Why Does Wine Hurt My Stomach

Why Does Wine Hurt My Stomach? As a wine enthusiast, there is nothing quite as enjoyable as savoring a glass of fine wine. However, if you find that drinking wine often leaves you with an …

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Why Does Wine Hurt My Stomach?

As a wine enthusiast, there is nothing quite as enjoyable as savoring a glass of fine wine. However, if you find that drinking wine often leaves you with an uncomfortable stomachache, you may be wondering why this is happening. In this article, I will delve into the reasons why wine can cause stomach discomfort and share some personal experiences along the way.

The Role of Acidity

One possible reason why wine may hurt your stomach is due to its acidity. Wine contains naturally occurring acids, such as tartaric, malic, and citric acids, which contribute to its flavor profile. These acids can sometimes trigger acid reflux or indigestion, leading to that uncomfortable burning sensation in your stomach.

I personally experienced this when I indulged in a glass of highly acidic white wine during dinner. The sharp, tangy taste was delightful, but it left me with a lingering stomachache that lasted for hours. It is important to note that individuals with pre-existing gastrointestinal conditions, such as gastritis or ulcers, may be especially sensitive to the acidity in wine.

Tannins and Stomach Sensitivity

Another factor that can contribute to wine-induced stomach discomfort is the presence of tannins. Tannins are naturally occurring compounds found in grape skins, seeds, and stems. They give wine its characteristic astringency and bitter taste. Some individuals may have a heightened sensitivity to tannins, leading to digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, or even stomach cramps.

Personally, I have found that drinking red wines with high tannin levels tends to leave me with an unpleasant stomachache. It’s a shame, as I do enjoy the complex flavors and aromas that these wines offer. However, I have learned to opt for wines with lower tannin content or pair them with food to minimize the discomfort.

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Alcohol and Digestive Upset

Of course, it’s essential to consider the role of alcohol itself in causing stomach pain. Alcohol is known to irritate the lining of the stomach, leading to inflammation and discomfort. When you consume wine, you are not only ingesting the alcohol but also the other compounds present in the beverage.

From personal experience, I have noticed that when I consume wine on an empty stomach or indulge in excessive amounts, the likelihood of experiencing stomach pain increases. It’s important to drink in moderation and ensure that you have a meal or snack before enjoying a glass of wine to minimize the potential for digestive upset.

Individual Sensitivities and Allergies

It is worth noting that individuals may have varying sensitivities and allergies that can contribute to wine-induced stomachache. Some people may be intolerant to certain compounds found in wine, such as sulfites or histamines. These substances can trigger allergic reactions or cause digestive issues in susceptible individuals.

In my case, I have discovered that I am sensitive to sulfites, which are commonly used as preservatives in wine. Drinking wines with high sulfite levels often leaves me with a bloated, uncomfortable stomach. To mitigate this, I opt for organic or low-sulfite wines whenever possible.


While wine can bring much joy and pleasure, it is unfortunate that it can also cause stomach discomfort for some individuals. The acidity, tannins, alcohol content, and individual sensitivities all contribute to this issue. If you experience stomachaches after drinking wine, it may be helpful to identify the specific factors that trigger your discomfort and make adjustments accordingly. Remember to drink in moderation, pair wine with food, and consult with a healthcare professional if you have ongoing digestive issues.

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John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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