Burning Riesling Acidity Questions That You Need To Know

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Riesling is a delectable aromatic white wine grape variety native to Germany. These vines are found growing in the Rhine River region, which goes through Germany, France, Switzerland, and Austria. It is a resilient grape variety that thrives in cool and warm climates.

The Riesling grapes are small, compact bunches of yellow and green fruit. They are excellent at expressing terroir. The taste depends on the type of soil the grape is grown.

Clay soil gives the wine a fruity citrus aroma, while red sandstone soil gives it an apricot flavor. Slate soils promote a mineral note to the wine. 

Riesling wines age well, mainly due to its high levels of acidity. This also leads to the development of a chemical compound called TDN, which lends a petrol-like aroma to the wine. This is a trait of high-quality Riesling wine.

Matured Riesling wine has an exquisite dark greenish-blue tinge. It also has the distinction of having its own unique bottle shape, which is tall and slender.

Although most common in the European region, the Riesling grape also thrives in other countries. It is widely grown in South Australia, where it is flavored with floral notes and aromas of honeycomb.

In New Zealand, it comes in exquisitely sweet or lean dry styles. In the United States, it is drier with a mix of white peach and citrus undertones. The Riesling ice wine is also produced in this region.

Three sealed wine bottles - Riesling Acidity Questions.

Is Riesling high or low in acidity compared to other white wines?

Riesling wine is high in acidity when compared with other white wines. White wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc, and Moscato are packed with an array of fruity notes and floral aromas. 

They compliment many food types and are very appealing and easy on the palate.

Grune Veltliner, Torrontes, Fiano, and Cortese are also white wines but with a similar or higher level of acidity than Riesling. These wines have a crisp, citrus flavor with a refreshing finish. 

The acidic levels in Riesling are similar to those found in orange juice or lemonade. Hence, these wines are usually made sweeter in order to balance out the acidity and give it a juicy, exhilarating finish.

There are mainly four categories of Riesling wines. They are :


  • Sweet Riesling – a light level of sweetness is present
  • Dry Riesling – dry and not sweet
  • Semi-sweet Riesling – well-balanced wines
  • Sparkling Riesling – sweet and sparkling


How about compared to red wine

Most often, white wines are more acidic than red wines. The sweeter the wine, the more acidic it is. 

Acidity is measured on a pH scale. It shows how much acid is in the wine. For example, the acidic pH level in white wine is 3.0 to 3.4, while in red wines, the pH level is 3.5 to 3.8.

Tartration levels indicate the percentage of wine that is acid. The tartration level of red wine borders in the range of 0.6 to 0.8%. White wine, meanwhile, has a range between 0.7 to 0.9%.

White wine grapes that are grown in a warmer climate will produce less acidic white wine. Chardonnay and Viognier are good examples.


How will Riesling affect me if I have acid reflux?

Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as heartburn or acid indigestion, affects many people of all ages. This is because the alcohol in the wine causes your stomach to produce more acid, which can sometimes leak out into the esophagus.

Riesling wine has a high acidic level which can trigger an acid reflux attack. In addition, it has been clinically proven that white wine significantly increases the chances of experiencing an acid reflux episode.

The acid in wine can aggravate an empty stomach, so it helps to have a glass of water that will neutralize the stomach acids. In addition, you can also pair your wine with specific food types that would help in balancing off the acidity.

Furthermore, you can also take acid-blocker medication, such as H2 blockers or Proton-pump inhibitors. These medications decrease the production of stomach acid and are available over the counter.

Final Thoughts On Riesling Acidity

Riesling wine is a favorite among top connoisseurs around the world. The versatility of this wine, along with its range of styles, from sweet to dry, makes it a much-favored drink.

The wine is renowned for its fruity flavors like nectarine, pineapple, and apricot, along with its elegant aromas of jasmine, honeycomb, and citrus blossom. Even though Riesling wine is acidic, it is widely celebrated as a truly exceptional white wine.