What the "F" is acidity?
In wine tasting, the term “acidity” refers to the fresh, tart and sour attributes of the wine which are evaluated in relation to how well the acidity balances out the sweetness and bitter components of the wine such as tannins. Three primary acids are found in wine grapes: tartaric, malic and citric acids
So what makes a wine's "acidity" such a big deal?
Acidity is a big deal because it can be one of the first ways to tell whether or not you will like a wine. So how do you taste acidity and what does it mean when you drink wine? Well, the easiest way to come to grips with how much you like acidity in wine is to set yourself some mental benchmarks. Eat a slice of lemon, drink a glass of lemonade, have a coke with a lime wedge, and see how much you enjoy the sour tastes, or the puckering sensation you get when that citric acid hits your mouth. This will go a long way to helping you determine what kind of wine you like.
If you like those sour, tart, bright, citrusy tastes, then wines that have more acidity are going to be your jam, and these wines can be incredibly refreshing. If you prefer something a little more like stone fruits, peaches, and honey, then a wine that proclaims to be acidic is not for you. In any case, it all comes down to balance and your mood.
What gives the wine its "acidty?"
The truth is, every wine is acidic! The difference is in how that acid is balanced with the other flavors in the wine, notably the sugars. A big, bold red wine may seem more mellow with delicious red fruits, while a clean Riesling will have a more pronounced tart flavor straight off the bat. Meanwhile both may very well have the same pH balance.
Three primary acids are found in wine grapes: tartaric, malic and citric acids.
Doesnt describing a wine as acidic seem kind of harsh?
We get you, sometimes acidic can have a negative connotation and make it sound like a wine is harsh. You will find that a lot of winemakers, tasters, geeks, and influencers use other terms that are a little more friendly. They will describe the flavors as tart, clean, fresh, zesty, or crisp. Think limes, lemons, and green apples. You'd call them fresh, but you would not call them acidic.