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Tannins in wine

Both the seeds and grapes contain tannins, a bitter tasting substance that causes astringency or more accurately described as the dry puckering mouth feel associated with red wine. Both red and white wine contain tannins, though they tend to be more noticeable in red. Skins and seeds of red grapes are left in contact with the juice longer, during the maceration and subsequent fermentation process. Alcohol then acts as a solvent extracting color, aroma and tannin giving the wine its deep red color, body and that dry feeling in the mouth. As tannins decompose the wine will mellow and improve with age helping the wine survive longer. Wine makers may blend tannic Cabernet Sauvignon with lower tannin grapes such as Merlot or Cabernet Franc diluting the tannins so the wine may be drunk younger. Tannins are also found in the stems of the grape bunches though the practice of de-stemming is widely followed

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