Relationship between red wine grades and phenolics. 1. Tannin and total phenolics concentrations.J Agric Food Chem 2010; 58(23):12313-9JA
Measuring chemical composition is a common approach to support decisions about allocating foods and beverages to grades related to market value. Red wine is a particularly complex beverage, and multiple compositional attributes are needed to account for its sensory properties, including measurement of key phenolic components such as anthocyanins, total phenolics, and tannin, which are related to color and astringency. Color has been shown to relate positively to red wine grade; however, little research has been presented that explores the relationship between astringency-related components such as total phenolic or tannin concentration and wine grade. The aim of this research has been to investigate the relationship between the wine grade allocations of commercial wineries and total phenolic and tannin concentrations, respectively, in Australian Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Total phenolic and tannin concentrations were determined using the methyl cellulose precipitable (MCP) tannin assay and then compared to wine grade allocations made by winemaker panels during the companies' postvintage allocation process. Data were collected from wines produced by one Australian wine company over the 2005, 2006, and 2007 vintages and by a further two companies in 2007 (total wines = 1643). Statistical analysis revealed a positive trend toward higher wine grade allocation and wines that had higher concentrations of both total phenolics and tannin, respectively. This research demonstrates that for these companies, in general, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz wines allocated to higher market value grades have higher total phenolics and higher tannin concentrations and suggests that these compositional parameters should be considered in the development of future multiparameter decision support systems for relevant commercial red wine grading processes. In addition, both tannin and total phenolics would ideally be included because although, in general, a positive relationship exists between the two parameters, this relationship does not hold for all wine styles.