Happy hour just got happier, thanks to a new technique developed by scientists from the Univ. of Adelaide that removes bad odors from wines.
Certain wines — such as Cabernet Sauvignon — owe some of their varietal characteristics to a group of grape-derived compounds known as alkylmethoxypyrazines (MPs). At trace levels, MPs impart the subtle vegetative and herbaceous aromas these wines are known for. However, at higher concentrations, MPs can give wines an off-putting flavor and can even suppress their prized fruity smell.
At high concentrations, one MP in particular — 3-isobutyl-2-methoxy-pyrazine (IBMP) — gives wine a bell-pepper-like aroma. Lower levels of IBMP are found in well-ripened grapes, while higher levels are present in green grapes.
The higher the concentration of IBMP in the grape, the higher the concentration in the resulting wine. Thus, it’s best to address MPs before grapes are harvested, says David Jeffery, an associate professor in wine science at the Univ. of Adelaide. “However, if that doesn’t happen for whatever reason, then winemakers need other tools to manage wine style. One simple option is blending, but there are limitations to that...
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