Join writer Jessica Festa as she learns about pairing wine and cheese at Brooklyn Winery in New York.
Wine tasting is about more than just flavor, it’s an experience. There are four main elements in wine that help you go beyond just sipping a beverage. First is the tannins, which are essentially what give you that puckering, all-the-moisture-just-left-my-mouth feeling. Tannins are found at a greater density in red wine, as they are a chemical compound found in the grape skin. While red wines are fermented with the skin for color and tannins, white wine is not, although they get some tannins when being aged in oak barrels. The benefit of tannins is they allow you to age wine longer, and because they break down over time can lead to a wine that’s well-balanced and easy to appreciate (not to mention tannins help protect against heart disease). In terms of food pairing, it’s important to note tannins interact positively with proteins to create “umami,” or an extremely pleasing savory flavor.