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Wine words A-Z – A for acidity

Acidity is one of the most important components of wine. It is what gives the wine its fresh, crisp taste. You can sense acidity by a prickling sensation on the sides of your tongue and by how much you salivate after spitting or swallowing the wine.

In order to have a harmonious wine, the acidity should be in balance with the sweetness of the sugar and the bitterness of the tannins.

Too much acidity, generally due to underripe grapes, and the wine will taste unpleasantly sharp or tart; too little, due to overripe grapes, perhaps as a result of picking too late or having been grown in a hot climate, and the wine taste ‘flabby‘, i.e. flat and uninteresting.

Acidity can be described as:

  • (negative) tart, green, sour, sharp, flabby
  • (positive) refreshing, zesty, fresh, crisp