David Krumholtz – Celebrity Wine FAQ

David Krumholtz, courtesy NBC

We have to say, the only good thing about The Playboy Club (which holds the Fall 2011 dubious honor of being the first show cancelled of the new TV season) was seeing David Krumholtz working – better yet, not recognizing him right away. Not because the show sucked, but because it means Krumholtz can really act and create a completely different character than lovable math genius Dr. Charlie Epps, from CBS’ late lamented Numb3rs.

Krumholtz shared with us a problem he has with wine.

“I want to know why I’m allergic to wine,” he told Anne. “I used to drink a lot of red wine. And I went to France, to Paris. And I drank some of the finest wines in the world. Spent way too much money. Got blasted on all these wines every night. Got back to the States and I could not swallow more than a couple sips of American wine without getting sick. Why?”

The reality is, not everyone can drink wine. And when it comes to bad reactions, there could be a lot of different reasons why. And what constitutes sick, in this case? Barfing? Headaches? Sinus misery?

A genuine allergy is when the body’s immune system decides that something is bad, bad, evil, evil and tries to reject it, kind of like it does when a cold virus invades. Reactions will vary – if you swallow something, it can give you hives. If you touch it, you get a rash. If you breathe it, you get all stuffy and/or start sneezing.

But your body can react badly for a lot of reasons, not just an allergy. In Krumholtz’ case, it could have been his body saying enough already after an extended period of indulgence that just happened to coincide with his return to the U.S. from his trip to France. It could have been some of the additives that American wine makers will add to their wines, such as color enzymes and extra tannic acid, that the French don’t. And it could have been a sensitivity to any of a hundred different compounds in wine, triggered by said extended period of indulgence, so that even when one is not over-indulging, one is still sensitive to said compound.

If you find yourself in this position, it’s truly a bummer. Anne, for example, will sometimes get a stuffy nose while drinking wine. Is it her normal weather sensitivity getting an evil boost from the alcohol, or a compound that happens to be in some wines, but not in others? Without doing some extensive research, it’s hard to know.

The thing to do, Mr. Krumholtz, and anyone else, if you still want to drink wine (and it’s understandable if you don’t), is to try different types of wine from different places and see if you can isolate which ones make you sick and which ones don’t. If your reaction was merely your body begging for relief, and it’s been a while since that trip, then you may be able to drink wine again – unless your brain is convinced that wine makes you sick. Then that’s a different problem.

But the bottom line is that you need to respect your body, and if wine makes you sick, then it makes you sick and that’s life.

Please tell us what you think.