Do you like high tannin wines? If you said yes, then you’re in the minority. Many people don’t enjoy wines that are high in tannins because they find them too astringent and bitter. Tannins are a naturally occurring compound found in red wine grapes and they are what give red wines their characteristic dryness, bitterness, and often pucker-inducing reaction. There have been some reasons posited as to why some people might want to drink wines with lower tannins. Could you benefit from this change?
One reason some red wine drinkers choose to avoid high tannin wines is that they are classified as supertasters and can detect subtle flavors that the general population cannot. This could mean that some people’s taste buds are extra sensitive to the bitterness of the tannins and this bitterness has the potential to drown out the other flavors of the wine for a supertaster.
This heightened sense of detection in taste may also means that someone could be more sensitive to the drying, astringent effect of tannins. If you find yourself feeling dehydrated after drinking red wine, it might be because the tannins are too high for you. You may have a tannin sensitivity. This is not quite an allergy but some people say it can affect their physical comfort levels both during and after consuming wines with high tannins. If you’ve ever felt like your mouth was dry or sticky after drinking red wine, or that you felt warm or itchy, it could be due to the tannins. Some people also report feeling flushed or experiencing headache symptoms after drinking red wine, and again, this is likely due to the tannins.
If you think you might benefit from drinking wines with lower tannins, there are a few things you can do. First, look for wines that are labeled “low tannin” or “no tannin.” These wines have been made with grapes that contain lower levels of tannins. You can also look for wines that have been aged for a longer period of time. The longer a red wine is aged, the more the tannins will soften and round out, making the wine more approachable and less astringent.
It is important to note that a lower tannin wine will not reduce the instance of a wine headache or morning hangover. Though tannins can have a heightened irritating effect on certain parts of the body, a lower instance or the absence of tannins does not remove the dehydrating effects of drinking alcohol.
You may have a sensitivity to tannins and other compounds and, in this case, should avoid high-tannin reds altogether. However, if your goal is simply to avoid a wine headache, remember that tannins may not be your enemy. It is the alcohol itself that causes this type of dehydration. Tannin levels in wine, however, can have a big impact on how much you enjoy it. If you want wines that are lower in tannins, look for wines with a “low” or “no tannin” label. Or choose an aged wine to reduce the astringency of the alcohol. Look for wines that are lower in tannins or have been aged longer to help round out the flavor. There are many options available to you, you don’t have to quit drinking your favorite reds, just do some research and find the ones that are most compatible with your body’s needs.