What do wine tannins mean?

Wine's tannins are the essence the wine, it’s to them the drink owes its exquisite development, weight, and structure. But what are they?

Naturally occurring tannins may be found in many fruits' bark, wood, leaves, skins, and seeds. Black tea and some berries also contain them. The pips and ridges contain tannins that are quite bitter and abrasive, and these tannins are generally not wanted in wine. Grapes are a particularly good source of them. They are the cause of red wine's astringent qualities.

How wine gets its tannins

During the maceration process, in which the grape must absorb tannins from crushed berries along with color, flavor, and smells, tannins from grape skins, seeds, and sometimes even the crests find their way into wine. The kind of grape used and the method of production determine how much tannin is in the wine.

How wine's tannins feel

Wine has a tactile quality that is produced by tannins. They may be "green"—unripe and astringent—when they are young. They become supple and meld with the wine over time, giving it a smooth, velvety texture. Tannins might even seem sweet in old wines.

Red wine's texture and mouthfeel are largely attributed to tannins; more precisely, tannins provide an acidic and bitter flavor that, in moderation, may be enjoyed.

One of the major reasons we age certain wines before tasting them is because tannins may alter over time, often becoming softer and less astringent.

The significance of wine's tannins Wine has a lengthy shelf life because tannins act as a natural preservative when paired with strong acidity. The majority of Bordeaux and Piedmont wines have this quality, which takes decades to manifest.

Red wines' structure and ability to age are significantly influenced by tannins. They have an indirect impact on the synthesis of scents in addition to their antibacterial action (they specifically inhibit oxidation).

Additionally, when tannins bond to food's proteins, they make each piece taste better. For this reason, fatty and roasted meats go well with wines that have tannins.


When tasting wine, how do tannins feel? How do they impact the personality and potential for preservation of a wine?

1. Taste. A wine's tannin content increases with its dryness on the tongue after tasting.

2. Organization. The mouthfeel of a wine is influenced by its texture, which is sometimes referred to as its "flavor sensation." Tannins are one of the primary components that provide texture. Tannins may have an astringent, abrasive, or velvety texture.

3. Excellence. Structure and depth are created by the harmonized, mature tannins. On the other hand, a taste that is too tannic dries the tongue and makes the customer search for water.

4. Age. Tannins have a preservation effect. Wine makers can add too much tannin to their product in an attempt to preserve it longer. With age, tannins often grow silkier and softer.

5. Harmony. An optimal wine has a harmonious balance of acidity, tannins, and alcohol. When one aspect of balance significantly outweighs the others, the wine is said to be out of balance.