What do you call white wines that have a citrusy, fizzy sensation?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Is there a term to describe a still dry white wine that has a fizzy mouthfeel similar to that of a lemon-lime soda or a sparkling wine? Every time I drink a Riesling or a Sauvignon Blanc, I get that fizzy mouthfeel.

—Chris, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Dear Chris,

I’m guessing you’re picking up on acidity, which can come across as a tingle in your cheeks and on your palate, like a squirt of lemon juice. Acidity is present in all wines, but it’s more prominent in white wines. I don’t typically hear acidity described as “fizzy,” since that’s a term usually associated with sparkling wines and their carbonation, but both are mouthwatering sensations.

There are a lot of fun ways to describe acidity it in a wine and because of that, it’s one of my favorite terms. Some of the words used to describe include but are not limited to: lively, fresh, tangy, zingy, racy, tart, crisp, clean, zippy, zesty, juicy, jazzy, energetic, biting or mouthwatering.

However, there are some white winss that do have a touch of carbonation, most notably some Portuguese Vinho Verdes, and those are often referred to as spritzy or having effervesence.

—Dr. Vinny

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