Definition - What does Crispness mean?

Crispness is a positive quality in wine, usually whites, that is caused by acidity. It refers specifically to the fresh, brisk or firm feeling in the mouth. Crisp wines have less fruit, with the fresh dryness and sharp acidity playing a major role on the palate. When a wine is crisp, it leaves the mouth feeling refreshed, clean and slightly sour, rather than heavy like a fruity wine, parched like a tannic wine or dry like a dry wine.

WineFrog explains Crispness

Winemakers play with the acidity in wine in order to achieve the correct crispness. A crisp wine cleanses the palate, refreshing the mouth rather than sucking all moisture from it. Young Sauvignon Blancs, Aligot├ęs and Rieslings, typically present with a crisp feeling in the mouth, especially if they were produced in Australia or New Zealand. Another stereotypically crisp white is the Muscadet de Sevres et Maine from the Loire Valley in France.

Crisp wines are usually very pleasing; since they act as a palate cleanser, they pair very well with complex and spicy dishes. The wines are refreshing as well, working well as an aperitif or quaff for a hot day.

Due to the role acidity plays in a crisp wine, they enjoyed young rather than aged. If they are aged for too long, the acidity will fade, which softens the wine and, especially in the cases where the wine was intended to be enjoyed with lots of crisp acidity, could cause it to lose strength and character.

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