On Tannins…

Have you ever taken a sip of red wine and thought that maybe someone dissolved chalk in your glass? That puckery, dry mouthfeel is from compounds called tannins, which occur naturally in a grape’s skin, stem and seeds, as well as in the leaves, barks and fibers of other plants. Tannins prove beneficial to winemakers as a natural antioxidant, and provide needed structure to age-worthy wines. The longer the pressed juice sits in contact with skins, seeds and stems, the stronger its tannins. Vintners of red wine desire deeper color, thus more contact with grape skins. This is why most associate tannins with red wine, though certain white wine, especially those aged in oak barrels, can be tannic as well. Tannins mellow with age. Most of us don’t buy wine with the intent of cellaring… so finding reds with lower or mellowed tannins is key if you are planning to drink your bottle right away.



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