Tannins are a complex group of phenolic compounds which occur from the pips, skins and stems of grapes and to a lesser effect from oak. They play an important role in the ageing of wine, especially red wines where quality and character are enhanced. Tannins are crucial to colour and sensory evaluation. On the palate they produce a tactile drying sensation which is like a puckering bitter taste which the astringency in wine. Acidity is a general term for the sour, fresh or tart taste produced by the natural organic acids present in liquid. Wines rely on the balance and integration of this acidic character and the bitter and sweet sensations of other components. On the palate the acidity can be found by a prickling sensation on the sides of your tongue. Too much acid can turn the wine to be too sharp and unpleasant, not enough can cause the wine to be too flabby and cloying. In essence a good wine should have a good amount of balance in both!
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