The office was abuzz with debate. There was news, but was it a good reason to drink? We voted. The girls won.
Tannins Come from Sticks & Stones... Ok, Maybe Just Sticks
Ever been to a dinner party where someone says, “Tannins in red wine give me a headache?” We bet they don’t even know where tannins come from and just latched onto this term. How do we know this? First of all, there are lots of reasons red wine might give someone a wine headache (like sulfates or histamines). Secondly, your friend is probably suffering from having just enough info to sound smart without actually being smart.
Tannins: Any group of astringent substances found in the seeds, skins and stems of grapes as well as in oak barrels, particularly new ones. Tannins are part of a grouping technically called phenolic compounds. They are important in the production of good wines because they provide flavor, structure, and texture, and because their antioxidant traits contribute to long and graceful aging. Tannins often give young wines a noticeable astringency, a quality that diminishes as the wine ages, mellows and develops character. Wines with excessive tannins are referred to as tannic.
- Ron Herbst and Sharon Tyler Herbst
The New Wine Lover’s Companion
Well, when you ask us about “developing character” we immediately think of unpleasant things we were asked to do as kids that were guaranteed to make us better people as adults. Tannins are definitely unpleasant in large doses - sour and pucker-y. It makes sense that you’d find this coming from the less edible portions of the grape. We’re pretty sure eating grape stems won’t kill you but until some celebrity chef starts adding them to their field greens with a splash of balsamic vinegar it seems unlikely to be a regular part of anyone’s diet.
Now you know, when you drink a glass of wine and it tastes kind of sour - that’s the tannins at work. You just got a mouth full of tree bark and fruit stems. You can be snooty and pronounce the wine too young to drink just yet. Just remember, a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing and you don’t want to sound like a smarty-pants doofus.
The Sangiovese grape is often used in blends, giving heart to traditional rustic wines, but it’s also used to make Sangiovese wine. There’s a high level of
Looking for something that’s delicious? We recommend just about anything from Gnarly Head. In particular, we’re fans of the Gnarly Head Merlot. It’s a safe bottle of wine to take to a friendly dinner party.