Sapidity in wine
What makes a wine sapid ?
Can a wine with a salty taste actually be described as salty?
Sapidity in wine
The question of sapidity in wine has always been much discussed, however, it has not yet been possible to solve all the doubts about it.
Let’s start from a simple premise: every taste influences the intensity with which other tastes are perceived. Sapidity in wine, as in foods, increases our perception of sweetness, reducing the perception of acid.
Let’s think of a beautiful grilled fiorentina, covered with wonderful salt flakes and a drizzle of olive oil, as good as the one we produce in the estate at Cantina il Poggio.
The perception of acidity in wine decreases or increases the perception of sweet roundness.
(As it’s written in the notes we took during the Wine Club’s classes, the course of approach to the wine world that we hold here in the Winery)
Otium, the perfect pairing for a fiorentina, plays with this contrasts: fresh acidity of this full-bodied wine plays with the meat’s sapidity, creating a soft but cleaning sensation.
Tannins, fats, acidity and sapidity.
An explosion of flavours and an invitation to take onother bite. An another sip. And so on.
Sapidity in wine: what’s the cause?
The sensation of sapidity found in many wines comes from their content in dissolved mineral substances: the wine does not contain salt understood as sodium chloride. The different mineral substances that it contains, determine the sensation of salinity, which is much more appreciable in the absence of tannins that would overwhelm it, that is in white wines. With the term “sapid” we refer to a wine that presents an appreciable and pleasing sensation of minerality, due to its content in particularly significant saline substances, that is usually accompanied by an acidity such as to impart a pleasant sensation of gustatory freshness.
One of the most famous “salt” regions is the Rías Baixas of northwestern Spain, where some vineyards are within walking distance from the sea water. Here the vines come into contact with wind and rain extremely rich in mineral salts, which will affect the soil. The roots, absorbing the nourishment from the soil, will be enriched by these giving what we define as the “sapidity in wine”.
We also think of the wines of Etna, Irpinia and Campi Flegrei, to stay in our beautiful country.
Sense of taste
Obviously the sense of taste is the first one to which we think about talking about wine, as it is a product that we ingest. Thanks to the sense of taste we can perceive 5 sensations such as bitter, sour, sweet, salty and finally umami. The latter, mainly used in dishes of Eastern origin, gives the food a savory aftertaste similar to the star nut or soy sauce (or very aged Parmigiano Reggiano).
The identification of the various tastes is based on the stimuli sent to the brain by the receptors present in our language, it is never trivial to identify the prevailing taste.
Going back to the gustatory perceptions and to the tests done in the Winery during the Wine Club: we have the confirmation that the salinity in contact with the wine will not only make it salty, but will make us perceive it as sweeter and less acid than it is.
Of course, if the flavor is given by the wine itself, I will have to go and play with acidic foods: if we think of Sicilian whites, it is very easy to find some curious matching.
Are we in the Sicilian area? Do we feel like summer? Pasta with sardines, all those fresh first courses with the so-called “muddica”, where there is never a shortage of anchovies and a lemon peel.
Let’s leave the borders to arrive here in Parma, of course, city of culinary creativity: acidity is sought with the use of herbs, characteristic of all the Apennines where there was an abundance of cheesemakers as in the plain and the production of cow’s milk was much lower.
Erbazzone ! Or “torta d’erbi”, as they call in in the Appennini.
Eel, traditional and typical Christmas dish
Sapidity in wine: perception
Generally speaking, a person perceives salt in concentration of about 0.5 grams per liter. In a wine, on average, there are 1.5 / 3 grams per liter of mineral salts of potassium, magnesium and calcium. They are the salts that give the flavor to the wine: that pleasant sensation that pushes us to get closer to the glass to drink another sip (well no, it is not always the fault of thirst).
Tasters usually use four blocks to “catalogue” the flavor of a wine:
-Non perceivable, lacking sapidity. Negative evaluation for wines that come from low quality grapes or that went through invasis processes
– Little sapid, slightly savory saline sensation just perceivable index of wines with very high acidity or few extractive substances
-Sapid, with a notable sapidity. Typical in good structured wines with a good alcohol quantity
-Very sapid, excessive sapidity, sometimes given by arid or brackish soil. Unpleasant sensation.
And if it is also true that here in the winery we do not have savory wines, we try very carefully to put ourselves in the game and confront ourselves with the most beautiful Italian realities in the world.
For all the advice, of course, we wait for you in the winery for a tasting.
Reservations on https://cantinailpoggio.it/en/cantina-il-poggio-english/