Avoiding Alcohol Brewed in Wooden Barrels


One characteristic of alcohol brewed in wooden barrels is a high tannin content.

They are usually found in red wine, although white wines also pick up tannins from being aged in wooden barrels.

Spirits such as whiskey also have higher tannins than clearer spirits such as vodka and gin.

The problem with tannins is that they can cause a histamine reaction, or intensify an existing one (i.e. from alcohol flush reaction).

For this reason, a lot of people tend to avoid beer, wine and whisky and opt for clear spirit mixers such as vodka sodas or gin and tonics.

Please discuss if you have noticed whether your symptoms vary according to the kind of alcohol you consume.


I strictly avoid beer and Champaign… The bubbles don’t do my asian flush any justice at all. Interesting re the tannins. I believe sulphites, which also commonly occur in alcoholic beverages, can kick off a histamine reaction too.

I went through a stage of sipping on a glass of straight gin. Not the tastiest drink but my face didn’t get as red as with other drinks for some reason. It also came in handy when I go too drunk I’d just switch to water and no one noticed :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyone know of any decent tasting drinks that are good for Asian flush?


I personally can’t go past a mojito or a simple vodka soda. Anything like wine, beer or aged spirits tend to kick the flushing in a lot more. That said, I can’t turn down a quality whisky once in a while :wink:

I found an interesting study about sulphites and tannins, however it is likely more relevant to those with particular food allergies relating to these compounds:



What about a good blanco tequila? Casamigos anyone?
That’s my go to clear spirit.

Open to any other recommendations, especially for a good sipping white rum!


I’ve noticed that types of alcohol I can consume and how much it makes me flush goes in this order:

  1. Wine: the woooorst flush
  2. Beer: almost as bad as wine!
  3. Whisky: kind of in the middle, I’ll go red & everything else but not so bad!
  4. Vodka: Still go red, but nowhere near as bad as whisky. If I’m only going to have 1 or 2 drinks, I’ll stick to vodka as it won’t make me too tomato red
  5. Rum: surprisingly gives me the least flush symptoms! Problem is that it’s hard to find decent rum in most places (bacardi is death juice!)


Red wine for me is the worst, just turns me into this guy :japanese_ogre:


I dont get bad flush reactions even when I drink a lot of alcohol but last week I had a glass of champagne and OMG I was so red! That definitely has the strongest reaction for me of any drink, whiskey and red wine sometimes make me red too.