Tannins vs. tannins vs. tannins

Tannins vs. tannins vs. tannins

Post by don schill » Fri, 23 Sep 1994 17:39:32

A question was brought to me about tannins and the differences in tannins.  
That is a question that I don't have an answer for, or know where to find the

I have heard the terms bitter tannins, soft tannins, middle tannins just to
name a few.  I know that tannins are mainly found in the grape (or fruit)
skins.  What makes a tannin bitter, or soft.  If you make a wine with bitter
tannins, how can you soften it, or bring out the middle tannins?  I have heard
that tannins come from the last part of fermentation on the skins.  If the
skins are pulled out near the end, that should provide less tannins, but which
tannins?  Removing the skins would also provide less color.  There has to be
a balance between leaving the skins in until you get the color you
want, and pulling out soon enough so you reduce the tannins you
don't want.

I have tasted wines from 91 that had harsh young tannins, and the same type
wine from 93 that had softer tannins and was much more drinkable.  Why?  What
makes the difference?

I am aware of malolactic fermentation and the benefit it provides in softening
acid in wine making it more drinkable.  Is there a product that will get
better tannins from bitter tannins?

If you know the answer, please post, if you know of a source for the answer, I
would like that information also.


      *Just a hardware guy in a software world.*
Disclaimer: Spelling errors caused by fast fingers or any other
excuse I can find.  All above is my opinion, not the opinion of
3M Company, or anyone else as far as I know.