TANNINS IN WINE
Tannins are natural substances that can be found in the skin, seeds and stalks of the grapes. They belong to the chemical group of substances called polyphenols. These substances come in contact with the must when the grapes are broken by the action of crushing or pressing and then they dissolve into the liquid. The quantity of tannins present in the wine will vary according the grape variety and the vinification, as an example, the Tempranillo variety has a high concentration of tannins.
The red wines have a bigger amount of tannins than the white wines, as in the latter, the contact time of the skins with the must is shorter.
The tannins give structure and ageing capacity to the wine. They can also be obtained from the ageing barrels since the wood also contains them and they dissolve into the wine during their contact. Oak barrels are the most widely used option because of the flavours and qualities that add to the wine.
When we drink a wine and we feel how our mouth dries, as if we had a lack of saliva, we can say that it is a wine with an important quantity of tannins. Sometimes we hear expressions such as: velvety or robust tannins , that refer to the quantity of them contained in the wine. A wine that is rich in tannins, we will say it has robust or marked tannins and a wine with a slight tannin in mouth, we will say that has velvety or sweet tannins.
Additionally, tannins have healthy properties for our organism, such us astringent and anti-inflammatories properties and also antioxidants, protecting the cells from free radicals and reducing the risk of degenerative diseases.