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Ron Johnson

White Wine & Indigestion

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Frequently, when I drink white wine I get fierce indigestion. This never happens with red wine. Can somebody tell me what the hell is going on here?

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No, but I can empathize. I once shared a crate of champagne with two other people (and one was a girl, so didn't count). Several hours later, it was like broken glass in my oesophagus.

 

Yes, white wine is fierce. I always just assumed it was more acidic, but there may be a craftier explanation.

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You could mix it with Pepto-Bismol and call it a pink peppermint martini.

 

(Duck)

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Which white wines are you drinking? And from where? With what foods or alone?

 

I would think that reactions are personal. From my perspective, California chardonnays are the worst; white sparkling wines and French whites the best. I also wonder about exposure. I have always preferred and downed reds, but have recently switched to champagnes as my 'lets have a glass (or two or three) of wine' choice. At the moment, I find reds less easily metabolized. Perhaps I have developed sensitivity to them?

 

I have never put much faith in over-the-counter solutions to gastric annoyances. Small sips of cold water over the course of, maybe, 15 minutes should relieve you of minor upsets.

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From my perspective, California chardonnays are the worst; white sparkling wines and French whites the best.

That doesn't make sense. Lots of French white wines are made from chardonnay. Why would chardonnay from CA cause more heartburn than chardonnay from France?

 

As for remedies....Prilosec OTC, 20mg every morning...bye bye heartburn forever.

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Not all CA chardonnays are so oaky, and not all French chardonnays are so un-oaky. (Not that oak causes heartburn, mind you - I have no idea)

 

Oh - and plenty of white sparkling wines are made from chardonnay.

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I think the acidity must be the reason.  Perhaps I should be pairing TUMS with my white wine?

I agree with Dr. Johnson and Dr. Wilfrid. I mean, it depends on what symptom is meant by "indigestion." If this means vague dyspepsia and/or heartburn, then yeah, it may be the acidity. White wine is more acidic than red wine. Another important issue may be the fact that white wine also seems to relax the lower esophageal sphincter more than red wine, for some reason, at least according to one study I saw (Scand J Gastroenterol. 1998 Feb; 33(2): 118-22). That could give you extra GERD symptoms.

 

However, rather than pairing your white wine with Tums, or blending your Chassagne-Montrachet into a lovely Pink Peppermint Martini, I'd recommend taking 150 mg of ranitidine (aka Zantac) prior to indulging. And/or eat some nonacidic food with your wine. And don't lie down within a few hours after drinking it.

 

I'd be wary of the water-sipping approach. Drinking extra water may dilute gastric acidity, but it also distends the stomach, increasing intraluminal pressure. And it further liquifies the gastric contents, making it easier for them to sneak up into the esophagus. Plus, each sip of water opens up the lower esophageal sphincter for a moment, and may siphon the gastric contents out into the esophagus. What I'm saying is, some people say the water sipping helps them, but I think it could hurt, too.

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Not all CA chardonnays are so oaky, and not all French chardonnays are so un-oaky.  (Not that oak causes heartburn, mind you - I have no idea)

 

Oh - and plenty of white sparkling wines are made from chardonnay.

Maybe it's just the crappy stuff that's often sold as chardonnay at bars and restaurants by the glass. I'm still thinking the oakoids have something to do with the difference between French and domestic.

 

And on the bubbly front, one word: Korbel.

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Stick to Richard's Wild Irish Rose White in the gallon jug. Half way through it, if you have an attack of acid reflux, you scarcely notice it. And you'll prolly have enough money left over for a couple of double Whoppers and a triple order of fries

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Stick to Richard's Wild Irish Rose White in the gallon jug. Half way through it, if you have an attack of acid reflux, you scarcely notice it. And you'll prolly have enough money left over for a couple of double Whoppers and a triple order of fries

Is this wine fortified? BTW, not there are triple whoppers. I saw a billboard today.

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Stick to Richard's Wild Irish Rose White in the gallon jug.  Half way through it, if you have an attack of acid reflux, you scarcely notice it.  And you'll prolly have enough money left over for a couple of double Whoppers and a triple order of fries

Is this wine fortified? BTW, not there are triple whoppers. I saw a billboard today.

Damned right it is. Fortified like crazy. And what the hell does 'not there are triple whoppers" mean? Try to keep up, boy.

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Stick to Richard's Wild Irish Rose White in the gallon jug.  Half way through it, if you have an attack of acid reflux, you scarcely notice it.  And you'll prolly have enough money left over for a couple of double Whoppers and a triple order of fries

Is this wine fortified? BTW, not there are triple whoppers. I saw a billboard today.

Damned right it is. Fortified like crazy. And what the hell does 'not there are triple whoppers" mean? Try to keep up, boy.

Sorry, "NOW there are triple whoppers."

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