Variations in the profile and content of anthocyanins in wines made from cabernet sauvignon and hybrid grapes.J Agric Food Chem 2002; 50(14):4096-102JA
To detect adulteration of wine, it has been proposed that the ratio of acetylated to p-coumaroylated conjugates of nine characteristic anthocyanins can be used to determine whether a wine is derived from Cabernet Sauvignon or hybrid grapes. If the ratio is >3, then a wine is classified as being derived from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. This test has significant commercial implications as it is being used to decide whether Cabernet Sauvignon-labeled wines are genuine and can be imported into Germany. To assess whether this is a valid approach, 24 wines were analyzed, 4 of which were made from hybrids and 20 from Cabernet Sauvignon, with vintages ranging from 1993 to 2000. Only 13 of the Cabernet Sauvignon wines contained all nine of the "characteristic" anthocyanins, and the ratio of acetylated to p-coumaroylated derivatives varied from 1.2 to 6.5. It is evident that the use of the anthocyanin ratio method is flawed and that examination of the whole anthocyanin profile and/or investigation of the proportion of monoglucoside and acetylated anthocyanins is a better approach to distinguish between hybrid and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.