Have you ever had a fruit that is not quite ripe which left a strange feeling in your mouth almost like dry rough sensation? Well this is the easiest way to describe the sensation of tannins in wine.
They are present in red wines at different degrees, but usually you refer to a wine as having high or low tannins. High tannin wines are astringent, maybe even bitter and inky. Lower tannin wines are smooth and soft, and depending on your tastes, more drinkable. Here this is a matter of taste so a wine is not considered bad or good by the amount of tannins.
Tannins occur naturally in plants and in wine grapes. In wine, tannins are predominantly water-soluble polyphenols. Polyphenols have remarkable antioxidant properties, anti-carcinogenic properties, and antimicrobial properties. Despite the health properties, people generally prefer low tannins wines as it usually feels smoother. As tannins occur in the skin and stems of red grapes, stick with White wines or Rosé If you want to avoid tannins altogether.
Here is a quick guide of low Tannins wine:
Barbera, Bobal, Bonarda, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Carignan, Ciliegiolo, Cinsault, Valpolicella, Frappato, Gamay, Grenache/Garnacha, Lambrusco, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Schiava.
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