Wine Talk

Snooth User: harrisoncw

which are the least tannic red wines?

Posted by harrisoncw, Apr 28, 2015.

I have just read the most illuminating post I have ever read, "which red wines are most tannic", wow guys great details and some useful info.  But I'm most interested in the least tannic red wines.


I have gout and tannins play havoc on gout and while I still want to try and enjoy Red Wine, esp good red wine I can longer drink medium or high tannin wines.

The best I have found so far is grenache, some lighter style pinot is also OK.

Any more suggestions?


Reply by dmcker, Apr 28, 2015.

Garnacha seems like a good starting point. Are you looking for bigger, fruitier wines, or something with more delicacy but also steel to it?

What was the thread on tannic reds that you refer to?

Reply by harrisoncw, Apr 28, 2015.

Thanks DMCKER, probably the second of those, but I wouldn't avoid the fruitier ones unless they were just too sweet.

Here is the MOST thread

Reply by outthere, Apr 28, 2015.

Fixed the link and also made it clickable -


Reply by GregT, Apr 28, 2015.

Well, as D said Garnacha is a good place to start. It's kind of an outlier. Generally, although this isn't going to help much, red grapes from warmer regions will have thicker skins and consequently more tannins than those from cooler regions. That's not strictly true - Garnacha and Nebbiolo come to mind as being clear examples of that NOT being the case.

Still it's one way to start. But there is a lot more to it - the wine making for one thing. So you need to consider the weather, the climate, the grape, and the wine making.

All that aside, you can also look at grapes like Gamay - it's what Beaujolais is made from and there's some in CA. Maybe PN depending on how much tannin they extracted in the wine making. Grapes from cooler regions, like Zweigelt and St. Laurent, although good luck finding those in the US. Then there are some that are kind of random - the Negro Amaro that I had last night for example, was really low in tannin but that may well be an artifact of the wine making rather than a general rule.

Those will generally be lower in alcohol as well, which is a good thing for gout.

And of course, you can go to rosado - that's made from red grapes but w/out the tannin extraction and as we head into summer, those can be great choices.

Or stick to white wines. Often, but not always, they're lower in alcohol too, which is important for gout.

Good luck!

Reply by Richard Foxall, Apr 28, 2015.

Frappato is another low-tannin wine grape.  Occhipinti makes one that is reasonably well-distributed. 

Barbera is also pretty low in tannins, although lots of winemakers have dolled it up with oak, which adds tannin to it. 

Reply by duncan 906, Apr 28, 2015.

You could also try older bottles as tannins tend to fade with age. The other thing you could do is to open the bottle in the morning and drink in the evening and/or use a decanter as tannins soften up when the wine is exposed to air

Reply by JonDerry, Apr 28, 2015.

Barbera is a good one...

Reply by GregT, Apr 28, 2015.

Once again, there are low-tannin grapes and low-tannin wines and they're not 100 percent correlated because the presence of tannins doesn't mean they're necessarily extracted

But Italy has some nice lighter reds like Lambrusco, that is made from some tannic grapes, but the wine itself is usually fairly low in tannins. Then for a sweeter sparkling red, there's Brachetto d'Aqui, which you really need to have around in the summer.

Freisa is another that's generally lower in tannin and it's kind of floral on the nose, and there's Grignolino, although good luck finding a good one. In CA, Heitz makes some but it's less than inspiring.

Cinsault and Counoise are both relatively lower in tannin than some of the other reds and they're grown in CA and WA so you may be able to get some, but usually they're in blends..


Reply by Richard Foxall, Apr 28, 2015.

Cinsault makes nice rose, but the reds I've had would make you want to drink white, thereby solving the problem. 

Freisa is hardly available in Italy, so you have little chance of finding it in the US, IMO.  It's related to nebbiolo, or so I've read, so it is surprising to find that it is low in tannin. This article says it isn't, but then again he got his WSET certificate without drinking it, so that probably undermines its credibility.  I drank quite a bit last year, and I had it before that.  Frankly, not my favorite.  It's got this wildly perfumed nose like bad gewurztraminer, and lots of acid and (I thought) tannin like nebbiolo. but even less fruit, hard to extract color... just not my favorite. 

I've had no good luck with Lambrusco, although there's a guy who swears it's the greatest thing ever, and Brachetto?

How about red Vinho Verde?

Honestly, managing gout is a tough job.  My wife has two cousins who have it, and our neighbor has it.  You have my sympathy and I'll open whatever you like if you ever eat at my house.  Our cousins usually abstain (one of them) or drink white Burgundy (the other). 

Reply by GregT, Apr 29, 2015.

Freisa is hardly available in Italy, so you have little chance of finding it in the US, IMO.

I'm going by NYC standards so you're probably right. But I sold a bit, so I know it's available and the better ones just aren't all that tannic.

Brachetto is a wonderful afternoon wine on a sunny day. Red Vinho Verde is another good choice though.I forgot about that one.

My understanding of gout is that it's alcohol that is the problem more than tannins. Anyhow good luck with it.

Reply by Pickypinot, Apr 29, 2015.

Id recommend Gamay (Beaujolais) or for the more adventorous Trousseau eg. from Philippe Bonard from Jura.  Good stuff with a highly interesting personality.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Apr 29, 2015.

Definitely more chance of finding Freisa in NY and I do exaggerate a bit when I say it's hardly available in Italy.  I kind of think it's a wine with an identity crisis.  Made still and dry (or close to) it can be that rare creature, a red wine that works as an aperitif.  But that's because it's pallid flavors (IMO, again) make it more akin to white in the first place, which kind of defeats the purpose of finding a red that might be okay with gout.

So we have frequent conversation with our three gout-suffering friends.  Our neighbor is older, has well-controlled diabetes, had a stroke before she was diagnosed.  She's made a good but not perfect recovery from the stroke.  She has altered her diet (never really consumed wine, maybe a couple glasses a year, and no other alcohol--we share garbage cans, so I would know--and she has dropped processed foods and red meat from her diet to cut down on salt, which might be a trigger.)  She has very occasional flare-ups.  Our male cousin eats no meat, drinks no alcohol, has really well managed weight.  He's been pretty fanatical about diet and the like for a long time (has a serious meditation practice) and still has attacks.  I'd say he has less of the foot swelling, but he has the usual intense pain like glass shards are embedded in his feet, for example.  He and I used to go running together, but I think he's laying off that because his nerves have been sensitized.  Our female cousin is more sedentary, has had back problems, and has the very infrequent glass of Meursault.  I think her attacks are more debilitating, mostly in the swelling up, but it's hard to know because she has these other health problems.  I don't think she has frequent attacks, and they don't seem to come on the heels of a glass of wine. The cousins inherited it from the side we are not related to, so we are not at risk. 

Reply by GregT, Apr 30, 2015.

"But that's because it's pallid flavors . . . make it more akin to white in the first place,"


No argument here. It's a valid point.

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