JWL Issue #133: What is Acidity in Wine?

March 16, 2021

Want to be one of the first people in the UK to get glasses of wine sent through your letterbox? We'll be opening up a few more spaces on the beta programme from the end of this week. Pre-register your interest here and we'll be working through the waitlist soon.

That's not all. Later today, we'll be putting our new website into testing and – all things going to plan – will be launching the new version next week. The new site, while launching our video masterclass, also makes it easy to find the answers, fill in your own tasting cards, buy more of the wines you love, and more. Keep your eyes peeled.

We have just started hiring for our first tech position. Until today, we've made use of no-code and low-code platforms. But our ambitions are soon going to outgrow these platforms. Take a look at the job spec here.

Wine List Lives selling out fast

Our Domaine Tempier sold out in just minutes last week. As did our Bordeaux tastings and many others. We've got extra slots available in our wine & chocolate matching event at the end of the month.

Rewatch the March Box Taste

As well as the Wine List Lives focused on grapes, regions and other more advanced areas, we host a monthly wine box tasting. Re-watch the March tasting here.

Summer planning

While we love online events, we're also really looking forward to meeting you all properly in person. We're planning a series of events in London for later this year (nationwide to follow). If you've got specific requests, hit reply and let us know.

Last few Case wines from March

Both Colle Ozio and our Bordeaux have both sold out. We've got just a handful of Burgundian sauvnignon, and perfectly aged pinotage left.


Two grüner, one primitivo

I love grüner veltliner. It’s got the refreshing high acidity I associate with some of my favourite white grapes, but it’s also got wonderful aromas to it too. Expect savoury green notes and white pepper throughout.  For a classic example, you could fare worse than with Taste the Difference (£8, from Sainsbury’s). It’s ripe and grassy, and will pair perfectly with food.

If you want to try one with a bit more weight and stature to it, however, then Yealands Reserve (£12.99 from Waitrose) takes it an extra step. This wine is rich and full, adding some serious honey flavours into the mix.

Primitivo gained notoriety in the 90s after the world discovered it was the exact same grape as American zinfandel. Terre di Faiano Organico Puglia (£7.49 form Waitrose) is just as full-bodied as you’d expect. The hot climate in the south of Italy makes the fruit flavours feel full and decadent.


What gives wine acidity?

Grapes have natural acid. As they ripen, they lose this acid but gain sugar. Winemakers need both, so they have to balance this.

The best vineyards to achieve this balance have diurnal range. The bigger the difference between daytime and night time temperature, the bigger the diurnal range.

This is key for grapes. If the daytime temperature is very hot, the grape can produce the sugar it needs. If it continues to be hot at night, it will still gain sugar but lose that vital acidity.

Climates where the temperature drops drastically at night are ideal. The grape can have this time to recover and retain its acidity. The best of both worlds.

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