April 23, 2024 by
Maytte Rivera

Acid is a natural ingredient in grapes, and one of the main components in wine, that can be identified in the palate by a sharp sensation at the jaw and instant salivation.  The most prevalent, tartaric and malic acids, contribute to the overall character of the wine by adding tart flavors, balancing sugar, and acting as a natural preservative.  Lactic acid can also be found in most red wines and some whites, created through the process of “malolactic conversion”, where bacteria is added to change the malic acid into lactic.  This adds a creamy texture and aromas of butter or yogurt.  Growing regions with warmer climates produce riper grapes with lower acidity levels, while grapes from cooler climates can struggle to ripen, maintaining higher acid content. 

Acidity is a key ingredient in food and wine pairing since it helps brighten flavors, clean the palate from fatty foods, and balance tartness in acidic dishes.  Try a bottle of Toscolo Chianti, made from naturally high acid Sangiovese, with pasta and marinara sauce, or fresh ceviche with a bright albariño like Chan de Rosas Clasico. Another fun pairing is cod fritters with a sharp Marqués de Monistrol Brut Nature Cava, as the acidity and bubbles help wipe the palate.  The creaminess given by malolactic fermentation in a white like J Lohr Chardonnay from California complements very well with chicken breast in creamy sauce.

Author: Maytte Rivera

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