You may have noticed that some wineries provide technical sheets for their wines. These sheets often contain a bunch of acronyms - pH, TA, RS, and ABV. Ever wonder what they mean and whether you should care? Let’s demystify this alphabet soup of wine.
|Alphabet Soup by Sigmund on Unsplash
pH stands for potential of hydrogen or power of hydrogen. It measures the acidity or alkilinity of an aqueous solution. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Wine is acidic, and its pH usually runs in the 3’s. White wines pH is typically in the 3.0 to 3.6 range, and red wines in the 3.4 to 3.9 range. Wines with lower pH tend to be more puckering on the palate, while wines with higher pH tend to be rounder. Think lemon juice versus tomato juice.
|pH Scale by Alvy16 on WiKimedia Commons
1. Mix 0.5 oz of lemon juice to 2 oz of vodka and taste it. It will likely pucker you up!
2. To that, add 4 oz of tomato juice, mix, and taste again. It will taste less sour.
Both lemon juice and tomato juice are acidic ingredients. However, lemon juice contains citric acid which has a low pH of 2, while tomato juice contains a blend of citric, malic, and ascorbic acids with a combined pH of 4.1 to 4.4. So even though the concentration of acids (or TA) in the drink has increased with the addition of the tomato juice, the intensity of the combined acids has decreased.
3. Now add your Worcestershire sauce, Tobasco sauce, horseradish, celery salt, and all the other good stuff and enjoy!
|Sauternes by Jeff Burrows on Unsplash