Main content area

Perception of fruity and vegetative aromas in red wine

Hein, Karen, Ebeler, Susan E., Heymann, Hildegarde
Journal of sensory studies 2009 v.24 no.3 pp. 441-455
consumer acceptance, corn, flavor, fruits, mint, odors, principal component analysis, raspberries, red wines, strawberries, sweet peppers
Red wine descriptive analyses often produce principal component analysis maps where the first dimension is a dichotomy of vegetative and fruity aromas. Whether the trend is due to actual flavor differences among wines, or is a function of masking of the component aromas has not been investigated. Descriptive analysis was performed on wines spiked with bell pepper, mint, corn, raspberry, strawberry and "berry" aromas as well as with combinations of these. A consensus trained panel evaluated wines in triplicate. Canonical variate analysis showed that wines spiked with either bell pepper or fruit were separated on the fruit/bell pepper continuum. Wines spiked with combinations of fruit and bell pepper had less intense in bell pepper aroma, even though the amount added did not change. These results indicate that a masking effect of vegetative aromas by fruit aromas occurred. Knowing that bell pepper aromas, which are often not desired in Cabernet Sauvignon wines, are masked by fruity aromas allow winemakers to blend "out" the perceived vegetative aromas with wines that are more fruity. This could lead to better consumer acceptance of these wines.