Understanding the Role of Acidity in Wine
Acidity in wine is important, it is also quite complex. When tasting wines the term “acidity” refers to the tart and sour taste and attributes to the puckering sensation. There are 4 fundamental traits in wine – tannin, alcohol, sweetness and acidity. The acidity should balance out the sweetness and the bitter taste of the tannins. As grapes ripen the acidity is reduced and the sweetness increases. A cool climate and shorter growing season produces wines with higher acidity resulting in a more tart and herbaceous taste. All wines have acidity, in fact there are several kinds such as tartaric acid, malic acid and citric acid and they each affect the taste of the wine differently. Sweet, salty and fatty foods balance the sour taste and decrease the sensation of acidity in wines. This is why Champagne or Riesling, which are higher in acidity pair well with French fries which are both salty and fat.