Acidity is a natural component in wine (and its grapes) that influences several aspects of the final product. Not only does it affect the taste, but also the balance, mouthfeel, and even ageability of the wine. Without acidity, most wines would be flat and unbalanced, and unfortunately, it is a dilemma we face due to climate change.

When tasting wine, the acidity is the fresh, tart feeling in the mouth, especially around the cheeks and jaw. While many think that if acidity is high, it automatically means sweetness is low, that is not true. They are not dependent on each other, and some exceptionally sweet wines can still be acidic too.

Some grapes have naturally higher acidity than others, but many external factors influence a wine’s acidity levels. Some factors include the heat and sunlight of the area – which reduces the acidity in the grapes. The riper the grapes are, the less the acidity, which develops into more fruitiness and higher sugar in the grapes.

Wines can be overwhelmingly high in acidity in cooler regions, making them almost unbearable. In that case, winemakers will deacidify the wine by adding potassium or calcium carbonate, which removes acids. In other cases, where the acidity in wines is too low, winemakers can add either tartaric or malic acid to increase the acidity. This is often done when the grapes are harvested too ripe, and there is an unbalance in the grapes.