Definition - What does Acetobacter mean?
Acetobacter is a type of acetic acid bacteria in wine that has the ability to convert ethanol into acetic acid. It grows in wine whenever wine comes in contact with oxygen. When acetobacter is exposed to oxygen, the process of producing acetic acid and ethyl acetate is triggered. This process could spoil wine by causing volatile and high volumes of acidity in the wine.
WineFrog explains Acetobacter
Given that acetobacter is trigged when wine is exposed to oxygen, it is unavoidable while making wine. But, its effects and population can be, and need to be, controlled. If the formation of acetobacter is not controlled, it can spoil wine by causing volatile and high volumes of acidity in wine. While contact between wine and oxygen cannot be eliminated, the air that comes in contact with wine can be sanitized to control acetobacter from spoiling the wine.
There are ways to control the formation of bacteria in wine; the growth of bacteria that contaminates oxygen can be rectified by adding sodium dioxide to the wine. Alternatively, the formation acetobacter can be controlled by ensuring the containers with wine are properly filled up and sealed in an airtight container.