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Intensity in flavor? It’s the tannin

In the world of wine and tasting, there is always a word that comes into play: tannin. A term not only reserved for sommeliers and producers, since consumers also often pronounce it. Such a characteristic touch needed a word to define it.

A certain roughness and dryness in the mouth, which can even reach teeth and gums, envelops the flavor of the wine we have just tasted. A sensation that we detect immediately, with more or less intensity, but that is always present. We define it at the first contact, but not everyone knows how to explain what it is and what it brings to the wine.

Tannins are secondary metabolites of some vegetables, an organic substance present in the bark of trees or inside some fruits. In the case of grapes, tannin is concentrated in the seed, in the skin and in the scrape or broom, which is what holds the fruit together in the cluster. We can also perceive it with greater intensity if it comes from the wooden barrel. Aging in an oak barrel, for example, will provide a higher dose of tannin to the wine, an element that the winemaker must try to control so as not to make a wine too hard for the palate.

Tannins are secondary metabolites of some vegetables, an organic substance present in the bark of trees or inside some fruits.

Tannin level differs depending on the type of grape. If we look at a Tempranillo or a Cabernet Sauvignon we are talking about a high concentration level, while a Pinot Noir would be in its opposite, but there are other contributing factors: the aging, the maceration, the type of barrel also intervene in the final flavor.

Tannins affect the flavor, which is why it is very common to describe it with adjectives such as silky, sweet, velvety, robust, etc. As for smell, its aromatic memory opens up a range of interpretations, from red fruits, cinnamon to green wood or even rust.

But it is not only the heritage of grapes or wood, we can find traces of tannin in a wide variety of foods such as tea leaves, nuts, almonds, dark chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, pomegranates and berries, among others.

We hope that we have clarified the meaning of this word that we have heard and associated so many times but that we do not always have a clear explanation of.

 

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