QUESTION: We are new to wine, and find some of the red wines to be quite bitter. But we want to learn more, and were wondering what types of wine aren’t so harsh.
ANSWER: The bitterness you’re experiencing comes from the tannin (or tannic acid) found in grape skins and oak barrels.
When making red wines, it’s traditional to leave the grape juice in contact with the skins, and most red wines are aged in oak barrels. Conversely, most white wines – with the exception of some Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc – have no skin contact during fermentation, and many are aged in stainless steel tanks.
So, as you begin your wine journey, you would be well advised to concentrate on white varieties such as:
* Muscat Canelli
* Chenin Blanc