What is Tannat?

What is Tannat? The concept and motivation for leisure drinking changed a lot due to the restrictions this global pandemic has enforced on us. Limited social and physical interactions are still mostly observed globally. Although consumer behavior changes, it is undeniable that wine is still part of our life events celebrations.

Grabbing our favorite wine, sharing it with our loved ones, or simply having a glass by ourselves is still part of how we celebrate milestones or adversities. We might not be physically together, but technology also finds ways to keep human connection possible.

Hence, drinking is still a part of our video call catch-ups with our loved ones. For this article, we will discover another type of wine that can probably alter our drinking game. 

Where did it come from? 

Tannat are dark-hued grapes that originated from Madiran, France. It is located in the southwestern part of the region. However, this wine is now an unlikely hero in Uruguay. It is considered the national grape in this country. Uruguay produces one-third of the world’s Tannat wine supply. They are basically planted all over the region from coastal to subtropical. Vineyards in Uruguay are specially modified to produce high-quality wine.

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Bodega Garzon Tannat @Pinterest

Although since a variety of soil was used, styles and taste might have been differentiated. It is said that Tannat wines from Madiran are more structured in terms of taste, compared to those from Uruguay, which is softer or lighter in tone. At the present time, they are also growing in popularity in Argentina, Brazil, Australia, and South Africa. In the United States, it was only around the 20th century when this variety of grape started to gain attention. 

Taste and Aroma

Tannat wine exhibits hints of black fruit, herb, wet stones, and topsoil in terms of aroma. For its taste, it can be highly tannic to rounded and fruity. Usually, the fruity notes included are blackberry and plum, with hints of dried spices and smoke.

In terms of taste, the closest other varieties of grapes are Sagrantino and Petite Sirah or also known as Durif. Tannat wines give a vibrant and energetic flavor and can greatly give an explosion of flavors on your palate when paired properly. 

Perfect food-pairing

Since Uruguay produces most Tannat wine supply, it greatly affected the perfect food pairing for it. Aside from Tannat wine, Uruguay is also known to be a major supplier of beef. Hence it comes to no surprise that this wine and beef dishes go naturally well together. But since as mentioned above, there might be a variation in the taste of Tannat wine as it was produced on a variety of soil.

For Tannat wine with a stronger and structured taste, it is greatly paired with barbecue meat. The darker the Tannat, the higher the acidity on its taste, the more it will taste perfect for dishes with spices and smoky flavor. Tannat wine on a lighter and fruitier side is more compatible with red sauce pasta, charcuterie, and lighter barbecued meat.

Fatty food/dishes such as sausage, duck, and fatty cuts of ribeye steaks, are also said to perfectly go with Tannat wine as it softens the feel of the tannins. 

Potential health benefits of Tannat

Among the variety of types of red wine, Tannat might be considered as the healthiest of them all. This can be made possible due to its higher level of antioxidants like resveratrol. It protects the body against complications such as cancer and heart disease. Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes, peanuts, and berries. 

Aside from the prevention of heart diseases by drinking red wine, a study also explored the potential benefit of Tannat wine to Diabetes mellitus. It is said that there is a good observation on the produced antioxidant level found in Diabetes mellitus patients. 

As mentioned above, Tannat contains high tannins. It is considered to combat the aging cells. Therefore it is considered to extend life, potentially prevent cancer through its pure compound, and aid in combating obesity. Of course, all these potential health benefits mentioned come with moderate drinking habits, a healthy lifestyle, and physical exercise. 

Other facts about Tannat Wine

  • Regardless of where Tannat wine is grown, it is usually aged in oak which added a hint of spice and chocolate flavors. Aging wine in oak will allow small quantities of oxygen to come in contact with the wine, with this it soften the tannins.
  • Tannat are perfect to use for full-bodied rosé wine, in which it dominantly complements the red fruit flavors such as currant, cherry, and raspberry
  • Compared to other varieties of grapes, it is said that Tannat are easier to grow and don’t need much maintenance as it has a thick skin that is good protection for fungus, rot, and spring frost
  • Tannat are usually combined with other types of grapes in order to achieve a balance of flavor. Common combination with Tannat grapes are Zinfandel, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir
  • These wines are affordable compared to other types of red wine, on an average of $12-$20

In Conclusion

In summary, Tannat wines are greatly considered by wine drinkers who still advocate for their health and at the same time don’t want to sacrifice the taste of their drink. This pandemic might have changed our drinking behavior, making us more of a relaxed drinker, allowing us to have some time for ourselves still.

However, nevertheless, there’s still plenty of wine varieties that we can explore. Hope this article helps you get to know Tannat wine more and consider it as your choice of wine for your next drinking session. Cheers to a good life!