Welcome to our brand new web series, Novel Wines with Yaz & Ben, where we will explore a new wine every week. Yasmin Cooke is a broadcast journalist who wants to learn more about new and interesting wines. Guiding her is award-winning wine writer and Novel Wines co-founder Ben Franks.
Here's our first episode exploring acidity in wine and how best to look for it.
An easy way to test for acidity is to buy yourself some citrus fruit: an orange, pink grapefruit, lemon and lime. These go up in acidity, from the balanced and sweet orange, the bittersweet grapefruit to the zesty lemon and searing acidity of the lime.
All wine has acidity and generally speaking it will mainly fall into the grapefruit-lemon category. Oranges tend to indicate a fairly low acidity wine, which is OK in some youthful styles but is unlikely to sustain maturation in the cellar. Lime-level acidity needs to be balanced - think of the searing acidity of a good Riesling that's balanced by sweetness (without it, you might struggle to enjoy it!).
The key with all wines is to be in balance. Acidity, body, alcohol and sweetness are all essential ingredients but you don't want any one of them to stand out too much.