Don’t Be Passing Out The Heartburn, When You’re Passing Out The Wine!

Courteney Cox Try To Get HeartburnI made wine from muscadines and gave a bottle to a friend they said that it gave them heartburn. Can you tell me what is in wine that would do that and can I make the next batch better..??

Thank you
Hello Chuck,

That’s a heck of a note. You give a friend a nice bottle of your own personal stock. You probably had put customized wine bottle labels on the bottles to make them look nice, only to have your friend belch and say, “Your homemade wine gave me heartburn.

Seriously, we don’t know for sure that your friend’s heartburn was caused by the wine or not. They may not have realized that it was something they ate, or it could have been the fact that they decided to guzzle the whole bottle during a single episode of Modern Family. We just don’t know. I’m also noting here that you did not say it gives you heartburn.

For some folks, alcohol can give them heartburn. There’s nothing we can do about that. However, another trigger is acid. All wines have acid. It comes from the fruit, such as your muscadines, and possibly from acid you added to the wine in the form of acid blend. The wine needs a certain level of acid to taste correct – to keep it from tasting flat – but too much acid can cause the wine to taste too tart and to burn a little more than necessary while going down. Too much acid in your homemade wine can give someone heartburn.

The only thing you can really do to help your wines – and your friend – is to take complete control of your wine’s acidity. This can easily be done with an acid testing kit. Simply put, this kit will tell you how much acid is in your wine; how much acid your wine should have; and how much acid blend you’ll need to add to the wine, if any, for a properly balanced wine.

shop_acid_test_kitHow it works is you take a reading with the acid testing kit before the fermentation to get the wine must into the proper range. Then you also take another reading before bottling to see if a final adjustment is needed.

The acid testing kit is particularly important when learning how to make white wines. By tradition white wines are typically higher in acid than reds. One has to be careful not to go over the edge, so to speak, when getting these white wines into a proper acidity range.

In short, take control of the wines’ acidity. Start using an acid testing kit, and the next time you pass out your homemade wine, you won’t here the cries of, “your homemade wine gave me heartburn.”

Happy Wine Making,
Ed Kraus
Ed Kraus is a 3rd generation home brewer/winemaker and has been an owner of E. C. Kraus since 1999. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years.

11 thoughts on “Don’t Be Passing Out The Heartburn, When You’re Passing Out The Wine!

  1. I was wondering if you could add color back to watermelon wine by adding food grade food coloring? I’m new at this with way to many questions. I enjoy your comments and have learned a lot. Olereb down in Souuuth Carolina.

    • Stanley, we are glad that our articles have been helpful. In regards to adding food coloring to your wine, it has been our experience that it does not bond well with the wine. You can certainly try it in a small sample of the wine. That way if it does not work you have not ruined the entire batch.

      • I have used dried elderberry in boiling water to add to color my strawberry wine. I used 2 1/2 oz (or a half of a pkg.) to 1/2 gallon of boiling water. Let it set till it cools down and than add it to the must. Replaces the tannin that is uusua;ly added to must. Not sure how that would work with watermelon wine. Have you hear of this Ed?

  2. People Also get heart burn (or head aches too) from Red wine, and not White
    but they blame it on the sulfites , but Commercial White wine is supposed to have more..

    The article pointed out that White is more acidic also maybe it’s the tannin
    As a black BITTER tea drinker too much tannin can make you sick, (Bad Stomach ache)
    and when that happens to me I have to flush my system out with water ,
    but I end up drinking more tea, and you don’t want to know what happens.. it’s so good.

  3. I mean’t to put more emphasis on IF you do get heart burn try Water with wine , and or reds

    Stanley Why not just leave the wine it’s natural color
    Good Idea’s On adding color though everyone.
    Now you got me thinking if high bush cranberry
    Which is not a real cranberry would add color strong taste though.
    Could always use coffee mugs!

  4. Dear Chuck, my solution would be to not waste your hard work and, no doubt, excellent wine on friends who are not gracious enough to say, ‘thank you’. Good grief.

    • Steven, if you wine is bitter and gives your heartburn, as this article suggests the wine is probably too high in acid. I would take a look at a different article posted below that will discuss how to lower the acid level.

      Getting A Handle On Wine Acidity

  5. Hi, I have a question, I have already sweetened my wine, with the PKG of sweetner that came with my kit..I have tasted it and think it could be a little sweeter .Can I add more sweetner and do I have to go thru steps to stop yeast again?

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