A cogener is an impurity that is normally found in a lower quality wine, or in dark alcohols. Cogeners are one source of the story that cheap wines give you more headaches than expensive wines do. Methanol is a known cogener.
Cogeners are thought to cause hangovers, and in fact alcohol inhibits the action of the cogeners. That is, your hangover is usually delayed until after all the alcohol leaves your system and only the cogeners are left.
Sake breweries have often said that because the outer layer of rice is stripped of during the milling process, removing most of the fatty acids, that the higher quality sakes don't cause hangovers.
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Wine Glossary Main Listing
C Glossary Words