So I finally got the infamous wine wands. I actually got these a couple months ago, but I hadn't worked up the courage to try them until right before my one year HIT-anniversary. I was in a good place, flareup- and stress-wise, so I felt comfortable potentially pushing my limits with this wine wand review.
After all, low histamine wine is one of the few topics I get asked about every single week! Now that I've been (mostly) low histamine for over three years now, I figure it's time to revisit these. I have some coming in th email sometime early July, 2023!
Medical Disclaimer: as with everything on this site, this article is provided for information only. I strongly urge you to speak with your doctor or a licensed medical professional in order to assess whether or not you have histamine issues, and/or which foods cause a histamine release for you personally. Every body is different, and some people will tolerate different foods than you do. Please keep comments respectful.
Why is Wine High Histamine?
Wine is a fermented beverage. During the process of fermentation, lots of histamine is created within the mixture, eventually transferring into the bottle you bought off the shelf. It basically arrives to you chock-full of histamines (though some companies claim to have crafted fully histamine free wines).
It's also one of the highest histamine foods out there. Additionally, wine is plagued by another substance which tends to affect a notable proportion of the population: sulfites.
Much like histamine, the latter is known to induce allergy-like symptoms, including chest congestion, headache/migraine, dizziness, flushing, and nausea, among others. Up to 1% of the population is said to be sulfite-sensitive.
Another unknown percentage experiences only mild discomfort, sometimes up to a day after ingestion. If you happen to be sensitive to both sulfites and histamines, you may find yourself reacting heartily to wines, whether all-of-a-sudden or as far back as you can remember.
This is because both substances are present in all types of wine, unless specifically marked "sulfate-free," and they're the main triggers for wine allergies. So is histamine-free wine possible? It just might be, according to PureWine.
They claim to have invented a simple device which can whisk away 90% or more of the sulfites and histamines in wine, no matter its provenance. PureWine calls this The Wand™, and I'm here today to review it.
How Does the Wine Wand Work?
While I don't know the scientific specifics behind the product (and their patent, which protects those specifics), I do know that each little filter is said to suck up the sulfites and histamines in wine.
The company's website has some more detailed data from their lab tests, but the gist is that the longer you keep the filter in your glass, the better it'll work. It's basically at full filtration power after 8 minutes.
But this also means that it will continue to filter out any histamines which build up while you're sitting there enjoying your wine. So not only are they cute, but they continue to be functional 'til the last drop.
Stirring your filter apparently also helps to aerate the wine while it's filtering, if you choose to sit in front of your glass while you wait. After I'd finished using my first one, I looked closely at it and then opened up the filtering bag itself.
Inside is this caviar-like mixture of teeny yellow and red spheres; I assume that at one point they were all yellow, but after filtering a glass of red wine they've been saturated.
The best part (for me & my freezer) is that this means you can put your wine in the fridge! I can now (maybe) properly store a bottle of red wine in my fridge without giving myself hives just thinking about it, and that's a huge win in my book.
How to Use the Wine Wand
With histamine intolerance, it's really important to reintroduce foods with caution. I recommend starting with a sip or two one day, and a half serving the next, finally trying a full serving on day 3 or 4, assuming you didn't have any adverse reaction.
To test the wine wand, first I got a pack of 3 from Amazon, and while I've shared a few pictures of the wine wands in their packaging, but the first thing I noticed when taking it out is all the dust.
The whole bottom of the wand was coated in this light yellow powder, and I was able to take it off & shaking the wand didn't release anymore, so this is more a warning than a complaint. Beyond the dust, though, the actual removing portion of the wand greatly resembles a tea bag carrying the heft of a coin purse.
Before using it I glances around for instructions and found them written in numerous ways. The way to use a wine wand is as follows: dip in wine and leave it in there for 10+ minutes*. Drink wine. It's that simple! So I set a timer for 10 minutes and poured myself a glass of red, sticking in my first wine wand.
*The packaging says 3+ minutes to filter the wine, but after deep-diving into the company's website, I found where it says that after 3 minutes, only half of the histamines and sulfites are removed, but that "after 8 minutes, as much as 95% of the histamines and sulfites can be removed."
Therefore, I'd recommend leaving it in for 10 minutes and gently stirring it every minute or so to ensure even filtering.
Each pack comes with 3 wands, so I started night one with somewhat less than the recommended amount of wine (I poured ~4oz.), just enough so that the wand was covered , plus the wand itself. I took just one sip of the whole glass... and then snuck a second sip because damn that was good. Then I waited.
And then I waited some more, until the next day, in fact, when I repeated the whole process and instead had half the glass. Mind you, I'm eating very clean and actively antihistamine right now, but it was fabulous.
I did experience a very small amount of acid reflux on Day 4 (I waited two days after the ~2oz. half glass), when I had a full glass (4oz. in this case) with a reliably non-reactive meal. But I think that's more to do with the sudden acidity than with histamines.
I believe this because my mind remained clear afterwards and brain fog/distractibility is a big histamine reaction of mine. The supermarket has a variety of organic (sulfite-free) wines that I plan to try next time, along with any low histamine wines I can order to the US.
Honestly, it's been so long since I had any alcohol that I just picked one made from a grape blend I remember liking and hoped for the best. I wasn't really sure what to expect with the first sip, but that was a strangely satisfying first two sips of wine in years!
Final Thoughts on the Wine Wand
Overall, I'm happy with how well the wine wand removes histamines, and if I were sensitive to sulfites, I get the feeling I'd be happy with that, as well. If this experiment hadn't worked, I likely wouldn't be writing further articles on low histamine wine.
But since it did work for me, I'm excited to discover what I do like whne I'm not so preoccupied with the histamines in wine. I enjoyed my small glass quite a bit, but I think that I'll try a different treat for my next experiment.
Remembering that high histamine foods are a treat rather than a new food group has definitely helped me with my slow reintegration of foods. Next up to try: chocolate.
Have you ever tried the wine wand? If you have, I'd love to hear your experience, especially if you have a sulfite sensitivity! Please drop a comment and share below.
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