Conquering Those Evil Red Wine Tannins

ChrisLI confess…I have a sweet tooth. Yep, that huge tooth in the back of my mouth is my sweet tooth. I love anything sweet like cakes, pies and candy and that’s most likely why I love sweet wines such as Moscato, Riesling and some Zinfandels.

When I began to explore wine many years ago I discovered tannins. You know exactly what I’m talking about when I mention tannins. It’s tannin that attacks the moisture in your mouth and makes it feel like a desert when you sip a red wine. You might be saying to yourself by now, “Oh yeah…I hate that!” Well, I said that too when I tasted red wine for the first time and I’ve stayed away from red wine ever since.


Many people have asked me why red wine has tannin. Well, tannin is a substance that exists naturally in the skins, the seeds, and the stems of grapes and when red grapes are fermented with their skins tannins become part of the taste of the red wine.


Now that I’m a tour guide, nearly every day I am asked what type of wine I like and my usual answer, until recently, was the list of sweet wines I mentioned earlier. However, I now include Merlot and Cabernet on my list! Yes, RED WINES!! What made me add red wine to my list since tannins are so nasty?! The answer is food!


Remember that scene in the movie “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy’s house crashes in the Land of Oz from that tornado? Dorothy opens the front door and you see a world of brilliant color from the previous black and white part of the movie. Well, that’s what it felt like to me when I paired food for the first time with red wine!


When you pair food while drinking red wine the tannin in the red wine attacks the food and not your mouth and thus allows you the opportunity to truly enjoy the taste of the wine. What a revelation! I could now enjoy what red wine really has to offer and not have those evil tannins sour my taste!


So, the next time you do a tasting that includes red wine, try having some cheese or dark chocolate to help you fight those evil tannins and discover, as I did, the amazing taste of red wine! You won’t be sorry!


Written by Chris Largent – Tour Guide

About Jenny Toomer

Director of Sales & Marketing
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