What are Tannins?

Tannins are polyphenols that occur naturally in plants, wood, fruit skins and some seeds. They lend a bitter taste and increase the astringent qualities of such substances as red wines. Although some white wines contain tannins if they have been aged in wooden kegs or barrels, tannins are most common to red wines. Certain types of red wine usually have higher tannin counts than others. For example, red Barolo, Barbaresco and Bordeaux wines normally have high amounts of tannins. Red Burgundy, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese or Dolcetto characteristically have lower tannin counts. While some vintage port may have higher tannin content, Beaujolais and Spanish Rioja will contain lower tannin counts.

Do Tannins Affect the Taste of Wines?

Tannins do affect the taste of red wines with high tannin counts. Just how much effect can tannins have on the taste of your favorite wine? Well, think of how bitter a wet black tea bag can taste. Then imagine drinking your favorite red wine with this bitter, astringent taste added. Most people will agree this idea is not too appealing to most wine lovers. While some naturalists and purists may say they overlook this bitter taste, knowing that tannins are natural elements in the wine and not harmful, many people less concerned with the purist aspect may wish they could eliminate this bitter, unpleasant taste and sensation from the red wines they like to drink regularly. Especially for gourmet food enthusiasts who always carefully pair their meals with the best and most appropriate red wines, the bitterness of tannins in some wines may be extremely distasteful and even unacceptable.

Can I Reduce the Tannin Counts in My Wine?

Yes, you can actually reduce the amount of tannins in your wine. First, taste the wine to decide how much bitterness you would like to eliminate. Then, while stirring the wine, add a teaspoon of powdered egg white, casein or gelatin to the wine. Then add a half cup of ice water while continuing to stir this unusual mixture. Afterward, let your wine sit open, without a cork of decanter top for up to two hours. Most people who try this method are pleasantly surprised and even delighted at the result. Especially for wine drinkers who strongly dislike any bitterness in their wines, this method may solve the problem completely, allowing you to enjoy all red wines without concern about tannin content.

By consulting the experts at Grapeworks and Tanium in Dingley Village, Victoria, you will receive excellent advice about tannin control in your favorite red wines. With their broad range of expertise concerning all aspects of winemaking, packaging, shipping and production equipment as well as wine storage, they can offer you the best possible advice and guidance concerning all aspects of tannin content in red wines.