Lifestyle

《Wines of the World》The Acidity of Wine

‘This Chardonnay is too sour! Don’t order this again next time!’ the girl protested to her boyfriend.
The guy submissively replied, ‘My bad, let me order a glass of Riesling for you, it’s sweeter.’
‘Forget it! My ex would always order a sweet white wine to pair with my seafood ...’

Some people are quite sensitive to acidity, especially those who don’t drink often, they tend to be unreceptive to wines with a significant level of acidity.



As wine is made from grapes, combined with natural fermentation, having a hint of acidity is expected. In wine tasting, wines with a significant level of acidity are described as being fresh or crispy and are considered good. So is acidity good or bad? What is its role?

As a matter of fact, both red and white wine contain a level of acidity which adds to the wine’s flavour and crispness. Wines with a significant level of acidity feels light on the taste buds and are a good pair with light tasting food such as seafood. Of course, if the acidity is too high, it will taste too sharp, and on the contrary, if the acidity is too low, the taste will become too heavy. Striking a balance is always the most important.

Generally speaking, wines from cold regions, whether red or white, have a higher acidity than their counterparts from the hotter low latitude regions. In addition, white wines usually have a higher level of acidity than red wines, and this is why white wines are light while red wines are the opposite and more full bodied.

Harvest time is another crucial factor that will affect acidity. Later the harvest, more mature the grapes and higher the sugar level, which is why sweet wines are generally late harvest wines.

Next time, I will talk about the acidity of wines from some of the major regions, so that you can choose a suitable wine based on your personal preference.

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