#3 in a series by Peter di Lorenzi
Three principal acids noticeably affect the taste and ‘mouth-feel’ of red and white wines. They also tell us a great deal about the growing conditions of the grapes used to make the wines and about the sensory ‘targets’ of the winemakers who produced them:
• MALIC ACID — The acid of under-ripe grapes. This component is present in wines from cooler climates/vintages as well as from grapes harvested before ideal ripeness for a number of reasons, including winemaker intent.
• TARTARIC ACID — The principal, desirable acid of table wines. It is the acid that provides expanding structure and flavor balance to a wine’s fruitiness, and to its degree of residual sugar.
• LACTIC ACID — The acid that, when noticeably present in a wine, contributes a gentler acid profile and a degree of smoother, ‘buttery’ mouth-feel.
[Next component preview: tannins]