What are Tannins in Wine?


We’re going back to the basics and talking tannins this week. So, what are tannins anyway? Tannin adds structure to wine which acts as a natural preservative and helps the wine age.  Tannin also provides a textural sensation on your palate.  I want you to think of the letter T when you think about tannin. Tannin = Texture. It can be felt on your tongue and your teeth. Have you ever taken a sip of wine that leaves a super dry feeling on your palate?  Almost like sandpaper? Then, you’ve experienced tannins.

Tannins are naturally derived from the stem, skins and seeds in the grape and from oak aging.  The longer the juice soaks in the Anatomy of a grapestems, skins and seeds, the higher the tannin content. Therefore, red wine like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon have a much higher tannin content than white wine. The scientific word for tannin is polyphenols. These natural antioxidants help to stabilize the wine and allow some world class wines to age gracefully for more than a decade. Plus, we all know that antioxidants are great for your health. So, grab a glass of red wine and enjoy!

If you want to learn how to better detect tannins, I have a great exercise you can try at home with a cup of tea. Learn more by watching my video SOMMinar.