Acidity in wine - what does it do for us?

Acidity in wine plays many roles, but first, we need to be able to identify it.

How to detect acidity

Acidity is one of the easiest elements to identify in a wine.

Take a small sip of wine, hold it in your mouth and tilt your head forward and rest your chin on your chest (make sure to keep your mouth closed). Then tilt your head back and swallow.

You should find that you are salivating or your mouth is watering.

Very basically speaking this is the bodies defence mechanism to drinking acid – it is diluting it. The more your mouth waters and the longer it waters for the higher the acidity.

Sweetness masks acidity in wine, it doesn’t reduce the acidity but it stops us from noticing it so much. Just look at coca-cola, I’d say try it but I’ll leave that decision up to you.

Tannins also mask acidity – tannins dry your mouth out whilst acidity makes your mouth water so these seem to cancel each other out.

Why is this important?

Acidity in wine is important as it is one of the main structural elements and will impact how your wine tastes and feels.

The acidity will make the body of the wine lighter – that light-bodied Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc you like has high acidity. As opposed to tannin, sweetness and alcohol which all make a wine fuller-bodied.