Wine acidity

Wine acidity is one of the most important elements to give life and nerve to the palate. If you still have trouble identifying it when tasting your wines, this article will help you discover it.

As with any food or beverage, wine stimulates our senses, especially taste and smell. Acidity, precisely, is one of the basic flavors that can be appreciated in the palate and tongue thanks to the taste buds in the same way as salinity, sweetness and bitterness.

However, acidity translates into the freshness of the wine as its presence stimulates the taste buds to secrete more saliva and thus refresh the palate.

But how to notice if one wine is more acidic or fresh than another.

The first exercise we can practice is to mix water with fresh citrus juice such as lemon or lime to identify the reaction that these stimuli generate on the palate. The ideal is to prepare several samples with different amounts of citrus juice to notice the different levels that the palate can tolerate.

However, the acidity of the wine does not behave as clearly as it is accompanied by alcohol, tannins, weight and texture of the wine. Therefore a good exercise is to look for wines with different levels of acidity, research in the technical specifications the level of pH that in wine is between 2.4 and 4.5, higher pH level translates into lower freshness.

It may be easier to look for targets of refreshing vines such as Sauvignon Blanc and divide the tasting into cold and warm regions. Acidity is one of the components of wine whose concentration decreases as maturity progresses. Conversely to what happens with the alcohol that increases more time of the grapes in the plants, the acidity decreases and being the temperature a determining factor for the maturation of the grapes we can say that the higher the temperature the less acidity, while in the cold climates the freshness is always more intense.

The Chardonnay is another good example, it is enough to look for a young one without aging and another fermented in oak since it is in this container that malolactic fermentation is usually carried out, which softens the acidity of the wine by turning the malic acid into lactic acid. Therefore the barrel should always be less acidic than the one non-barrel.

But before this, harvest time is also very important. The earlier the grapes are harvested the greater the potential of natural acidity the wine will have. Wines with sharp or pungent acidity are often referred to as greens in clear reference to a possible lack of maturity.

It is even worth mentioning that in certain regions of the world, mainly in the warm ones, acidification of the must is authorized to compensate for the acidity lost in the vineyard. For this, natural tartaric acid is used, which is extracted from the must intended for other wines. The expression is exactly equal to that of a natural acidity but the integral balance of the wine can be less tedious.

Anyway it is worth noting that as with alcohol or tannins, not always more acidity is synonymous with better wine, and the key is always in the balance, freshness and elegance that acidity causes. An extremely acid wine can be aggressive for many palates and that's when acidity ceases to be a positive attribute to a punishable one.


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