Selecting Low-Acid Wine

bottles on shelf

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!

Send me your wine question

For a free email subscription go to top of page

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under buying wine, Low acid wine

2 responses to “Selecting Low-Acid Wine

  1. i have the same problem with acid , i just puchased a bottle of SMOKIN LOON RED BLEND OMG SO SMOOTH. and didnt hurt us , but i did not find it at rite aid cvs vons or traders i found it at our nieborhood market for 8 bucks . iam hoping to find it somewhere for cheaper price

    • Thank you for your suggestion! For those who have medical reasons for being careful about acidic foods, I will reiterate that there is no such thing as a low-acid wine, so consult your physician before indulging. For all others, do you have a favorite place to purchase this wine? This is a major brand and I would think that you can find it at many chain stores with reasonably good selection. Eight bucks sounds like a pretty good price, but you never know – you may find it for less somewhere. Best of luck! Nancy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s