Question from John: My wife and I enjoy wine but increasingly she is effected by high acid. Are there any specific brands that you would suggest that are low acid taste good reasonably priced? Both red and white? Thanks for your help.
Reply: Hi, John. Thanks for writing. I’m afraid that wine is acidic by nature. Virtually all of the world’s wines fall between 2.8 and 4.0 on the pH scale.
Pardon my digression, here, for those unfamiliar: On the pH scale, zero is acid (battery acid), seven is neutral (water) and 14 is alkaline (lye, Drano). W
Whites are most often between 2.8 and 3.6 and reds between 3.3 and 4.0. The higher the pH the more bacteria-friendly the environment, meaning an increased risk of spoilage, so this is simple reality for winemakers. Above 3.8 and color stability is compromised. Plus, of course, the wine tastes better when the acid is balanced.
That said, recommending wine by brand isn’t practical. Any brand may acquire grapes from any region.
For the lowest acidity, drink red wine and shop by region, seeking out warm-climate wines. This includes most of California, Australia, South Africa and Argentina. Each of these regions have cool-climate pockets so it couldn’t hurt to do a quick search on, for instance, “warm-climate regions in Australia.” I’ll add that cool-climate regions, such as most of France, may also have warm pockets. The southern Rhone is a warm-climate situation and the red wines are usually quite ripe and relatively soft of acidity.
The one thing that will help you the most is to find a good retailer, who knows his wine and his inventory and ask him to suggest warm-climate, low-acid wines. These people are remarkable resources and hardly anyone takes advantage. Shopping at a good store may add a few dollars to the bottle price but as the retailer gets to know you he/she will be better at helping you select wines you’ll really enjoy and that have a better chance of working for your wife.
I’m guessing that your follow-up question came from reading this post. For those curious about the influence of climate on acidity, check it out.
I hope that helps, John! Cheers!
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