“Freshness” vs. Acidity

W. Blake Gray has an interesting post up at Palate Press advocating for using the term “freshness” in place of acidity when talking about wine so as not to scare off or confuse non-geeks.

Acidity is scary. Acidity melts your teeth, burns your stomach, gets thrown into the faces of adulterers in Pakistan. It’s not something you enjoy on your porch on a hot day; it’s the fast, painful way to get rid of a wart.

I’m sympathetic to this point, but as pointed out by a few commenters, “freshness” presents it’s own problems. Does “fresh” mean recently made, as in fresh orange juice? Can a wine that isn’t “fresh” be good?

I like the terms “crisp” or “bright” to describe high-acid wines. Bright is probably an eye-roller outside of wine-geek circles. (I recall a non-geek friend giving me a hard time for using the term “round” to describe wines, which seems perfectly fine to me.) But crisp seems like something people can “get” more easily.

The more you try to deconstruct it the more you realize talking about wine is hard. Reminds me of this quote.

What do you think?

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