5 ways to avoid a wine hangover

It’s Friday and the sound of the wine bell is already more than just a twinkle in my ear. It is a definite sound of ringing…

but what about the dreaded saturday morning wine hangover

The problem with Friday night drinking is that a big Friday night can set the tone for a weekend of sofa gazing, Netflix and delivered carb fests (Deliveroo anybody?) and frankly, people, the weekend is worth more than that.

We get asked about avoiding wine headaches and hangovers a lot and we feel your pain. Whilst not drinking so much is an obvious, if annoying, solution, there are a few different things that can cause your headache. In fact, the ‘red wine headache’ is considered an unsolved, medical phenomenon, if that makes you feel any better about it!

We’ve collected 5 of our ‘go to’ hangover causes and avoidance techniques for you, some are gentle reminders and others have helped the damage limitation on big nights out.


Annoyingly, the most obvious cause is alcohol, which effects us all. Alcohol causes dehydration. By drinking more water and less alcohol you’re giving your body a better chance of survival!

TIP 1- Drink a glass of water with every glass of wine.

TIP 2 – Say no to top ups – if you never finish a glass of wine you won’t really know how much you’ve actually drunk.

Tip 3 – Drink wine with lower alcohol content.

European versions of popular grapes are often lower in alcohol than their US, Australian or New Zealand counterparts.

On top of this some grapes are naturally higher in alcohol than others, avoid the high ones for a lighter head tomorrow.

Slightly more controversially…


Wines that have been aged (in or out of barrels) can contain higher levels of histamines which has been said to be a trigger for migraines, headaches (and other effects like hives)*

Tip 4 – steer clear of older wines and wines that have been stored in barrels, traditionally more likely to be red  – Rioja, Shiraz, Cabernet and Malbec are all likely candidates but also some whites like Chenin and Chardonnay. Some people recommend an anti-histamine to counter this but we can’t vouch for that.


Cheaper, mass-produced wines are more likely to use different techniques and products to create the flavour and texture that they want in a wine, this can involve adjusting sugar, acidity, alcohol and tannin levels. Some believe that these processes can also trigger headaches.

Tip 5 – Plump for wines that aren’t mass produced – hard to tell but generally the cheapest of the cheap or the wines with ‘made-up’ labels or names is a good starting point. To be really sure look for wines made using biodynamic practices which have to avoid chemical and manufactured intervention.

And if despite all of this you wake up tomorrow with a gnarly head stick on the ostrich head, pictured above and available to buy on Firebox and hope it passes…

Happy Weekend!

What do you do to avoid a wine hangover? Share your tips below!

*Research on the effects of histamines in the cause of headaches is inconclusive, with some studies showing an impact and others not. We know people who swear by it.

**It’s now reasonably proven that sulphites in wine don’t cause headaches and the numbers of studies on this is increasing.

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