Customer questions #2 – Do you have any wines with no acid in them?

Citrus Fruits

No, is the short answer. And if we did the wines wouldn’t have a very long shelf life, and would taste unappetizing, dull and cloying.

Acid is naturally present in all grapes, and most wines have a pH between 2.9 and 3.9 (similar to orange or tomato juice). Between 0.6% – 0.7% of a wine’s volume is acid – made up mostly of tartaric and malic acids (the latter gives a Granny Smith-like tartness). Sugary dessert wines might be 1% acid – or more – as extra acidity is required to balance what would otherwise be sickening sweetness.

Where grapes are harvested with natural acid levels that are too low to make palatable, stable wines – as they routinely are in warmer regions – tartaric, malic or citric acid can be added at the winemaking stage to correct the deficiency. Sometimes ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) is added too (whites only), to help protect the wine from premature ageing.

All that said, acidity in finished wines does vary. A good rule of thumb is that cool-climate wines are higher in acid while wines from hotter regions are lower in acid. (As an aside, ‘cool climate’ is a relative term; by Irish standards every wine region is ‘roasting hot climate’. ;)) Another guide is that whites tend to be more acidic than reds.

If you’re sensitive to acid then give a wide berth to sparkling wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Albariño, Muscadet, Picpoul, Chablis, Riesling, cheap red Burgundies and Sangiovese / Chianti. Instead, seek out plumper styles like Rhône whites, non-Chablis Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Merlot, Californian Zinfandel and most Shiraz.

Have I missed any? Any questions, just shout in the comments!
Image source: Top Food Facts

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