I love the Really? column in the Science Times section of the NY Times. In April Anahad O’Connor reported that studies are showing that alcohol worsens allergy symptoms due to the histamines and sulfites they contain. Wine is the worse offender, and women are twice as likely to be affected as men.
2005 Swedish Study
A 2008 Danish study showed that drinking 2 glasses of wine daily doubles risk of symptoms, even for those who are otherwise unaffected.
Other foods that release histamines included cheese, pickled/fermented foods & yeasty foods: breads, cider and grapes. Maybe the grapes are causing the issue with the wine.
Chinese medicine is quite effective at treating allergies. In my clinic, I generally do a combination of individualized herbal formulas and acupuncture. During the allergy season we treat the branch, or the symptoms: runny nose, sneezing, sinus congestion, itchy eyes. Between the flare-ups we concentrate on the root problem: strengthening the immune system. Symptoms begin responding quickly; however, ongoing treatment is required to fully resolve the condition. For seasonal allergies, several seasons of back and forth between root and branch is needed. More frequent treatments during the season for treating branch symptoms, then backing off to a maintenance interval between season while addressing the root. Continuing herbal therapy makes reducing the frequency of acupuncture treatments possible.
Here’s some articles I’ve written explaining allergy treatment with Chinese Medicine from my website BartlettAcupuncture.com .