A study, published in Deutsches Arzteblatt International, was conducted in order to assess the prevalence of wine intolerance among adults.
In 2010, the researchers, led by Peter Wigand, randomly selected 4,000 people aged 20 to 70 to fill out a survey about their alcohol intake and whether they suffered any allergy-like symptoms after consuming wine.
Of the 948 people who completed the survey, the team found that 8.9% of women reported wine intolerance versus 5.2% of men. In addition, they found that more people reported symptoms after drinking red wine than after consuming white wine.
Symptoms included flushed skin, itching, rhinorrhea, diarrhea, tachycardia, stomach or intestinal cramps. Furthermore, those who self-reported wine intolerance also reported intolerance to beer and alcohol in general. Study participants were also asked about other food intolerances, as well as reactions to pollen, house dust, latex, and medications.
22% of respondents reported food intolerance, 31% intolerance to pollen, 18.7% intolerance to house dust, and 12% medication. Participants with wine intolerance were more likely to report other intolerances than those not allergic to wine.
Source: Prevalence of Wine Intolerance: Results of a Survery From Mainz, Germany” Wigand, P; Blettner, M; Saloga, J; Decker, H Deutsches Arzteblatt International, July 2012, doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2012.0437