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    Understanding Acidity In Wine

    • 4 min read

    Understanding Acidity In Wine

     

    Acidity plays a significant role in the production of all wines. Even wines that are not noticeably acidic have levels of acidity that can impact the flavour of the wine. Therefore, understanding acidity in wine is essential to help you select the right wines for your tastes, as well as meal pairings.  

     

    How Would You Describe the Acidity of Wine?

    There are four fundamental traits to wine: sweetness, tannin, alcohol and acidity. The level and type of acidity will have a big impact on the overall taste of the wine. The most common acids are citric, malic and tartaric acids.  

     

    Do A Wine Tasting To Learn More 

    The best way to understand the differing levels of acidity is by doing a wine tasting. You can do this at home or with a professional wine tasting service. If doing a wine tasting at home, gather a large selection of wines to sample andensure you store them correctly before tasting. You will also need a good palate cleanser. Plain, unbuttered white bread is one of the best palate cleansers when trying out different wines.  

    When tasting a wine, first take in the bouquet, which is unique to each wine. Next, take a small mouthful and hold it in your mouth. To determine acidity, it may help to see how it feels in your mouth. If it feels tart on your palate, then this likely means it is a high acidity wine. Go through the wine selection you have, and ensure you have a broad range available. It may help to make notes after each so that you can go back and evaluate what level of acidity best suited you.  

     

    Learn About The Impact Of Acidity On Flavour 

    Acid can help promote and enhance other flavours that it comes into contact with. Anyone who has ever tasted the difference between fish or paella before and after a squeeze of lemon juice will understand how big a difference it can make. This is just the same with wines. A wine with inadequate acidity can end up tasting flabby, meaning that it has a dull or unbalanced flavour.  

     

    Understand How Climate Impacts Acidity 

    If storing wine at home, it is essential to have the right storage environment. Typically, wine doesn’t change much in its composition after the bottling process is complete. However, it is still a good idea to store your wine in the best possible climate to reduce the risk of spoilage or changes in acidity.  

    If you have a growing collection of wines, it may help to look into the storage options available.  Wine coolers are the ideal way to ensure that your wine remains in top condition. You should assess your wine storage needs before selecting a wine cooler.  

    Often smaller coolers are a perfect first step for those starting with a wine collection. It may help to get a  medium-sized freestanding cooler  so that you will have room to grow your collection.  Ageing wine cabinets  can be a perfect choice for those with a more extensive collection or who want to age their wines.  

     

    Know Why Wine Is Acidic

     

    Acidity in wine comes from the very soil the grapes are grown in. Unripe grapes have the highest levels of acidity, but this typically lowers as they ripen. Grapes that are grown in cooler environments typically have high acidity due to the lack of sun and warmth that raises a grape’s pH levels. Many vineyards in cooler climates will add additional acids to increase the overall acidity of the wine.  

     

    Choose The Right Acidity For Food Pairings 

    Getting the acidity of your wine right is essential to make a good pairing with a meal. It is a good idea to have wines with a range of acidities available to complement any meal. When cooking a meal, consider the key flavours. For instance, will the dish be sweet, salty or sour? Get an idea of your meal’s different qualities to choose the wine with the right acidity and other qualities. The idea here is to find a wine that perfectly complements the key features of the meal.  

    Cooking a meal that is high in acidity will naturally mean you should pair that meal with a wine that is higher in acidity. It may help to experiment with different pairings to find the right match before giving wines to guests at dinner parties.  

     

    Which Wines Are Most Acidic? 

    Red wines are typically lowest in acidity. This is because the grapes for red wine are usually grown in warmer climates or have been aged to lower the acidity in the bottle. Wines can be aged at the vineyard or in your own home with the right kind ofageing wine cabinet. There are also full and medium-bodied red wines that have a higher level of acidity. 

    White wines and sparkling wines typically have the highest level of acidity. These are the wines that will feel tart on your tongue and suit lighter meals such as fish. It is worth noting that the more acidic the wine, the more it can have a negative impact on your digestion. If you struggle with digestive issues, it may help to limit your wines to the lower end of the acidic range.  

     

    Conclusion 

    Acidity is an essential part of how a wine looks and tastes. The level of acidity you choose in your wines will largely depend on your personal preference. Tart wines aren’t necessarily for everyone! Fortunately, there are thousands of wines to choose from, and you’re sure to find something that will suit any palate.  

    It is vital that you have an excellent space to store your wines and chill them before serving. In addition, it can help to have a number of wines on hand so that you can cater to as many tastes as possible. 

    For more information on wine care, storage and how to get the most out of your wine collection,  contact us today for a wine cooler consultation.   

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