Low Acid Red Wines (Top 10 Picks)

    Wines With Low Acidity

    Drinking wine is all fun and games until you wake up in the middle of the night with that familiar feeling of dread, commonly known as acid reflux.

    But all you had was two glasses?

    And they didn’t taste that acidic?

    Not in comparison to the margaritas and daiquiris that your friends were drinking.

    So is there acid in wine?

    And how much acid can you expect in a glass of wine?

    Listen to this post here:

    Is Wine Low in Acidity?

    First things first, wine is acidic.

    In fact, not only is there acid in wine but it is of vital importance that there is acid in wine.

    You see, as with a lot of food, acid is naturally occuring in grapes and this acid is then carried over into the finished wine during the fermentation process.

    The presence of acid in wine is balanced out by other elements such as tannins, alcohol level, sweetness and aromas so it’s not always immediately obvious that the acid is there.

    So how can you detect acid in wine?

    How to Detect Acid in Wine

    There are two ways to detect acid in wine.

    • The 1st is to become more familiar with which wines are more likely to have high acidity levels. We’ll cover this later on but when in doubt always ask the person selling or serving you wine, as they’ll be more than happy to assist you with this.
    • The 2nd is to pay attention to the effect wine has in your mouth as you drink it.

    It might sound silly but the way our mouth reacts to wines we drink can tell us an awful lot about them.

    When it comes to detecting acid in wine, wines with high acidity will cause a lot of saliva to be released when consumed.

    You should feel this happening along the sides of your mouth and gums and this is because acidity is a signal to the brain that food is about to be consumed - your mouth is getting ready to eat.

    Take some time to notice next time you drink some wine, or something else with high acidity.

    See if you can notice the sensations occurring and the way your mouth responds to these high acid levels.

    But is there just one type of acid in wine?

    Types of Acids in Wine

    There are multiple different types of acids to be found in wine.

    The 4 primary types of acid to be found in wine are:

    • Tartaric acid
    • Malic acid
    • Citric acid
    • And Lactic acid

    Tartaric, malic and citric acid are the most common forms of acid found in wine.

    Lactic acid is the acid more commonly associated with milk and can be found in wines such as Chardonnay that have developed a creamier texture during fermentation.

    Why, then, is acid encouraged in the winemaking process?

    What makes acid so important in wine?

    Why is Acid Important in Wine?

    Acid is really important in wine.

    The presence of acid is crucial in balancing out the other elements of alcohol, tannins and sugar, ensuring one does not overpower the other.

    Acid is also very important for ageing wines and most wines suitable for long-term cellaring will have high acidity levels.

    Over time the acids will soften but the quality of the wine will have been maintained.

    Do Tannins Make Wine More Acidic?

    How do tannins influence acidity levels?

    Tannins and acidity can both be very powerful presences in wine, so it’s important they are well balanced when together.

    Not all high acid wines require tannins, in fact a lot of wines with high acidity levels, such as Riesling and Pinot Grigio, have low tannin levels.

    This way the tannins don’t exacerbate the acidity and make the wine taste unpleasant to drink.

    So if red wines have high tannins and low acidity, can they still age?

    How well can low acid red wines age?

    Can Low Acid Red Wines Age?

    Acidity is a very important element in a wine’s ageing process, so does that mean red wines with low acidity can’t age?

    As a wine ages it’s acidity levels tend to drop, and a wine can taste softer over time.

    Because of this red wines with low acidity levels are less likely to age well.

    It’s vital then, if you want to cellar a low acid red wine, that the wines have high levels of tannins, to help compensate for this.

    So in order to avoid cellaring the wrong wines, what red wines have low acidity?

    List of Low Acid Red Wines

    Here is a list of red wines with low acidity for you to look out for:

    • Bordeaux blends - These wines involve nothing but low acid grapes. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot feature heavily in these blends, But don’t worry, because of their high levels of tannins these wines are still perfect for ageing.
    • Zinfandel - When grown and made in Sunny California, Zinfandel makes for some really punchy, robust red wines with little acidity.
    • Carmenere - Similar in character to Merlot this is a silky smooth red wine whose acidity won’t keep you up at night.
    • Pinotage - A fantastic New World wine with minimal acidity, South African Pinotage is a great option for a low acid red wine.

    So that’s low acid red wines, but what about high acid red wines?

    What red wines are known for their high acidity levels?

    Related Guide: Low Acid White Wines

    Before You Go... 

    We hope this article answers any questions you may have on Low Acid Wines.

    Do you need to know about other popular wine types to add something extra to your next dinner party?

    Read our next article about popular red wines (and why) here...

    Popular Red Wine Types (Full Guide)

    If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, or email us at info@expertwinestorage.co.uk

    Related Guides

    If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, or email us at info@expertwinestorage.co.uk

    Learn more about other Wine Types here.

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    philip thompson Author: Philip Thompson
    Philip is the General Manager at Expert Wine Storage, and is very knowledgable about all things relating to wine and wine storage, including wine fridges. He is regularly featured in media outlets sharing his knowledge on wine. Connect on Linkedin

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