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Effect of dissolved carbon dioxide on the sensory properties of still white and red wines

Gawel, R., Schulkin, A., Smith, P.A., Espinase, D., McRae, J.M.
Australian journal of grape and wine research 2020 v.26 no.2 pp. 172-179
alcoholic fermentation, astringency, bitterness, dissolved carbon dioxide, ethanol, fruits, mouthfeel, odors, pH, red wines, sweetness, table wines, taste, white wines, winemaking
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Still wine contains a significant but sub‐saturated concentration of carbon dioxide (CO₂) that remains following alcoholic fermentation. The concentration of CO₂ can be adjusted by winemaking practices and may influence wine sensory properties. This study set out to define for the first time the effect of a sub‐saturated level of dissolved carbon dioxide (DCO₂) on the taste, overall aroma, flavour and mouthfeel attributes of still white and red wine. METHODS AND RESULTS: The concentration of DCO₂ of two white and two red wines was adjusted to represent the range encountered in their respective wine types. Ethanol concentration of both wine types, the pH of the white wines and red wine tannin concentration were varied to assess the sensory implications of wine matrix interaction with DCO₂. Differences in ‘spritz’ intensity were differentiable within the range of DCO₂ concentration found in still white and red wines. A higher DCO₂ concentration generally increased perceived sweetness and reduced bitterness and astringency perception. The DCO₂ did not influence fruit aroma or flavour intensity and few consistent interactions between DCO₂ and the wine matrix were observed. CONCLUSIONS: At still wine concentration DCO₂ directly influences the taste and astringency of wine, but in a manner that is different from other beverage systems with a saturated level of CO₂. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY: The study is the first to explore the effect of a sub‐saturated (non‐sparkling) concentration of DCO₂ on the aroma, taste, flavour and mouthfeel of wine and provides practical guidance as to how to modulate DCO₂ in table wines to achieve a desired taste and mouthfeel.