Definition - What does Vinegar Taint mean?
Vinegar taint found in wine is a result of the presence of acetic acid bacteria in wine. It is also referred to as VA or Volatile Acidity. In certain conditions, it can result in the spoilage of wine, but sometimes the amount is not significant enough to have a negative affect.
Vinegar taint can occur with poor hygienic practices when the wine is being made, or it can also occur with the excessive exposure to oxygen for a wine or even too little exposure. In the latter case, this can be controlled with the use of nitrogen or argon for gassing wine and containers during transfer from vessel to vessel.
Vinegar taint is caused by the presence of acetic acid bacteria.
WineFrog explains Vinegar Taint
The amount of vinegar taint perceived in wine varies depending on the person's sensitivity to identifying it.
If a wine bottle unknowingly contains vinegar taint, it is not necessarily going to be a factor which can spoil a wine. As with common care in storing any wine bottle for aging, whether for a couple of days or a few years, it is important to store the wine properly. If vinegar taint exists in the wine, properly store it at temperatures between 55-60°F (13-18°C) and around 70-75% humidity; the taint will not grow in significant amounts leading to the spoilage of the wine.