How Acidity Plays an Important Role in Wine Quality
Acidity or the presence of acid in wine plays as much of a role in the outcome of a wine as the alcohol content, sweetness and tannins do with the flavour and mouth-feel of the wine. Acids naturally appear in the grapes and other fruits that you may select to use in winemaking. Also, you can add certain acids to increase the acidity of wine when necessary to obtain the desired balance with the other ingredients.
The Different Types of Acids in Wines
There are numerous types of acids that influence the outcome of wines, and they are as follows:
- Tartaric acid is mainly found in grapes as far as the fruits that you would use for wines. It is one of the major acids found in wine for this reason. This acid influences the taste and colour of the wine along with protecting from microbial attack to a certain extent.
- Malic acid occurs naturally in grapes as well as other winemaking fruits. Malic is a bit harsh in taste and therefore, must be controlled tightly throughout the winemaking process including fermentation.
- Lactic acid will counteract the harsher taste of malic acid, but if you are not careful, you will impart a sour milk odour to your wine with it.
- Citric acid is a rather minor acid in wines but can impart specific flavours and additional acidity to wine.
- Acetic acid in wine is a sign of problems. When wine is exposed to oxygen, certain bacteria can produce acetic acid and this can lead to spoilage in wine.
Acidity Gives Wine Tartness
Now that you know some of the acids that are either naturally present in wine or can be added for balance, we want to explain that acidity gives wine its signature tart flavour. The level of tartness will vary depending upon the type of wine with white wines having the most tartness and red wines not having as much tartness. If you wine is too tart for the desired results, you can add sweetness to balance it out. Remember, there must be a proper balance with tannins, acids, sweetness and alcohol for the ideal flavour and mouth-feel to result in the finished wine.
Acidity Helps Protect Wine From Microbial Attack
Another reason to definitely have the right acidity level in your wine is to protect it from microbial growth and spoilage. Tartaric acid is especially beneficial for this as we mentioned earlier.
For further details about how acidity plays an important role in wine quality, turn to Grapeworks Consumables. We offer a variety of acid additives as well as other winemaking supplies, machinery and equipment.