Cards of Wine

What are Tannins?


The Taste of Tannins

You do not taste tannins, you feel them.

Chew on one of these things:

Do you feel the dryness in your mouth and a bitterness on your tongue?

Berries, Coffe. Dark Chocolate, Beans, Banana Skin, Pomegranate, and Cinnamon also contains a lot of tannins

Tannins in Wine

Oak tannins tends to attack the front of the tongue, while grape skin tannins tends to attach the back.

Intense grape tannins (stem and seeds) can also attack the teeth and gums.

Strong Tannins Shiraz
Bordaux wines (Cabernet Sauvignon)
Nebbiolo based (Barolo)
Sangiovese based (Chianti)
Smooth Tannins Merlot
Tempranillo based (Rioja)
Light Tannins Gamay based (Beaujolais)
Pinot Noir

A wine with very strong tannins is often better when aged. Years of storing in a bottle will soften the tannins.

Red Wine / White Wine

Red wines are made by fermenting the grapes along with the skin and the seeds to extract color and tannins.

Tannins play an important role in red wine making.

White wines contain little tannins because the grape juice is femented after the skin and seeds have been removed.

Acid plays the more important role in white wines.

Tannins and Food

Red wine and fat creates a "win-win" situation:

The tannins in wine melt the fat in the meat and releases the meat flavors.

The fat in the meat soften the tannins in wine and releases the wine flavors.

The more textured the food (fatty like duck or chewy like steak) the more tannin is needed in the wine.

Tannins are attracted to fatty proteins:

Tannins are Healty


The astringent (drying) effect you feel when eating Pomegranate is the effect of tannins.

The unpleasant taste of tannins protects plants from birds, pest and insect attacks.

Tannins also protect people against cancer (slowing down cancer cell division).

More about Tannins