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tannins - Printable Version

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- winenovice - 07-06-1999 09:07 PM

Will someone please explain tannins to me?


- Jerry D Mead - 07-07-1999 12:55 AM

They are the astringent part of wine...coming from the skins rather than the juice or pulp, which is why tannin is almost exclusively a red wine issue...as red wine is fermented in contact with the skins to extract color and flavor.

It is that rough puckery feeling in the mouth...like alum if you know what that is...or as in tea when brewed too strongly, too concentrated, which will give you the same feeling of astringency.

Harder to explain is the differing chemical compositions of tannins...some of which are very offensive in the mouth, others which seem to have round edges and be actually complimentary to a red wine's mouthfeel.

Red wines meant to be softened by aging and time tend to have more tannin that do simple, fruity red wines meant to be quaffed young.

Some of the technical guys can probably add to this.


- Jason - 07-07-1999 08:55 PM

Here isa good one that I think was started by Kevin Zraly - When you place an aspirin in your mouth and can not find your glass of water, the taste you're left with is pure tannin. This is desirable in wine because it balances the fruitiness.