How dry I am.
It is 5:30PM and nearly 70 degrees as I sit out on my balcony at the beautiful Hotel Del Coronado just outside of San Diego. Feel sorry for me yet… didn’t think so. Enjoying the beautiful evening sunset, a thought popped into my head. After the initial shock of actually having one, I figured I would write it down quick before it died of loneliness. Here it is.” Tannins”, what do you think so far?
The wine world constantly muses about Tannins, smooth and velvety, graceful, well balanced, polished, front of the mouth, back of the mouth, mid palate….good lord it sounds like a verbose orthodontist selling braces by describing the way adorable little Ernie’s teeth are going to look in three years when your bank account is completely drained. In fact Tannins are hugely complex and involve multiple chemical reactions. If you would like to read about them there is a pretty good entry level article at this link www.wineanorak.com/tannins.htm. Too me, tannins are more about feeling than taste. If a wine, Red in particular is really tannic, it almost feels like it the moisture has been sucked completely out of your mouth after you drink it. Tannins can be felt in the back of your mouth, the middle or the front of your mouth. If the tannins are “well Balanced and smooth” you can feel it all over your mouth imparting a silky or smooth, some say velvety texture. If for instance you latch on to a young, really powerful Bordeaux that is opened 26 seconds after bottling and you take a giant swig…it might make your mouth feel like you won the Eastern Massachusetts stamp lick off shattering the old record of three hundred stamps licked and posted in 2 minutes, 16 seconds…that’s tannic. Tannins can also add flavor…usually bitter and brought on by the oak barrel aging process, but more generally they are simply about the feel. Smooth, silky or velvety; dry as a bone or my top lip is stuck to my front teeth, your talkin Tannins baby. Watch out, next week …Terroir. Until then,
Enjoy the wine