Qu'est-ce que l'acidité du vin ?

What is wine acidity?

In cooking, we usually add lemon juice to enhance and harmonize the flavors. It is the acidity of the fruit which then allows this beautiful balance. For wine, it's the same thing! To make it pleasant in the mouth, the acidity stabilizes the alcohol, tannins and sugars in the wine. But this is not the only role of wine acidity .

Acidity of wine: where does this sensation come from?

The acidity of the wine produces a reaction in the mouth that is very easily perceptible: salivation . It is what makes a wine refreshing, and which encourages us to take another sip. But where does this acidity come from?

  • From the grape variety : certain grape varieties naturally generate more acidity than others. This is the case, for example, of Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling;
  • From the climate : the more the sugar level increases in the grapes, the lower the acidity. In warm regions, where ripe grapes are full of sugar and sun, acidity is less present than in wine-growing regions with a cool climate;
  • The date of the harvest : the maturation of a grape causes the fruit to evolve and the sugar level to increase. Logically, we find high acidity in berries harvested very early, before perfect ripeness;
  • The winemaking technique : winegrowers have the ability to influence the degree of acidity of the wine by adding inputs, such as tartaric acid. If, on the other hand, the acidity is too high, they can carry out malolactic fermentation, where the malic acid will transform into lactic acid, a softer component on the palate.

The acidity of a wine comes from different elements, and the winemaker's choices will be crucial to obtain this beautiful balance.

The different acids of wine

Throughout the winemaking process, several organic acids are involved and play a major role in the tasting of red wines and white wines. Here are the main acids in wine :

  • Tartaric acid : formed in green grapes and leaves, tartaric acids are hard in the mouth;
  • Malic acid : particularly present in green apples, malic acid is also present in green berries. Its rate decreases as it matures. In the mouth, it can be recognized by its metallic sensation;
  • Citric acid : present in smaller quantities, it gives a lemony perception to the wine;
  • Acetic acid : combined with ethanol, this acid can produce the famous vinegar smell.

The roles of wine acids

The acidity of a wine plays a crucial role in tasting, since it offers a sensation of freshness in the mouth, and it harmonizes the sugar, tannin and alcohol of red wines, white wines and rosé wines. But acids also act as a natural preservative for wine , since they reduce bacterial development and increase the activity of sulfur dioxide (SO2). Finally, acid allows red wines to have a beautiful, colorful and intense color .

How to define wine acids?

During a wine tasting, we learn to put our feelings into words. The acidity of wines can then be characterized by different terms. For a wine with good acidity, we can then speak of a lively, fresh or crunchy wine . On the other hand, if the wine has strong acidity, too present, it is described as green , or nervous . Finally, for a wine with too low acid levels, we speak of a flat, heavy or soft wine . Ultimately, it's all about balance!

And what is volatile acidity?

Several acids are capable of evaporating, producing a more or less pleasant odor or taste. In wine, there are two of these volatile acids :

  • Ethyl acetate , which gives glue or nail polish flavors;
  • Acetic acid , which gives a vinegar-like smell.

This volatile acidity is present in all wines, but to guarantee the quality of a vintage, the dosage is regulated.

Our accessories to ensure quality service for your good bottles of wine

To fully appreciate all the qualities of a good bottle of wine, the Domaine de Berne offers you some essential accessories for tasting :

  • I this Bag personalized in the colors of the Berne domain or the Ultimate Provence domain: ideal for guaranteeing the freshness of the wine, the 75 cl ice bag is durable and reusable, and ensures the refreshment of your bottles in just 15 minutes;
  • Personalized sommelier like the UP estate or the Château de Berne: light, robust and very elegant, this double lever sommelier allows you to open all your best bottles in the blink of an eye, without ever damaging the cork.

Essential to the balance of a wine, acidity must be perfectly measured. It is therefore the role of each winemaker to find the right dosage to ensure a tasty tasting. Want to learn more about wine making ? See you in our tasting cellars!


Our selection of wines

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Rosé 2022 AOP Côtes de ProvenceGrande Récolte
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White 2017 AOP Côtes de ProvenceChâteau de Berne Grande Cuvée
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