Alcohol can trigger either a migraine or a cluster headache. There are 3 main triggers in alcohol:

  • Dark alcoholic beverages, such as red wine, sherry, brandy, scotch, bourbon, and beer, contain tyramine. Tyramine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in your body and is also found in many foods. Adding more tyramine to your body may cause a headache. Red wine and champagne, in particular, have a lot of tyramine.
  • Alcohol's high sugar content can trigger a headache in people who are sensitive to sugar.
  • Alcohol contains histamines, natural chemicals that are found in cells throughout your body and are released during an allergic reaction. Histamines trigger headaches in sensitive people.

You could be sensitive to any or all of the alcohol triggers.