What causes “wine headaches”?

Because U.S. wines have a warning label about sulfites, many people automatically assume that they are the cause of their wine headaches. However, that is generally untrue. A bag of french fries has 13 times more sulfites than a glass of WineShop At Home wine. Most wine headaches are caused by histamine or tyramine.
Histamine, the primary culprit, dilates blood vessels when a person lacks an enzyme in their intestines to metabolize it. A doctor may prescribe antihistamines or recommend Vitamin B6 to help the person deal with it.
Tyramine does a double-whammy. It first constricts blood vessels, then dilates them. People sensitive to tyramine may also get headaches from aged cheeses, smoked or cured meats, and citrus fruits.
Lastly, dehydration also causes headaches. That’s why we stress that guests need to eat during wine tastings and clean their palates by having some water between the wines.
As you can see, there are several reasons why a person can get a wine headache. The specific cause is something that is best determined by a doctor.