Tannin is an important part of wine and has a major influence on the taste, texture and quality of a wine. But are you curious what exactly tannins are? Where does it come from and how does it affect wine? Then read on...
What is Tannin?
Tannin is a type of polyphenol that occurs naturally in plants and is also known as tannic acid. It is commonly found in the seeds, stems, skins and leaves of plants. The tannin in wine comes not only from the grape skins, stems and seeds, but also from the oak barrels in which some wines are aged.
How does tannin affect wine?
Tannin can play an important role in a wine's flavor and texture. It causes the wine to have a dry, rough and astringent feeling in the mouth, which is especially noticeable in red wines, which tend to contain more tannin than white wines. If the tannin is too strong, it can also give a bitter taste to the wine.
In addition to taste and texture, tannin can also affect the quality of the wine. As the wine ages, the tannin will gradually break down and disappear, making the wine softer and rounder. In quality wines, the tannin is in good balance with other flavors.
Which wines contain a lot of tannins?
In general, red wines contain more tannin than white wines. Within red wines, however, the tannin content varies widely. Wines made from grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Nebbiolo and Tempranillo tend to contain more tannin than wines made from grapes such as Pinot Noir or Grenache.
How can you reduce the tannin in wine yourself?
If you don't like the dry and astringent taste of tannin, decanting wine can help. Because you bring the wine into contact with air, the tannin softens. Serving the wine at a slightly lower temperature can also help reduce tannin.
Although tannin can sometimes be perceived as unpleasant, it is an important part of good wine, as it affects the taste, texture and quality of the wine. Understanding tannin and its role in wine can help you better appreciate what you're tasting and make better wine choices.