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carbonic acid

Carbonic acid first became known in mineral water due to its acidic flavour. It is the reaction product of its anhydride carbon dioxide with water. Despite its carbon content, it is categorised as an inorganic acid. The gas carbon dioxide is easily soluble in water and reacts to a small extent (about 0.2%) to form carbonic acid. This is therefore present in every wine in very small quantities and in sparkling wine in somewhat larger quantities. However, by far the largest proportion (over 99%) is the carbon dioxide dissolved in the wine.

Carbon dioxide ≠ carbonic acid

The colloquial term carbonic acid is often used inaccurately for carbon dioxide, even in technical literature. For example, sparkling wine is referred to as carbonic acid pressure and not carbon dioxide pressure. The bubbles are considered an important indication of the quality of a sparkling wine, the criterion being the sparkling ability.

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