Tannins occur naturally in the world’s most popular wine grapes e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz & Sangiovese (aka Chianti). Tannins are derived from the grapes (skins, seed & stems) and from the oak used in barrels during maturation. Oak barrels cost anything from $1200 to $2,000 each – a big investment to achieve wine Nirvana!
In wine, tannins are predominantly polyphenols that have remarkable antioxidant properties, anti-carcinogenic properties, and antimicrobial properties.
Tannins give red wine structure providing firmness, richness of texture and dryness. Depending on the level of tannin wine can be described as soft, firm or astringent. Really good reds have
just enough tannin to add character and complexity; in excess, they have a puckering effect on the inside of the mouth.
Tannin also occurs in tea, fruit, plants, bark and woods. Tannin has historically been used in tanning animal hides and that is how it gets its name!