Finding an IC Friendly Wine
Do you miss enjoying an occasional glass of wine? Wines can irritate a sensitive bladder in several ways. They are naturally acidic and thus, like orange juice or coffee, can trigger IC symptoms. Did you know, however, that some wines are lower in acid than others? Some wines have high alcohol levels which can make a tender bladder sting, particularly for patients with active Hunner’s Ulcers. Patients sensitive to histamine (i.e. as found in chocolate, aged cheeses or sausages) might find red wines more irritating than white wines. Luckily for ICers, there are thousands of wines on the market today to taste. Many may be bladder irritating but some might work for you when enjoyed in moderation. It simply requires some work on your part to learn more about wine, how and where grapes are grown and how it’s made.
Here’s a brief glimpse into the science of winemaking and what to look for when searching for a more bladder friendly wine. Even if wine isn't your thing, a day visiting vineyards and wineries can still be enjoying for their often lush gardens, entertaining tours and supplementary products, such as olive oil and lavender.
Wine Acid Levels:
The acid level of various wines depends upon the type of grape, its growing conditions and location, fermentation and style. As a grape grows, it naturally produces tartaric acid and malic acid. In all climates, grapes accumulate these acids early in the ripening process and then begin to naturally lose them as the grapes get close to harvest.
Sugar Levels, Harvest & Fermentation:
Sugar is also vital to the wine-making process because it’s the natural sugar found in the grapes that is eventually converted to alcohol through the fermentation process. Warm climates definitely produce more sugar in the grapes than cooler climates.
Taste & Perferences:
Wine flavors can be incredibly diverse. Some wines have very fruity and fresh flavors. One of the great joys of wine tasting is smelling the wine and trying to describe its aromas and tastes.
Wines often have characteristics (flavors and scent) that resemble natural fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. Fruit flavors in wine are very diverse. Wines can smell and taste like apples, blackberries, currants, cherries, oranges, peaches, pears, raspberries and other fruits. Some wines also have a nutty (i.e. pepper or cinnamon flavor).