Why Does Wine Make Your Mouth Feel Dry?

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Astringent plant chemicals called tannins bind proteins on mucous membrane and skin, generating a prickly, puckery mouthfeel from foods and letting us “tan” skins into leather.

If you want to learn more about this topic, start your googling here:
Tannin: a yellow or brownish chemical present in some plant tissues, used in leather production and ink manufacture, and a contributor to the sensation of astringency Astringency: the sensation caused by the contraction of body tissues due to tannins, often called “mouthfeel” Polyphenol: a chemical compound containing more than one phenolic hydroxyl group, of which tannins are a major group Phenolic: a chemical compound with a hydroxyl group (oxygen & hydrogen) linked directly to a benzene ring

Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Script Editor: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Video Illustrator: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
Video Director: Henry Reich (@MinutePhysics)
Video Narrator: Emily Elert (@eelert)
With Contributions From: Peter Reich, David Goldenberg
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:


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Bajec, M. R., & Pickering, G. J. 2008. Astringency: mechanisms and perception. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 48(9), 858-875.

Barbehenn, R. V., & Constabel, C. P. 2011. Tannins in plant–herbivore interactions. Phytochemistry, 72(13), 1551-1565.

Covington, A. D. 1997. Modern tanning chemistry. Chemical Society Reviews, 26(2), 111-126.

Covington, A. D. 2009. Tanning chemistry: the science of leather. Royal Society of Chemistry.

Covington, A., Mar 2017, personal communication.

Gawel, R. 1998. Red wine astringency: a review. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 4(2), 74-95.

Lesschaeve, I. & A.C. Noble. 2005. Polyphenols: factors influencing their sensory properties and their effects on food and beverage preferences. The American journal of clinical nutrition 81, no. 1: 330S-335S.

McGee, H. 2004. On food and cooking: the science and lore of the kitchen. Simon and Schuster.

Siebert, K., Mar 2017, personal communication.

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