The most common symptoms of a wine allergy include skin rash, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, shortness of breath, nasal congestion, swollen eyes, headache and rapid heartbeat. Wine intolerance may also develop such long-term symptoms as eczema, migraines, chronic fatigue and low energy.
An alcohol allergy is a reaction to allergens found in alcohol, such as grains, sulfites, prostaglandins and histamines. Prevention.com states that the amount of histamines in red wine is 20 percent to 200 percent higher than in white wine, which may explain more severe allergic reactions to red wine. In these cases, antihistamines may be helpful in treating minor symptoms of wine intolerance.
The symptoms of a heightened sulfite sensitivity are most commonly mild and involve a skin rash accompanied by redness, hives, difficulty breathing, wheezing, nausea and stomach cramps. Much less common but more serious signs and symptoms of sulfite sensitivity include low blood pressure, shock, extreme respiratory difficulties and loss of consciousness.
Overall, the only way to avoid allergic reaction to wine is to avoid alcohol. Switching to a different drink may indicate a particular ingredient that causes such a reaction. For people who experience the effects of wine intolerance, WebMD recommends consulting a medical expert before making any dietary changes. An emergency epinephrine auto-injector may be required in case of a severe allergic reaction.