Which Reds Have the Least Amount of Tannins?
We all know what a tannin is, right? Okay, real talk, for those of us who have heard the word but still aren’t exactly sure what it refers to… here is a quick wine science lesson (fun)! A tannin is a naturally occurring micronutrient called polyphenol. It is found in plants, seeds, leaves, wood, bark, and fruit skins. Polyphenols are macromolecules made of phenols: complex bonds of oxygen and hydrogen molecules. The word “tannin” is from the ancient Latin word for tanner. Tanner refers to tanning hides with tree bark. Simple, right? Science aside, here are some things to keep in mind about tannins.
At this point, you may have a few questions.
What do tannins taste like?
Tannins can make a wine taste bitter, astringent and complex. For many that’s just not a taste they’re comfortable with or enjoy.
Why do people avoid tannins and look for low tannin red wine?
Some people experience a drying sensation in their mouths from drinking wine high in tannins. Some people will even suffer an allergic reaction from high tannin wine that might include a headache or migraine. That said, if you are not someone who is intolerant to tannins, they are not bad for your health. In fact, they actually serve as an antioxidant.
Are there a lot of tannins in pinot noir?
Pinot noir is actually one of the most popular red wines because it is a low tannin red wine. Pinot noir is fruit-forward and pairs well with many dishes. Its low tannin levels make it easy to drink and enjoy. Rainstorm makes a gorgeous organic pinot noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon. Be sure to pick up a bottle of Rainstorm (or several) if it’s a low tannin red wine you’re after.