Tannins are natural chemical compounds that are found in many plants. Foods and drinks like tea, chocolate and coffee also have tannins. In grapes, these compounds are found in the skin, seeds, and stems of the grape. Also, when we age wine in woods, the woods also have tannins. When it comes to ageing wines, tannins can be imparted by wood barrels.
What is the feeling of tannin?
Tannins in wines are more about texture, not the flavours. Depending on how intense the tannins are, you may experience a temporary puckering or drying sensation that some liken to the astringent sensation of eating an unripe piece of fruit or drinking a cup of strong black tea.
Which wine has more tannins?
Tannins are common in red wines. Some grape varieties naturally contain more tannins, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz/Syrah.
For the white wines, as they typically do not macerate with skins during fermentation, tannins are not extracted in the same way as they are in reds.
How to make the tannins softer?
Decanting will increase wine’s contact with oxygen. This helps to smoothen the tannins and make the aromas of the wine more expressive.
Also, we can pair the high tannin wines with food, especially something fatty like cheese and meat. The fat content in food helps to offset the astringency from tannins.