The effect of phenol composition on the sensory profile of smoke affected wines
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Published by MDPI Publishing
Vineyards exposed to wildfire generated smoke can produce wines with elevated levels of lignin derived phenols that have acrid, metallic and smoky aromas and flavour attributes. While a large number of phenols are present in smoke affected wines, the effect of smoke vegetation source on the sensory descriptors has not been reported. Here we report on a descriptive sensory analysis of wines made from grapes exposed to different vegetation sources of smoke to examine: 1) the effect vegetation source has on wine sensory attribute ratings and, 2) associations between volatile and glycoconjugated phenol composition and sensory attributes. Sensory attribute ratings were determined by a trained sensory panel and phenol concentrations determined by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. Analysis of variance, principal component analysis and partial least squares regressions were used to evaluate the interrelationships between the phenol composition and sensory attributes. The results showed that vegetation source of smoke significantly affected sensory attribute intensity, especially the taste descriptors. Differences in aroma and taste from smoke exposure were not limited to an elevation in a range of detractive descriptors but also a masking of positive fruit descriptors. Sensory differences due to vegetation type were driven by phenol composition and concentration. In particular, the glycoconjugates of 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde (vanillin), 1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)ethanone (acetovanillone), 4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxybenzaldehyde (syringaldehyde) and 1-(4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyphenyl)ethanone (acetosyringone) concentrations were influential in separating the vegetation sources of smoke. It is concluded that the detractive aroma attributes of smoke affected wine, especially of smoke and ash, were associated with volatile phenols while the detractive flavour descriptors were correlated with glycoconjugated phenols.
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