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About Tannat

About Tannat

Uruguay’s national grape is Tannat, a red varietal historically from southwest France, on Sierra Exif JPEGthe border with Spain.  It came to South America in 1870, introduced by Basque immigrants.


The grape is naturally very tannic and thus often blended.  In Uruguay, it is made in a variety of styles from dry to sparkling, sweet to dry.  Unlike the French version, which can be very dry and rustic, this Tannat is lighter in body, less tannic and usually lower in alcohol.


The resulting wine is elegant and juicy with distinct notes of blackberry fruit.


Of course, food pairing varies depending on the style of wine you’re drinking.


The dry wines go well with grilled meats and game as well as strong cheeses.  For the truly adventurous, Daniel Pisano of Pisano Wines notes that, come summer, many Uruguayans enjoy red sparkling Tannat with anything off the grill.


The sweeter versions go nicely with chocolate desserts. Mike Metzger, the wine director at Vic & Anthony’s, also suggests pairing it with a salty-caramel dessert.  If that’s too much sweetness, he shares that he recently had a sweet Tannat “affogato-style, poured over ice cream.”


Simple and sweet – does it get any better?

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