What's the difference between organic and regular wine?
As you could guess, organic wine is made just like anything else organic that you'd buy at the grocery store or farmers' market -- with as little outside manipulation as possible. Within the organic wine sphere, though, there are three different classifications that determine just how organic your organic wine is.
According to the USDA, wine bottles can either be labeled as “100 percent organic,” “organic” or “made with organic grapes.” Basically, that means the wine is made with 100 percent, at least 95 percent or at least 70 percent organic ingredients, respectively. Then there's wine that can be labeled as "biodynamic," which treats the entire vineyard and winemaking process as a living ecosystem.
This is a lot of mumble jumble that basically comes down to one thing: sulfites. Sulfites are preservatives in wine that prevent it from spoiling, oxidizing and aging too quickly. You've probably heard about them before, because not only are they VERY controversial in the wine world, but those little guys are also what's thought to contribute most to your hangover. This isn't entirely true -- histamines and tannins also contribute, as well as just alcohol itself, obvi -- but they don't help.
TL;DR: Organic and 100 percent organic wines don't contain any sulfites, while biodynamic wines and wines made with organic grapes contain teeny, tiny amounts of sulfites. And these amounts compared to the amounts in regular wine are why everyone bought a one-way ticket for the organic wine train.
Is organic wine actually better for you?
Well, yes and no. If you're worried about sulfites, or are one of the few people who are actually physically allergic to them, then yes, organic wine is much better for you. That said, a lot of other foods also contain sulfites, so if you can eat dried fruit, for example, and not get sick from it, then you're probably fine. Thankfully, if you are allergic, wine labels are required to cite that the bottle "contains sulfites." Unfortunately, non-organic wines can also be grown with pesticides and other bad stuff, and those they are not required to cite.
So, the short answer is yes. Organic wine can be better for you because no matter what you are or aren't allergic to, the bottom line is that it contains less of the "bad" ingredients that most regular wine has.
OK, but will organic wine prevent my hangover?
Obviously, I don't need to tell you that nothing can totally prevent a hangover. If you're drinking alcohol, there's always a chance that you won't feel like a million bucks the next day. That said, organic wines are typically a bit better for avoiding hangovers. And shockingly, it isn't because of the sulfites and all the other "bad" stuff in regular wine.
It's because of the sugar. Or, lack thereof.
Certified organic wines typically contain way less sugar, and also tend to have less fake flavoring agents and artificial coloring. Ever notice how you get a terrible hangover if you're drinking daiquiris all night, but not so much from a vodka soda? That's the sugar talking. Less sugar = less pounding in your head the next morning. So, less sugar in organic wine = less hangover.