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Wine Without Tannins

Wine is a popular drink that some people love, but not everyone likes the dry and mouth-tingling feeling caused by tannins in wine.

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man holding a glass of old wine with Tannins

Tannins are an important part of good red wine. However, there are people who may choose not to have wine with tannins at all.

Luckily, there are choices for people who want to drink wine without tannins. Usually, white wines have fewer tannins than red wines, which makes them a good choice for people who want a wine with less of a tannic taste. In addition, there are certain types of red wine that have fewer tannins, which makes them a good option for people who want to drink red wine without feeling their mouth dry.

If you want white wine or red wine that is not too bitter, there are many choices for you. You can easily find the right wine for your taste by doing some research and trying different ones out.

Understanding Tannins

Tannins are a type of polyphenolic compound that is commonly found in plants, including grapes. In wine, tannins are responsible for providing structure and texture. They also contribute to the astringency and bitterness of the wine.

Tannins blend in a glass of old wine

Tannins are extracted from the skins, seeds, and stems of grapes during the winemaking process. Red wines typically have higher levels of tannins than white wines because red wines are fermented with the grape skins, while white wines are not.

The amount of tannins in wine can vary depending on the grape variety, the winemaking process, and the age of the wine. Young wines tend to have higher levels of tannins, which can make them taste bitter and astringent. As the wine ages, the tannins become more integrated and the wine becomes smoother and more balanced.

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Tannins are often described as having a drying or puckering effect on the mouth. This is because they bind with proteins in the saliva, which reduces the lubricating effect of the saliva and makes the mouth feel dry.

Some people enjoy the astringency and bitterness that tannins provide in wine, while others find it unpleasant. For those who prefer wine without tannins, there are some options available. For example, Pinot Noir, Grenache, and Gamay are red wine varieties that tend to have lower levels of tannins. Additionally, some white wines, such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, may have little to no tannins.

Low Tannin Wines

For those who find the dry, mouth-tingling effects of tannins in wine unpleasant, there are plenty of options available. Low tannin wines are a great alternative for those who want to enjoy a glass of wine without the bitterness.

Red Wines

When it comes to low tannins red wines, Pinot Noir is a popular choice. It delivers light, fresh flavors with relatively low tannins.

someone pouring a glass of pinot noir in a vineyard - Wine Without Tannins

Gamay is another great option for those who prefer a silky, elegant wine with low tannin levels. Barbera, Grenache, Dolcetto, Frappato, Schiava, Bobal, and Bonarda are other red wine varieties that are known for their low tannin levels.

White Wines

If you’re looking for low tannins white wines, unoaked white wines are a great place to start. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling are all popular options that typically have low tannin levels. These wines are known for their crisp, refreshing taste and are perfect for pairing with lighter meals or enjoying on their own.

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Winemaking Process

Winemaking is the process of turning grapes into wine. The process starts with the harvest of the grapes and ends with the bottling of the finished wine. In between, several steps are taken to ensure the wine is of high quality.

process-of-making-a-sparkling-wine-in-the-factory - Wine Without Tannins

Aging and Barrels

After the grapes are harvested, they are crushed to extract the juice. The juice is then fermented, which turns the sugar in the juice into alcohol. Once the wine has been fermented, it is aged. Aging can take place in stainless steel tanks or oak barrels.

Oak barrels are preferred by many winemakers because they add flavor and complexity to the wine. The type of oak used and the age of the barrel can affect the flavor of the wine. New oak barrels can impart strong flavors of vanilla and spice, while older barrels can impart subtler flavors of oak and toast.

Maceration and Fermentation

Maceration is the process of soaking grape skins in juice during fermentation. This process adds color, tannins, and flavor to the wine. Tannins are a natural preservative found in grape skins, stems, and seeds. They give the wine structure and can help it age well.

Winemakers can choose to ferment the wine with or without the grape skins. Fermenting without skins results in a white wine, while fermenting with skins results in a red wine. White wines are typically not fermented with their skins and seeds attached.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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