Wine term of the Week

Tannins are one of the 5 most important characteristics of wine, remember the others? acid, fruit, body, sweetness. In nature, tannins are plant building blocks that protect, preserve and defend the plant from predators. In general, tannins belong to a group of compounds called phenols. Phenols aka tannins are the reason red wine is an antioxidant and is so healthy. This is so because tannins come from the skin of the grape and red wine is fermented with skins. White wine is not. Tannins help preserve the wine for a longer time and gives it some structure. It also comes from the seeds of the grape as well as the stems, also from the wood barrels where the wine is aged. How does tannin taste? like biting into an unripe fruit. It makes your lips pucker and feels dry. Some people explain the taste in the palate like a tightening on the back of the palate or a knot on the tongue. For the wine maker it is important to harvest the grapes when the tannins are ripe. This happens with the right amount of sun, when sugar increases, acidity decreases and tannins soften, beautiful!

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