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Key terms: Acidity, Softness, Tannin

Continuing with our nine key terms, we come to three related to taste (rather than aroma): acidity, softness, and tannin. These are represented with our reds of the week: Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

As described in the lesson video, acidity will cause your mouth to re-salivate, softness is simply the lack of acidity or tannin, and tannin will cause your mouth to dry out. That’s the easiest and quickest way to describe the terms.

Using terms like this when shopping for wine at a good wine shop will help you get more of what you seek out, and it also opens up the world of wine for you. You might not know what a Garganega is all about, but telling a merchant that you seek a “medium bodied dry white with firm acidity and a long finish” might result in one in your hands.

More links for further learning

Acidity is the backbone of many European wines, and Italian wines in particular. Acidity pairs well with oily and fatty dishes (i.e. the yummy stuff) because of the palate-cleansing ability it has. Learn more about the role of acidity in wine.

https://home.binwise.com/blog/is-wine-acidicSoft styles of wine are plump, juicy, and drinky (an official wine term in my lexicon). These are wines lower in acidity. Merlot is the classic example, but less expensive Shriaz from Australia, many affordable Chardonnays, and many of the red blends from California are of this style. Light a fire, kick back, and enjoy a bottle!

Tannic wines abound, and the bitter and drying aspect of tannin is sought out by many red wine drinkers. Though Cabernet Sauvignon is the most readily found example, the grape called Tannat is actually named after tannin. Other examples are Nebbiolo, especially from Barolo or Barbaresco, as well as many big reds from Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy.

Download your pH of Wine chart here