Acidity in Wine is not a Bad Thing

Occasionally I’ll hear a comment that someone does not like a wine because it is too acidic. This could be true, however some people over generalize and condemn all wines from a region because they think they are too acidic. Acid in wine is necessary. It can help improve the taste and defends a wine against microbes. Acidity helps a wine age and improves aroma. Acid in wine is not a bad thing. Think of drinking a soft drink. Pepsi has much more acid in it than wine.

I decided to test my wine at home in a carboy for its pH. The Cabernet Sauvignon measured a pH of 4.0 and the Zinfandel measured a pH of 4.1. These are a bit high so I tested what 1 gram per liter of tartaric acid would do. The addition of tartaric at the 1 g per liter rate changed the pH of the Cabernet Sauvignon to 3.7. It made the taste come alive and brighter. It brought out more fruit on the aroma and taste. Similar tasting results were concluded with the Zinfandel. The pH of the Zin was lowered to 3.8.

It is interesting to note that this small addition of tartaric acid can make noticeable changes to the aroma and taste of wine. At the same time it lowered the acid to the high side of the acceptable range. I’ll check the wine again in several months to see if another addition is necessary.

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