Vinegar acids are an important part of a good glass of wine. They may not be the most prominent flavor, but when present in the right amount, they can make a wine livelier and more alive. But what makes a wine sour? And what does the acidity actually say about the taste of the wine?
The acidity is caused by the presence of certain chemicals, such as tartaric acid, in the wine. These chemicals work together with our taste buds to give wines their characteristic sharpness. The acidity of a wine can also influence the flavor profile, making it taste more or less fruity, for example. In general, wines with a higher acidity are more refreshing, while wines with a lower acidity can taste softer and smoother.
Sour wine made from unripe grapes should not be confused with tartaric acids that are naturally present in wine. Even if the wine is made from ripe grapes, it naturally contains wine acids. It's about the balance here. Ripe grapes will produce sweeter, more complex wines, while unripe grapes will produce wines that are simpler and sharper.
Elements of a wine
Wine is made up of many different elements, including water, alcohol, sugar and acids. Acids play an important role in wine, they provide taste, freshness and aromas, while also helping to preserve the wine. Acids give wine its characteristic spices, enhance the flavors and aromas and make the wine more durable. Without acids, wine would be flat and lifeless.
There are many factors that can affect how ripe grapes get, such as climate and rainfall during the growing season. Winemakers must monitor these conditions closely to ensure their grapes reach optimal ripeness.
If wine tastes sour, it may be because the grapes used to make the wine were unripe. Unripe grapes can cause a wine to be unbalanced and taste too sour. This is not often discussed in many wine reviews, but it is an important factor in determining the taste of a wine.
Industrial wines vs. quality wines
However, the taste of a wine is much more important than whether it smells like strawberry or raspberry. In industrial wines – which make up the largest part of the market – the aromaIt's mostly artificial, from flavored yeasts. Many wines you can buy in a supermarket are industrial wines. The aromas in a wine, however, do not detract from the quality of the wine. The most important thing is that the wine tastes good, and that's what matters.
Industrial wines are mass produced and usually contain added flavors of yeast. Quality wines are made with more care and usually have no added flavors. They may cost more, but for a true wine lover, they are worth it.
Ripe grapes and good quality wine
A good wine is made from ripe grapes. This means that the grapes have the right balance between sweetness, sourness and bitterness. Vinegar acids are also naturally present in wine made from ripe grapes. But unripe grapes make wine unpleasant. That is why it is important to use only ripe grapes when making wine.
A vintner can pick unripe grapes for a variety of reasons, including the weather. at te cold and/or too wet weather, the grapes will not ripen properly. If maturity is not reached in September or October, the winegrower may be forced to harvest. From then on, the weather will get colder and the chance of rain will increase. Thus, picking unripe grapes may be the only option to ensure a successful harvest.
There may also be another reason why grapes are picked unripe: because the winery focuses on quantity rather than quality. The more wine a winemaker wants to sell, the more grapes must be produced. But also the less ripe those grapes will be. That's why good vintners prune their vines short and even remove the bunches of grapes early to allow the remaining bunches to ripen better. In addition to good weather, control of grape production is a basic condition for obtaining ripe grapes.
Wineries that focus on quantity over quality are more likely to pick unripe grapes to increase their overall production. This can negatively affect the taste and quality of the wine, as well as the potential health benefits that can be gained from drinking it.
Good winegrowers understand the importance of letting their grapes ripen completely before picking. They closely monitor the weather conditions and adjust their grape production accordingly. This results in a better product that is more pleasant to drink and offers more health benefits.
A wine can turn sour for a number of reasons, but most often this is due to the ripeness or unripeness of the grapes. If a wine is not ripe enough, it takes on a sour, sour taste. On the other hand, if a wine is too ripe, it can also turn sour, because the sugars ferment in the grapes.
Wine making process
Occasionally, a wine can also spoil during the winemaking process. For example, if the wine is not properly shielded from oxygen, it can oxidize prematurely and develop a flat, sour taste. In addition, if a vintner decides to let a wine run “naturally”, without analysis or control, he may taste unpleasant or… aromas develop.
Fortunately, with the current state of oenological science, these problems are usually avoidable. However, with the recent trend towards natural wines, they may become more common as some vintners forgo traditional methods in favor of a more “hands-off” approach. In any case, if you notice that the wine has developed an unpleasant taste or odor, it is best to consult an expert wine expert to determine the cause and find a solution. It is best to leave this wine and not drink it.
The acidity in wine
The acidity in wine comes mainly from the grapes themselves. Some grape varieties contain more acid than others. so have Riesling- grapes naturally high in acidity; Pinot Grigiograpes, on the other hand, have a much lower acidity. In addition to the grape variety, the climate also plays a major role in maintaining the acidity level. In cooler climates, acids are preserved in grapes better than in warm climates. As a result, a Riesling from cool Germany much fresher than one from hot Croatia.
Acidity is one of the main characteristics that determine the taste of wine. In general, wines with higher acidity are spicier and more refreshing, while wines with lower acidity are softer and milder. For many wine drinkers, the ideal balance lies somewhere in between. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference.
Different types of wine acids
The main acids in wine are tartaric, malic and lactic acid. Tartaric acid is responsible for the taste of your wine and that trial you gradually. Malic acid is fresh and more pronounced than the softer lactic acid. Each acid has its own specific taste. One trial you immediately sour, while the other only after the finish.
Different types of acids can affect the taste of wine. The degree to which an acid tastes sour is expressed by its acidity or pH value. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral (neither acidic nor basic). Drinking water has a pH of 7, while rainwater is usually around 5,5. The lower the pH, the more potent the sour taste. Wine usually has a pH between 2,8 and 4,0, although White wine usually more acidic than Red wine. dry White wine therefore often tastes more sour than Red wine.
Acidity in wine not only helps to enhance the flavors of food but also aids in digestion. Like a gerecht is particularly acidic, for example due to a vinaigrette dressing, it is best to combine it with a softer, fuller wine. Too much acid from both the wine and the gerecht can make the combination difficult to enjoy.
It's also good to know that wine makes an excellent marinade base because of the acids that help tenderize meat. So next time think about what kind of drink you want to pair with your meal, don't forget to think about the ideal wine food combination!
Vinegar and residual sugar
Interaction between acid, sugar– and alcohol content can strongly influence the taste of a wine. For example, a wine with a high acidity and residual sugar taste much drier than a wine without residual sugar but with a lower acidity. This is because the unfermented sugars help to balance the hardness of the acids. However, you may also be mistaken about the sweetness or dryness level of a wine based on its appearance.
Similar dry German Riesling For example, Spätleses usually have more residual sugar than ripe, exotic Sauvignon Blancs from South America, although the latter is much less sweet tasting is due to their lower overall acidity. That's why it's important to experiment with different types of wines to understand how the different flavors interact and also find out for yourself which wine you like. Everyone has a different taste preference.
Wine is a delicate drink
Wine is a delicate drink and, like all things, has an expiration date. Even the most carefully stored wine can turn sour if kept too long. The best way to enjoy wine is to drink it while it is still fresh. We do not include a few exceptions to this. But this is especially the case with young wines and not with wines aged in barrique oak barrels.
So pay attention to the acidity the next time you take a sip of wine. It can give you some clues about what to expect in terms of taste. And if you find that you really like wines with higher acidity, make sure you look for wines from cooler climates, as they tend to have higher acidity.
Croatian wines are among the most delicate and flavoursome in the world. They are perfect for any occasion, whether you're looking for a refreshing White wine to accompany your meal, or a rich and robust Red wine to enjoy with friends. Croatian wines are sure to please any palate. So the next time you're looking for something new to try, make sure you grab a bottle (or box) Croatian wine have at home. Cheers!