Pearly whites and red wine. Ask The Wine Ladies February 2011

Dear Wine Ladies,

Why do some people’s teeth get stained so quickly with red wine and others remain Crest white? I’ve heard it has to do with how porous your teeth are. Do some red wines stain less than others, or am I doomed to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio etc…?


Montreal, Quebec

Dear Pierre,

Wow, doomed sounds a little on the harsh side…however, there actually are several red wine choices you could make that might stain a little less aggressively. Look to grape varietals, or wines that are made with varietals, that are lighter in color such as Gamay, Pinot Noir, perhaps a Valpolicella. These wines tend to have a lower concentration of anthocyanins, the phenolic compound responsible for their color, compared to many other grapes and wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Nebbiolo (Barolo) and Merlot.

We approached Dr. Caplice, a dentist practicing in Oakville, Ontario to ask why some people are more susceptible than others and here’s what she had to say ” it’s not about the porosity of the teeth at all when talking about red wine stains; it’s about the texture” She goes on to say “smooth teeth, as opposed to teeth with bumps or ridges ( invisible to us of course), are less susceptible to staining as the surface allows for the potential offender to run off the tooth without having a ridge or a bump to grab hold of”. The answer here is try the lighter red wines and if the problem persists, there is a huge variety of white wines to explore. Keep us posted, we’re anxious to hear your results and your new found white wine favorites!

The Wine Ladies,

Georgia and Susanne


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