Understanding the Effects of Wine Matrix Compounds on the Perception of Aromatic Wine Faults
Understanding the impact of aromatic wine faults on consumer acceptability is extremely important to the wine industry. The negative impact of having a faulty wine in the retail space can have a detrimental effect on both the winery and retailer. Literature has shown that the wine matrix components can have an impact on the perception of aromatic flavour compounds. If wine matrix components have the ability to reduce the perception of the faults, this can increase the wine’s acceptability for sale. In this research, the influence of three wine matrix components, ethanol, tannic acid, and tartaric acid on seven compounds responsible for wine faults, acetaldehyde (oxidation), 4-ethylphenol and 4-ethyguaiacol (Brettanomyces taint), 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (cork taint), 2-isoproply-3-methoxypyrazine (multicoloured Asian lady beetle taint), and acetic acid and ethyl acetate (volatile acidity) were studied using sensory and chemical methods to develop an algorithm to correlate chemical analyses with wine saleability. Sensory analysis, using a panel of experienced wine tasters, demonstrated that increasing the ethanol concentration from 5% alc./vol. to 17% alc./vol. in water significantly decreased the panel’s ability to detect the wine faults aromatically, while the increase of either tannic acid (0.05g/L to 5g/L) or tartaric acid (2.5mg/L to 200mg/L) concentration in a water: 5% alc./vol. solution had no statistically significant impact on the detection of the faults. Chemical analysis using Static Headspace Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (SH-GC-MS) supported the sensory analysis findings, except in the case of acetic acid, where none of the wine matrix components studied had any significant influence on its detection. The influence of ethanol concentration on the perception of aromatic wine faults in an Ontario Riesling at 9.5% alc./vol. and another adjusted to 13% alc./vol. on the wine’s iii acceptability for sale was studied using experienced wine tasters. Results had shown that modifying the ethanol concentration did not have a statistically significant effect on changing the wine’s acceptability for sale when the faults are present. As an algorithm to correlate chemical analyses to wine saleability could not be determined, sensory evaluation is required as it provides a greater assurance in determining wine saleability.