Food - Drink
The Crucial Role Tannins Play In Red Wine
Deciding between red or white wine might come down to personal preference and food pairings, but aside from taste, red and white wine are different in important ways. Red wine is made including the skin of the grape, affecting its taste, texture, and nutritional value and importantly, incorporating a higher level of tannins into the wine.
Tannins are a nutritive plant compound, and in grapes, the skin is where tannins mostly reside. A wine’s level of tannins directly correlates to its aging potential, which is why an opened but sealed bottle of white wine only lasts a few days in the fridge but an opened bottle of red can last for days and even taste better for it.
Tannins are an antioxidant, meaning they bind to oxygen, which helps protect wine from spoiling. This is why we decant red wine, which allows oxygenation to soften the tannins for a smoother flavor. Tannins are also notoriously astringent, which helps give red wine its deeper and more complex flavors.