Acidity is the sour taste in champagne, wine, and other foods, it contributes to wine’s aging ability – the higher the content of acid, the longer the wine will take (and be able) to age.

Acidity is an essential trait in wine and in champagne that’s necessary for quality. Great wines are in balance with their 4 fundamental traits (acidity, tannin, alcohol and sweetness) and as wines age, the acidity acts as a buffer to preserve the wine longer.

For example, ice wines which have both high acidity and sweetness will age several decades.In champagne, the characteristic acidic taste pleasantly contrasts with the sweetness of any residual or added sugar.

It is the acidity that gives champagne its crispness. This is why acidity is a quality at the very heart of champagne and to achieve this the champagne grapes are picked earlier in the season when they have higher acidic content.

This is also why champagne needs to age, at least 15 months by law for non-vintage champagnes and 36 months for vintage champagnes. This allows for the initial high acidity to drop, while the champagne can develop aging aromas and thinner bubbles.

The majority of champagnes also undergo malolactic fermentation, a process that softens acidity.

« Back to Glossary Index
468 ad