Which Wines are Less Acidic?

Question from Donnie: I was trying to find information on which wines are less acidic, as I have a problem with acid reflux. I read that grapes grown in warmer climates are less acidic, is this true?  And can you please give me a list of some less acidic wines?  Thank you in advance for your help.  

Reply: Hi, Donnie. Thanks for writing! 

I think the most important thing for you to do is check in with your doctor about wine, in general, because even wines that are relatively low in acid are still quite tart when you look at the big picture.

If you’re familiar with the pH scale then you know 0 is acid, 14 is alkali and 7 is neutral. Purified water is neutral.

Wine is usually between 3 and 4 on the pH scale and is more acidic than just about any food you might eat unless you like to eat fresh lemons.  

You’re absolutely correct that warm climate wines tend to be on the higher end of the pH scale, so lower in acid. 

But, you asked me for a list of low acid wines. I should mention that reds are usually lower in acid than whites. Generally speaking, avoid regions that are famous for Pinot Noir, sparkling wine, Riesling or Gewürztraminer. 

Well-known warm climates by region: 
  • Most of California: Avoid Sonoma Coast, Santa Maria Valley and Santa Rita Hills
  • Most of Australia: Avoid Western Australia and most of Victoria
  • Walla Walla Washington
  • Mendoza Valley, Argentina 
Unfortunately, most of Europe falls into the cool-climate category, especially the most famous regions. You might look at southernmost Italy and Greece for lower acidity. Also reds from Portugal and parts of Spain may fill the bill.

Wines that are likely to be tart: Sparkling wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer… 

I hope that helps and that you can find a wine that works for you. Cheers! Nancy

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