bacterial growth, and improve everything from the taste of your vino to its appearance, according to Healthline.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that the “overall prevalence of sulfite sensitivity in the general population is unknown and probably low,” the Cleveland Clinic states that it may be closer to between one in 40 to one in 100 for those with asthma.
And, should you happen to fall into one of these groups, there can be a whole host of negative physical responses to contend with as a result of wine consumption, chief among them, headaches. According to a 2019 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “sulfite concentration in wine is related to the risk of developing headaches in individuals who are susceptible to wine-induced headaches.”
It should be noted, however, that without a reliable blood or saliva allergy test on the market to single out sulfites as the culprit behind your symptoms, many have argued that these adverse reactions can also be caused by other ingredients found in wines.
What are Drop It wine drops?
Created by Jennifer Cocoran, who once suffered massive headaches from wine herself, these drops are made up of a proprietary formula of food-grade hydrogen peroxide (a known oxidation agent of sulfites), natural egg white protein, and sunflower lecithin, which are meant to lend smoothness to the taste of your wine.
To use them, you simply place a few drops (one to two for white wine, two to three for reds) into your glass, swirl it around for roughly 20 seconds, and enjoy.
Do the Drop It wine drops work?
In order to find out if the Drop It wine drops delivered on the company’s claim that they cut down on sulfites, Reviewed senior scientist Julia MacDougall used a CHEMetrics Titret test to suss out the initial sulfite content of four different wines: Bread & Butter chardonnay, Rombauer Carneros chardonnay, Freakshow cabernet sauvignon, and Rodney Strong Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon.
Prior to adding the drops, Julia found both of the white wines to contain sulfites of 25 to 30 parts per million (ppm). Though she noted that the Titrets tests are not recommended for red wines, she estimated that the cabernets had initial sulfite contents closer to 20 to 25 ppm.
Thus focusing her tests on the white wine, Julia placed one drop of the formula into 100 grams (roughly 2/3 of a glass) of both the Bread & Butter and Rombauer chardonnays before testing the sulfite content with the Titrets test once more. The results were clear: The sulfite contents in both glasses had been reduced by more than half, falling to just 10ppm!
Clearly, the Drop It wine drops were able to deliver on their claim of reducing sulfites in wine. But what about the claim that they would do so without changing the flavor of the wine? I set out to see for myself by giving my boyfriend two identical glasses of white wine and two identical glasses of red. I then asked him to drop the recommended amount of one to two drops for the whites, two to three drops for the reds, into just one glass of each varietal as I left the room. A few minutes later, I returned for a taste test.
Despite my best efforts, I was unable to detect which glasses of wine the drops had gone into. Neither glass of white had a perceivable difference in flavor. While the drops do initially give off a cloudy appearance upon release into your cup, it had dissipated by the time I took my sip, making it virtually impossible to know which drinkware they had been placed into—in fact, I guessed the wrong one.
The same thing happened when I attempted to discern which glass of red the drops had been placed inside. While I did notice a slight difference between the two—one glass tasted little smoother, while the other was a bit more tart and acidic—I incorrectly identified the tart glass as the one with the drops, though it actually turned out to be the less astringent of the two. I was also unable to taste the drops upon drinking larger glasses of red and white throughout the week.
While I can’t speak with certainty as to whether or not the reduction in sulfites had any affect on any potential sensitivities I may be partial to, including headaches or a lack there of, I can say without hesitation that I did wake up feeling great and completely hangover-free the following morning each time I used them.
What we liked
I liked almost everything about these little drops. They were quick, easy to use, small enough to throw in my purse to take to a friend’s house or restaurant, and, most importantly, they worked.
They delivered on nearly every claim the company made surrounding them, effectively reducing the sulfites found in the wine, being largely undetectable, and allowing me to feel like a million bucks the day after use. In the case of the red wine taste test, they actually even slightly improved the taste of my wine.
What we didn’t like
There wasn’t much to complain about in the way of these drops, but if we’re being nit-pickey, I’d say I have my doubts about the 55 glasses worth of drops the company says comes with each bottle. Having used them for just under a month at the recommended dosages, I’ve gone through roughly half a bottle of drops and have consumed nowhere near 27.5 glasses of wine.
That means you’ll be far more likely to have to order them more frequently than advertised (or, at the very least, stock up on the two-, four-, six-, or 22-packs, which range from $19.99 to $189.99). Still, I think it’s a fair price to pay for the product.
My only other qualm was with the slightly sulfuric scent they give off from their bottle prior to being mixed into liquid, but if you’re using them as directed, it’s not an issue you’re liable to notice: I should also caution that the instructions explicitly say not to ingest them directly.
Should you buy Drop It wine drops?
Absolutely—especially if you happen to be sensitive to sulfites. Even if you’re not, however, you may benefit from using these drops. I personally preferred the flavor of the red wine I tested after adding them better than I did prior to adding them!
They easily made my wine-drinking more enjoyable, both during and after consumption. Regularly priced at just $15 per bottle, I think it’s a small price to pay for such an elevated vino experience.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.