What’s in My Glass? Tannat

This week I did the unthinkable.

I drank red wine well before noon. And I loved it.

Like having pancakes for dinner, I woke up a little crazy on Monday and decided to have dinner for breakfast–and what better to go with my topsy-turvy day than a bottle glass of  Tannat, a classically French grape variety that’s now thriving in the Southern hemisphere as the national grape of Uruguay.  (I didn’t even know they had grapes in Uruguay….)

I’d snatched up a bottle of the 2007 Reserva from Domaine Monte de Luz, which I considered a steal at $7.99, and  fairly guzzled  delicately sipped the juice alonside a Moroccan tagine–ripe with chickpeas, cinnamon, and cumin and a couscous salad similar to this one.

The two went together about as well as the words ‘Topsy’ and ‘Turvy.‘  The tannat had heavy smells of leather, dried fruit, and spice (not unlike teriyaki beef jerky), and was smooth in my mouth with just enough of that red wine bite at the end of a blackberry finish to remind me why most people save red wine for night time, and not to have too much of it before yoga lest my downward dog become a dead dog.

From what I’ve seen, Tannat tends to be a bargain coming in anywhere from $8-$20 in the NYC area, and it’s food friendliness makes it an asset.  I’d put it with anything well-spiced (but not overly spicy) like Moroccan cuisine, or alongside braised or grilled red meat (ribs jumped to mind).

Tannat Uncorked:

Laura Loves: Breaking rules, especially those regarding wine drinking at certain times of the day.

This recipe for Lemon-Ricotta pancakes which make a great breakfast/dessert/dinner with prosecco on the side.

Fun Facts: Wine review giant Snooth gave this Tannat 3.5 out of 5 glasses (their star equivalent).

Uruguay is the only country where Tannat takes up a majority of grape plantings.

Tannat has the highest level of heart health-inducing procyanidins of any wine grape, a leading suspicision as to why men in the Tannat-rich region of Madiran in Southwestern France tend to live well past 90.

A little (mis) Adventure: In an effort to find additional food friends for this juice, I may have sampled it alongside various snacks/dips/edible objects in my kitchen. I’ll tell you right now, Tannat does not go well with Pepperjack cheese, olive tapenade, or salsa–the overtly spicy/salty flavors of all three bring out otherwise gentle, nice-guy tannins and turn this juice into pucker-inducing plonk.


  • August 8, 2012
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