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Feb 26, 2010 06:47 PM

White Wine Hurts!

I love Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and a good Riesling, in that order; but suddenly, white wines burn my stomach. Red wines are still okay with the tummy. Any ideas why white wines have become the enemy?

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  1. are they sweeter or drier whites? the lower the sugar, the higher the acid. (wine from grapes grown in cooler climates also typically has a higher level of acidity.)...and when it comes to gastrointestinal distress, burning often = acid.

    7 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      While you are quite correct to presume that it is a higher lever of acidity that is (probably) causing white wines to "burn" the OP's stomach, it is quite INcorrect to say "the lower the sugar, the higher the acid." This is simply untrue.

      1. re: zin1953

        ok, so i just typed a looong reply explaining how i arrived at that conclusion, and the darned thing didn't post! short version - i was generalizing based on the characteristics (acid & sugar content) of grapes grown in warm vs cool climates...but neglected to consider that those levels in the raw material don't at all determine the sugar or acid in the final product once you consider fermentation and the winemaker's addition of sugar or acid. i was wrong - mea culpa.

      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Even the sweet wines cause my stomach to burn; and it came on suddenly, but no problem with dry reds. One day I was enjoying my usual glass of Chardonnay and the next it was pain. Curiously enough (to me), Tanqueray gin causes no problem and I would think that if any alcoholic beverage would cause gastro distress, it would be hard liquor. My family loves to enjoy a good bottle of German Spatlese and as you know, that is a sweet white, but... any other ideas? Thanks.

          1. re: invinotheresverde

            Several different ones: Cavit is one that I remember.

            1. re: BostonBound

              You may want to try some CA chards. They tend to have lower acidity, as a generality.

              1. re: invinotheresverde

                My thoughts exactly. I find that many are not so food-friendly, as others, but that lack of acid can be a blessing. I'll reach for them, when I have had several SB's, so long as I do not need to pair with the food, or do not have a dish with tons of butter.


      3. I wonder if these might be wines with acid added. Have you tried natural wines?

        1. Often, many whites have a higher acid element, hence their food friendliness, with some dishes. It could be just the acid affecting your stomach.

          Now, if I have had too much SB, I have similar issues, but am an old-guy. Similar with my wonderful PN's too.

          Good luck,


          1. BostonBound, when you say "suddenly" are you saying that this is a recent change in your tolerance to acidic whites? I ask because I just started experiencing acid burn (almost like acid reflux) from (most?) whites starting about 3 or so years ago (I'm 45 yo). I have no problems with reds (or at least, I haven't encountered a red that gives me acid burn). I'm now wondering if this is some sort of change in my physiology from aging.