Tannins bump up the health benefits of wine—and food, too. A chef translates this into great pairings.

By now everyone knows that red wine, in moderation, is good for your heart, but not everyone knows that one reason is the antioxidant-rich tannins in grape skins, seeds and stems. I recently realized that some of the world’s healthiest foods, like walnuts and spinach, are high in tannins, too. For help on finding fun new ways to add these foods to my diet, I reached out to the one person who would be as remotely interested in the challenge as I was: Maria Helm Sinskey, an F&W Best New Chef 1996 and the culinary director of Robert Sinskey Vineyards. Sinskey created extremely delicious and complex-tasting dishes featuring tannic ingredients, adding a small amount of fat to soften the tannic edge. Here, her amazing recipes and wine pairings.


Wine Pairing Tips