Welcome to the discussion about why wine gives you heartburn. Many people enjoy a glass of wine with their meal, but for some, it can cause discomfort and pain. In this conversation, we will explore the reasons behind wine-induced heartburn and what can be done to prevent it. Let’s dive into the topic!

Understanding Heartburn

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest, often accompanied by a sour taste in the mouth. It occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, irritating the lining of the esophagus. This condition is known as acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Heartburn is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can occur at any time of the day or night, but it is more common after meals or when lying down. Some people experience heartburn after drinking wine, and they may wonder why this happens.

Wine and Heartburn

Wine is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world. It is made from fermented grapes and contains a variety of compounds that can contribute to heartburn. The following are some of the reasons why wine may cause heartburn:

One key takeaway from this text is that heartburn is common and can be caused by a variety of factors in wine, such as the alcohol content, acid content, tannins, and histamines. To reduce heartburn from wine, one can drink in moderation, choose low-acid wines, avoid drinking on an empty stomach, wait before lying down, avoid trigger foods, consider the carbonation, take antacids, and talk to a doctor if heartburn is a frequent issue.

Alcohol Content

Wine contains alcohol, which can relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is a muscular ring that separates the esophagus from the stomach. When it relaxes, stomach acid can flow back into the esophagus, causing heartburn.

Acid Content

Wine contains acids such as tartaric acid, malic acid, and citric acid. These acids can increase the acidity of the stomach and irritate the lining of the esophagus. Red wine, in particular, has a higher acid content than white wine.


Wine also contains tannins, which are natural compounds found in grape skins, seeds, and stems. Tannins can contribute to the bitter taste of wine and can also cause the muscles in the esophagus to relax, making it easier for stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.


Histamines are a natural byproduct of the fermentation process that occurs when wine is made. Some people are sensitive to histamines and may experience heartburn as a result of consuming wine.

Tips for Reducing Heartburn from Wine

If you enjoy drinking wine but experience heartburn afterward, there are several things you can do to reduce your symptoms. The following are some tips:

Drink in Moderation

Drinking too much wine can increase your risk of heartburn. Try to limit your consumption to one or two glasses at a time.

Choose Low-Acid Wines

Wines with a lower acid content may be less likely to cause heartburn. White wines, in particular, tend to have lower acid content than red wines.

Avoid Drinking on an Empty Stomach

Drinking wine on an empty stomach can increase your risk of heartburn. Try to eat a meal or snack before drinking wine.

Wait Before Lying Down

Wait at least two to three hours after drinking wine before lying down. This can help prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus.

Avoid Trigger Foods

Some foods can trigger heartburn, so it is important to avoid them if you are prone to heartburn. Spicy foods, fatty foods, and citrus fruits are common triggers.


Some wines, particularly sparkling wines, are carbonated. Carbonation can increase the pressure in the stomach, causing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.

Take Antacids

Antacids can provide temporary relief from heartburn. They work by neutralizing stomach acid, reducing the acidity of the stomach, and reducing the likelihood of stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you experience frequent heartburn after drinking wine, it is important to talk to your doctor. They can recommend lifestyle changes or prescribe medication to help manage your symptoms.

FAQs for the topic: why does wine give me heartburn

What is heartburn, and what causes it?

Heartburn is a painful, burning feeling in the chest, caused by the stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus. The esophageal sphincter, a muscular ring-like valve located between the esophagus and the stomach, opens to allow food and drink to enter the stomach, then closes to prevent stomach contents from regurgitating back into the esophagus. When this valve relaxes or opens unexpectedly, acid from the stomach can travel back up the esophagus, causing irritation, inflammation, and discomfort, commonly known as heartburn.

Can wine cause heartburn?

Yes, wine can cause heartburn. Wine, particularly red wine, is highly acidic and can irritate the esophagus, leading to heartburn. Additionally, wine contains alcohol, which can relax the esophageal sphincter and make it easier for acid to flow back into the esophagus. The combination of these factors can increase your risk of experiencing heartburn symptoms after consuming wine.

Are there specific types of wine that are more likely to cause heartburn than others?

Yes, some types of wine are more likely to cause heartburn than others. Generally, red wine is more acidic and contains more tannins than white wine, making it more likely to cause heartburn. Additionally, sweet wines can also increase your risk of heartburn due to their higher sugar content.

Can drinking wine in moderation still cause heartburn?

Yes, moderate wine consumption can still cause heartburn, particularly in those who are more susceptible to acid reflux or have a history of gastrointestinal issues. Each person’s tolerance to wine and likelihood of experiencing heartburn can vary, but even small amounts of wine can increase your risk of acid reflux symptoms.

What are some other factors that can contribute to wine-induced heartburn?

In addition to the type and amount of wine consumed, several other factors can increase your risk of wine-induced heartburn. Eating large meals or consuming spicy, fatty, or acidic foods before drinking wine can exacerbate heartburn symptoms. Additionally, lying down or bending over shortly after drinking wine can increase your risk of acid reflux, as it can make it easier for stomach acid to travel back up the esophagus. Drinking water with or after wine can also help dilute its acidity and reduce the risk of heartburn.

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