Does Wine Trigger Gout?

Understanding the Link Between Alcohol and Gout

Gout is a type of arthritis, a condition involving swollen, painful joints that happens when the immune system attacks healthy cells. The joints most likely to be affected by gout are the joints at the ends of the arms and legs, including the ankles, fingers, toes, and especially the big toe.

Many substances can trigger or lead to gout symptoms, including certain medications, foods containing a chemical called purine, and drinking alcohol, including wine.

Learn about gout, how wine and other types of alcohol can affect this condition, and more.

Older man holding up his wine glass to make a toast at an outside gathering.

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Wine and Gout

Drinking wine, especially red wine, is thought to have health benefits, such as a possible decrease in the risk of heart disease. However, there is contradictory research, and drinking wine may impact people and medical conditions differently. People with gout are advised to limit their intake of foods high in purines, a chemical known to lead to gout attacks called flares and increase symptoms. Purines are found in wine and other types of alcohol.

Research has found a link between gout and drinking all types of alcohol. People affected by gout who choose to drink are advised to only drink small amounts occasionally, regardless of the type.

People with gout are advised to limit or completely avoid drinking alcohol, including wine, because it can trigger flares and make symptoms worse.

Other Types of Alcohol and Gout

All types of alcohol increase the risk of gout flares, times when symptoms worsen. For this reason, people with gout should limit or completely avoid drinking alcohol. However, some types of alcohol may have more of an impact than others.

For example, beer may impact gout more than other types of alcohol because it contains more purines, and regular beer contains more purines than light beer. People who drink beer regularly are more than twice as likely to be affected by gout. Even though beer is a known trigger of gout attack, all alcohol is high in purines and should be avoided.

Preventing Gout Flares

Gout symptoms can come and go, with phases of very mild or no symptoms called remission and phases of flares. To manage symptoms and prevent flares, people with gout can avoid alcohol, eat foods low in purines, and drink plenty of water.

Tips to Prevent Gout Flares

  • Avoid drinking all types of alcohol.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet low in purines, including fruits, nuts, most vegetables, and rice.
  • Exercise regularly, and focus on low-impact options during flares.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Set aside time for relaxation and to manage stress.
  • Talk to a healthcare professional about medications that may increase the risk of gout.
  • Treat other health conditions that may occur with gout.


Arthritis is a medical condition that involves swollen, painful joints. It is usually caused by the immune system attacking healthy cells. Gout is a type of arthritis that affects mostly the joints at the ends of the arms and legs, including ankles, fingers, toes, and especially the big toes. Symptoms of gout are similar to other types of arthritis, but gout may involve bumps under the skin formed by crystals.

While drinking wine can have some health benefits, including a decreased risk of heart disease, research is contradictory on its benefits. Additionally, all types of alcohol, including wine, increase the risk of gout flares. People with gout are advised to limit or completely avoid all types of alcohol. Additionally, there are lifestyle choices and behaviors that can help to improve gout symptoms, such as following a low-purine diet, being physically active, and managing stress.

A Word From Verywell

Living with gout can be challenging. The pain and inflammation can be severe enough to interfere with daily life, which can impact your mental health and social well-being. If you or someone you know is experiencing gout or symptoms of gout, seek help. Treatment options and lifestyle and behavioral changes can reduce symptoms and prevent flares. Reach out to a healthcare professional such as a primary care provider or rheumatologist for support.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much wine can you drink with gout?

    The amount of wine a person with gout can tolerate depends on the person and how it affects them. It is best to avoid alcohol completely. However, some people find they can tolerate small amounts, especially if it is only consumed occasionally.

  • What is the best thing to drink if you have gout?

    All types of alcohol should be avoided to prevent gout. While wine may affect gout less than beer and some other types of alcohol, it can still trigger gout flares and increase symptoms. The best thing to drink is water.

  • What is the safest alcohol to drink with gout?

    There is no safe type of alcohol to drink with gout because they have all been shown to trigger attacks and increase symptoms. Wine is sometimes believed to be the least likely to lead to negative effects, but there is not enough evidence to support this claim and it is high in a chemical called purine, which leads to gout.

8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gout.

  2. National Health Service. Gout.

  3. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Gout.

  4. Harvard Medical School. Is red wine actually good for your heart?.

  5. Neogi T, Chen C, Niu J, Chaisson C, Hunter DJ, Zhang Y. Alcohol quantity and type on risk of recurrent gout attacks: An internet-based case-crossover studyAm J Med. 2014;127(4):311-318. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.12.019

  6. Wu B, Roseland JM, Haytowitz DB, Pehrsson PR, Ershow AG. Availability and quality of published data on the purine content of foods, alcoholic beverages, and dietary supplementsJournal of Food Composition and Analysis. 2019;84:103281. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2019.103281

  7. American Addiction Centers. Gout and alcohol: Does alcohol use affect gout?.

  8. Arthritis Foundation. Managing a gout flare.

By Ashley Olivine, Ph.D., MPH
Dr. Ashley Olivine is a health psychologist and public health professional with over a decade of experience serving clients in the clinical setting and private practice. She has also researched a wide variety psychology and public health topics such as the management of health risk factors, chronic illness, maternal and child wellbeing, and child development.