ACETIC ACID: All wines contain acetic acid, or vinegar, but
usually the amount is quite small--from 0.03 percent to 0.06 percent--and not
perceptible to smell or taste. Once table wines reach 0.07 percent or above, a
sweet-sour vinegary smell and taste becomes evident. At low levels, acetic acid
can enhance the character of a wine, but at higher levels (over 0.1 percent),
it can become the dominant flavour and is considered a major flaw. A related
substance, contributes a nail polish-like smell.
ACID: A compound present in all grapes and an essential component of wine
that preserves it, enlivens and shapes its flavours and helps prolong its
aftertaste. There are four major kinds of acids--tartaric, malic, lactic and
citric--found in wine. Acid is identifiable by the crisp, sharp character it
imparts to a wine.
ACIDIC: Used to describe wines whose total acid is so high that they taste
tart or sour and have a sharp edge on the palate.
ACIDITY: The acidity of a balanced dry table wine is in the range of 0.6
percent to 0.75 percent of the wine's volume. It is legal in some areas--such
as Bordeaux and Burgundy,
Australia, California--to correct deficient acidity by
adding acid. When overdone, it leads to unusually sharp, acidic wines.
Download detailed Wine