Wine Composition and Chemistry

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  1. What are the major components of wine?
    • Water 80-90%
    • Alcohol 10-15%
    • Sugar 0.5-0.75%
    • Phenolic compounds¬†
    • Other components:(aldehydes, esters, dissolved gases, and sulfites)
  2. What acids are present in wine?
    • Grape Acids: Tartaric, Malic, Citric
    • Fermentation: Lactic, Acetic, Succinic
  3. Define Tartaric acid
    The most prevalent of the acids found in both grapes and wine. It has the highest PH and has the propensity to form wine crystals (wine diamonds) on corks.
  4. Define Malic acid
    It is a sharp tasting acid frequently associated with green apples. Under-ripe and cool climate grapes are typically high in Malic acid. Levels if this acid will decrease during the ripening phase of grapes on the vine. Overripe or hot climate grapes have low levels of this type of acid.
  5. Define Citric acid
    This acid is not normally present in high percentages naturally. However it is used to increase the overall acidity in wines.
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Wine Composition and Chemistry
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