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Acids in Wine

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Unripe grapes are sour because of their high acid content; ripe grapes are sweet due to their high sugar content. The balance between the acidity and the sugars influences the flavour of the grape juice and eventually the wine. Insufficient balance between the sugar and the acid could leave the wine tasting 'sharp' and acidic. Too much sugar compared to acid could make the win too sweet, with no 'bite' to the taste. This makes it important to measure the acid levels in the wine grapes. Practically all of the acids in the wine come directly from the grapes. However, very small quantities of several organic acids are produced during the primary fermentation. Tartaric acid and malic acid represent 90% of the acids in wine grapes. Other acids found in grapes in small quantities are citric, ascorbic and amino acids. These acids, including the tartaric and malic acids are organic acids. Organic acids is an organic compound that is an acid, many of these acids can be identified by the carboxylic group (-COOH), which contains a carboxyl group and a hydroxyl group. The tartaric and malic acids are also non-volatile, which means that they do readily evaporate when heated.Tartaric acid is a white crystalline diprotic organic acid. It occurs naturally in many plants, particularly grapes, bananas, and tamarinds, and is one of the main acids found in wine. It is added to other foods to give a sour taste, and is used as an antioxidant. Salts of tartaric acid are known as tartrates. It is a dihydroxyl derivative of succinic acid.



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