The world of wine is a vast one. Whether you just sip casually at home or head to wine tastings to swirl, smell, and explore, there’s so much to learn about vino. The different styles, flavors, and bodies can get a bit confusing at times, but learning about wine piece by piece makes it all a little easier to understand.
One of the pieces you should learn about is what brings that dry taste to your mouth when you drink a deep red wine. It’s not because you haven’t drunk enough water during the day, but because of the tannins from the grape that are drying out the moisture from your mouth. Below, we delve into all you need to know about tannins, from understanding what they are to the wines with high tannin rates.
What Are Tannins?
Tannins are compounds (polyphenols) that exists in grape skins, seeds, and stems. Just after the grapes are pressed, these tannins release from the grape and soak into the juice. The amount of tannins in a wine depends on how long the juice sat with the skins, seeds, and stems—the longer it sits, the more tannins present in the juice and, therefore, in the wine. Red wines are typically much more tannin-forward because the winemaker allows the grape skins to sit in the juice longer so that the wine can obtain that deep red color. Tannins add to the wine’s overall complexity, deepening certain characteristics and flavors in the wine.
Health Benefits of Tannins
Tannins are great for the complexity they bring to wine as well as for their health benefits. Various studies have shown that wines higher in tannins are healthier for the heart. A study published on PubMed reported that tannins “serve as a natural defense mechanism against microbial infections.” This means they can reduce blood pressure, moderate immunoresponses, and help with heart health.
Wines with High Tannins
High tannins are typically found in full-bodied red wines. The top three high-tannic wines are as follows:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is especially known for its heavy tannic properties. It can be made even more tannic with certain fermentation and maceration techniques. It pairs perfectly with bold foods, as the tannins blend with the proteins and don’t overwhelm the senses.
This wine can be super-high in tannins, or it can be as light as air. Syrahs from California tend to be especially tannic. If you don’t want a Syrah that’s super-high in tannins, then look for a lighter red.
Nebbiolo grapes are known for being extremely bold and tannic. In fact, a bottle of Nebbiolo wine requires as many as 10 years to mellow out enough to be drinkable. Pouring that glass is well worth the wait.
When you need a high-end red wine, turn to Wines ’Til Sold Out. Our Premium Selections and our Last Chances Wines are sure to have a high-tannic red in there—it’ll be just what you need to survive any sort of self-isolation. Shop our online wine collection now, and enjoy all the joy that wine can bring to your life!