Each post content is from the entire responsibility of their authors.

Fertility and Wine

By Shaun R. McCann

One may well be skeptical about the claims made for the purported health benefits of wine, but beware of questioning Greeks bearing gifts, and surely nobody can, in good faith, deny the mood enhancement that moderate wine drinking can bring? True, when it is abused it can have disastrous and life-destroying consequences, especially when in conjunction with addictive tendencies. However, when consumed in sensible quantities, it can be and is, as the Greeks realized, one of life’s great pleasures.
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Fourteen ethyl esters of wine can be replaced by simpler ester vectors without compromising quality but at the expense of increasing aroma concentration

By Vicente Ferreira
Results from this paper are stimulating for the flavor industry. It suggests that all simple fragrance materials could be advantageously replaced by much smaller levels of complex mixtures. Find out more

2,4,6-trihydroxyphenanthrene: a new trans-resveratrol derivative detected in red wine after UV irradiation.

By Luciana Mosca and Alberto Macone
T2,4,6-trihydroxyphenanthrene (THP) results from cyclization of the trans-to the cis-isomer of resveratrol one of the most abundant polyphenols in red grapes and red wine. It has been demonstrated that THP can induce DNA damage through a pro-oxidant mechanism. On the other hand, due to the extended delocalization and conjugation of the πelectrons over the entire molecule, THP displays a significantly increased antioxidant activity compared to RSV with potential benefits on human health. Whatever the effect of THP on human health, it becomes important to establish its actual presence not only in RSV-containing food and beverages but even in cosmetics that, by their nature, are subject to UV radiation. Find out more

How efficient is resveratrol as an antioxidant of the Mediterranean diet, towards alterations during the aging process?

By Paula Silva, Antoni Sureda, Josep A. Tur, Pierre Andreoletti, Mustapha Cherkaoui-Malki and Norbert Latruffe
This post is related with a paper written by me and my colleagues and deals to how efficient is resveratrol towards alterations during the aging process; obtained from recent data of clinical trials, preclinical studies, and cell culture approach; especially resveratrol protecting effect on brain aging of elderly; its role on the microglial cells playing a central role in the neuro-inflammation; and in its anti-inflammatory effects on ocular diseases. This is also a good topic to discuss in the next Science & Wine conference “Wine Consumption in the Mediterranean Diet: A clarification about health effects” be held in Porto at June 4 of 2020. Find out more

Post Nº 100

By Paula Silva
This is the post number 100. One hundred of weekends that I spend writing, reading, illustrating, editing and publishing the posts. The time that I spent do it is just part of the time I stole to the family, particularly to my youngest daughter, so today I decided to involve her in this project. The illustration is her authorship. Find out more

Interactive effects of the rootstock and the deficit irrigation technique on wine composition, nutraceutical potential, aromatic profile, and sensory attributes under semiarid and water limiting conditions

By Pascual Romero and Josefa Navarro
This post is a summary of a study carried out to analyse the effects of the rootstock, irrigation method, and their interaction on the final wine composition, volatile aromatic profile, and wine sensory attributes. According with the results authors recommend the use of low vigor rootstocks and deficit irrigation techniques with small water volumes to improve Monastrell wine quality, and as a measure to adapt vineyards to climate change under semiarid and water limiting conditions. Find out more

How natural do you perceive this wine?

By Cornelia Staub
Natural foods are recently trendy, all over the world consumers demand food products that are perceived as being natural. This post reports a study aimed to evaluate which wine properties have an influence on its perception as a natural wine, with a focus on winemaking techniques. This study contributed with important results related with wine naturalness perception and may help winemakers and marketers to improve communication with consumers. Find out more

Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics in grapevine and wine fingerprinting

By Marta Sousa Silva and Carlos Cordeiro
Wine metabolome results from a complex process, involving grapes, yeast, bacteria, terroir effects and its ageing in wooden barrels. Wine metabolome fingerprint tells the story of its origin, production and quality. Its characterization is of paramount importance for quality control, authenticity and quality improvement. Wine metabolome characterization remains one the greatest challenges of analytical chemistry and biochemistry that challenges all conventional approaches to metabolomics. Find out more

Alcohol Use in Fatty Liver Disease

By Fredrik Åberg
The effects of alcohol use in non‐alcoholic fatty‐liver disease are unclear. This post descries a study aimed to investigate the impact of alcohol use in fatty liver disease on incident liver, cardiovascular, and malignant disease, and death. Authors concluded that even low alcohol intake in fatty liver disease is associated with increased risks for advanced liver disease and cancer. Low to moderate alcohol use is associated with reduced mortality and CVD risk, but only among never smokers. This post alerts for the need of a serious discussion about wine health effects like the one that Science & Wine is promoting. See all in https://www.science-and-wine-conferences.com/ Find out more

Fiano, Greco and Falanghina grape cultivars differentiation by volatiles fingerprinting

By Andrea Carpentieri, Angelo Sebastianelli , Chiara Melchiorre , Gabriella Pinto, Marco Trifuoggi, Vincenzo Lettera and Angela Amoresano 
Wine authentication is gaining an increasing importance. Researchers are developing new methods to detect frauds mainly related with Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) or Protected Geographic Indication (P.G.I.) denomination. The distinctive aroma or bouquet of a wine is the result of complex interactions of volatile molecules and odor receptors. This post summarizes a study carried out to obtain the profile of volatiles on the same samples using solid phase micro extraction coupled to gas chromatography. Find out more

Social Media Marketing in promoting Wine Tourism in Langhe, Italy

By Magali Canovi
This post analyses winery owners’ attitudes and perceptions regarding social media use in marketing and promoting wine tourism online. The study was carried out in the region of Langhe in North Italian. Results show that despite many winery owners recognise the social, economic and emotional benefits of social media, they are far from take advantage of its full potential, the main reasons are the agricultural mentality and the time-consuming nature of social media. Next Friday will occur September Wine Science Café that is dedicated to Wine Tourism, which is another reason to read this post. Find out more

Wine Consumption in the Mediterranean Diet: A clarification about health effects

By Paula Silva
Science & Wine promote 1-Day Conference “Wine Consumption in the Mediterranean Diet: A clarification about health effects” to be held in Porto at June 4 of 2020. The conference will take place in the Association of Port Wine Companies. Find out more

Mapping the evolution of Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc wines

By Astrid Buica and Mpho Mafata
The post of this week tries to answer the question if different wines could change in a similar manner when placed in similar conditions, regardless of the initial composition. The chemistry of the wines, related to factors such as clonal differences, grape ripeness at harvest, terroir, and winemaking practices, was highly variable between the initial wines. The authors concluded that storage conditions had similar effects on all the wines included in the experiment, except for one Sauvignon Blanc and one Chenin Blanc wines, both from the same winery. Find out more

Enological repercussions of non-Saccharomyces species in wine biotechnology

By Antonio Morata
TFrom the beginning of this century, non-Saccharomyces yeasts have taken increased relevance in wine processing. Several biotechnological companies now produce non-Saccharomyces yeasts at an industrial level to improve aroma or flavor, stabilize wine, produce biological acidification, or conversely metabolize malic acid. This Special Issue in Fermentation Journal intends to compile current research and revised information on non-Saccharomyces yeasts with enological applications to facilitate the use and the understanding of this biotechnological tool. Find out more

Organic and biodynamic wines quality and characteristics: the scientific point of view

By Maria Carla Cravero
What is a biodynamic wine? And a organic one? Which techniques can be used to distinguish both biodynamic and organic wines from the conventional ones? Besides the answer to these questions this post also address other aspects regarding theose wines such as antioxidant capacity, human toxicity effects and SO2 levels. Also, the effects of biodynamic viticulture practices on the chemical and sensory characteristics of wines are addressed. Find out more

Exploring the diversity of a collection of native non-Saccharomyces yeasts to develop co-starter cultures for winemaking

By Renato L. Binati and Sandra Torriani
Winemaking involves the inoculation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae starter cultures in grape musts. Currently other yeast species are being investigated as co-starters with the aim of improving wine complexity. In this post the authors summarize the results of a study carried out to discover new strains that can be used to enhance wine quality. The results show that wine quality depend on both species and strains which indicate that mixed fermentation strategies using new generation of co-starters can improve the overall quality of regional wine. Find out more

How to increase the tannin content of cold-hardy interspecific hybrid grape wines cultivated in cold climate?

By Pamela Nicolle and Karine Pedneault
This post describes the effect of must protein treatment on tannin retention in a wine made with Frontenac a cold-hardy variety developed at the University of Minnesota. Treatments tested were bentonite and heat; pomace: fermented with and without; tannin addition: 0–9 g/L; and time of maceration: 0–11 days. Protein removal from must prior to alcoholic fermentation, using bentonite addition or heat treatment did not improve tannin retention. On the contrary, conducting fermentation without pomace significantly increased tannin retention in wine, when exogenous tannins in a dose 5-15 times higher to the one the recommended dose were added. Find out more

Red grape pomace: a wine by-product with potential health benefits

By Letizia Bresciani
This post talks about the potential re-use of the industrial wine by-product grape pomace to formulate functional drinks rich in bioactive compounds, namely polyphenols, demonstrating a beneficial health effect. Two recent published scientific papers, originated from a fruitful collaboration among the University of Parma, the Federico II University of Naples, and the National Research Council labs of Naples, Padua and Avellino, represent a reliable example of a comprehensive scientific approach. This approach includes the characterization of the specific functional product, the human metabolism of its native polyphenols, the resulting effect on glucose metabolism and, finally, its association with specific circulating metabolites. Find out more

A more Circular Economy Model for Wine Packaging?

By Jeff Cooper
Winemaker must be alert to the need of developing a more circular and resource-efficient production. They must be conscient that thousands of used wine glasses are being throwed out to the environment. Therefore, they must innovate are creatively address glass waste. This post describes a case study and these questions are discussed. Find out more

Wine and Membranes

By Alessandra Criscuoli
Wine alcohol content can now be measured using membrane contactors through the measurement of the trans-membrane flux. This approach involves a flat cell module equipped with a commercial polypropylene membrane. One membrane side of the membrane is in contact with wine and the other one is under vacuum. A preliminary experiment was carried out using hydro-alcoholic solutions with final ethanol contents of 5, 10 and 20% v/v. A correlation line was obtained between the trans-membrane flux and the ethanol content of the feed. Then this approach was applied to measure trans-membrane fluxes of commercial white and rosé wines (both at 10.5% v/v), results were reported on the correlation line, so that to compare the real alcohol content with the predicted one. This post describes the results obtained and discuss the utility of this method to measure wine alcohol content. Find out more

Wine Science Cafés are great. At least, I think so.

By Paula Silva
Engaging the public on science has often presented challenges. One approach to address these challenges is through the Science Café, or Café Scientifique. In January of 2019 this format started to be used in wine research area in Wine Science Cafés in Portugal. The aim of this post is to make a reflection about the mean and importance of these events. Find out more

Innovative technology using staves and micro-oxygenation and its impact on the phenolic composition and colour of the aged wine spirit

By Sara Canas

The post of this week tries to clarify and issue that is very discussed nowadays: the importance of the wine spirits both in red wine aging and quality. The author summarizes a study carried out with the aim of explore the effect of micro-oxygenation and wood staves applied in 1000 L stainless steel tanks versus 250 L wooden barrels on the phenolic composition and chromatic characteristics acquired by the wine spirit over the first six months of ageing. The results showed that wine treated with micro-oxygenation and staves have greater colour evolution than wine in barrels, which correlates with its higher total phenolic content and individual contents of low molecular weight phenolic compounds.

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Advance of grape harvest date of a premium wine in Central Italy: evidence of the role of precipitation intensity under a warming climate

By Francesco Paolo Valentini and Piero Di Carlo

Due to its huge importance several posts were published in Science & Wine blof about the effects of climate changes in wine production. This post report those effects in the production of Italian premium wines. As reported before temperature and water avaiibility are the main factores influencing the growth stages of wine grapes worldwide. The quality and quantity of premium wine is being affected by temperature increase. Intensity, duration and frequency of rain can be modify by climate change. The results of this post are consistent with the hypothesis that the increasing tendency of precipitation intensity could exacerbate the effect of global warming on some premium wines that have been produced for >400 years.

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The impact of vineyard agrochemicals against a phytophagous mite and its predator

By Darliane Evangelho Silva, Joseane Moreira do Nascimento and Noeli Juarez Ferla
Winemakers use agrochemicals to control grapevines diseases and pests. Panonychus ulmi is a spider mite that causes damage to grapevines in the South of Brazil, whereas Neoseiulus californicus is the most frequently used predatory mite in biological control of tetranychids in Brazil. This post describes a study recently published in which 13 agrochemicals used in the wine growing sector and their effect on P. ulmi and N. californicus were evaluated. With the results of this study will be possible to define guidelines about the best products to be used in the field and to create pest management practices that preserves predatory mite populations in vineyards. Find out more

Lasers, nanoparticles and wine: white wine identification with SERS

By Alois Bonifacio
Wine counterfeiting is a concerning problem. Several strategies were developed to solve this problem. In this post is described the application of label-free SERS spectroscopy as an analytical technique for white wine characterization. This approach was tested in 180 samples of three white wines varieties from northeastern Italy. The results of this study show that SERS could be a good method to identify wine. Find out more

Irrigation for modulating Godello wine composition under humid conditions

By José Manuel Mirás-Avalos, Yolanda Bouzas-Cid, Emiliano Trigo-Córdoba, Ignacio Orriols and Elena Falqué

In many viticulture regions the need of vineyard irrigation has been discussed. Before this practice could be implemented is necessary to carry out research to evaluate the effects in wine quality. This post reports the results of a study that assessed the amino acid profile of musts and wines, volatile composition and sensory profile of wines from Vitis vinifera (L.) cultivar Godello under rain-fed and two drip irrigation systems over three consecutive years. The authors concluded that weather conditions affected more must and wine composition than in-season effects caused by irrigation.

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Musical wine glasses

By Bruno Mesz, Juan Cruz Amusategui and Sebastián Tedesco

Recently several studies were carried out to analyze the influence of music and sound on food or drink evaluation. Result show that sound has a perceptual impact on taste intensity and other qualities such as bitterness or sweetness. This post reports the use of an equipment, augmented glass, developed for displaying sound and taste stimuli, with applications in research on crossmodal taste-sound interactions, multisensory experiences and performances,
entertainment and health.

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The potential carbon neutrality of sustainable viticulture

By Maria Vincenza Chiriacò

As discussed in the First Science & Wine World Congress is recognized the need of viticulture sustainable practices systems to respond to the challenges posed by climate change in terms of adaptation and mitigation. This post is about a paper recently published with the aim of helping the clarification about this issue. The study was carried out with the aim of quantify the actual impact on climate of sustainable practices applied to a grape-to-wine system in Italy. At the end, authors concluded that viticulture sustainable practices allow grapes production with a potential carbon neutrality without exacerbating climate change

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The Biochar challenge in viticulture; enhance grape production and mitigate the effect of climate change in Mediterranean area

By Silvia Baronti, Francesco Primo Vaccari, Lorenzo Genesio, Anita Maienza
The main goal of viticulture is to maximize grape yields, vineyards management includes repeated tillage, crop residues removal, strict weed and pest control treatments. Soil and climate are very important factors in viticulture. To preserve soil quality in the long term it is important an adequate soil management. This post relates the results obtained in a study carried out to evaluate the use of biochar amendment of a vineyard, assessing the impact on soil functionality, VOC emission and fertility. Find out more

Aromatic evolution of blanc de noirs sparkling wines made by traditional method during twelve months of aging on their lees

By Cristina Úbeda and Mariona Gil i Cortiella

It is very important to increase tolerance to pathogens in conventional and biotechnology-assisted grapevine breeding programs. Both fungal and viral diseases cause losses in berry production, but also affect the quality of the final products. The introduction of genetic resistance is economically and environmentally desirable. This post describes the results of a study where grapevine plants expressing defense proteins, from fungal or plant origins, or of the coat protein gene of grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 (GLRaV-3) were generated by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of somatic embryos and shoot apical meristems.

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Psychological warfare in vineyards: Using drones and bird psychology to control bird damages to wine grapes

By Zihao Wang, Andrea S. Griffin, Andrew Lucas, KC Wong
Bird damage to wine grapes is a significant problem across the globe. Different strategies were tried to reduce bird damage but an efficient one was not yet found. This post discusses the results obtained with the use of novel Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV, more commonly referred to as drone) system incorporating bird psychology for efficient bird damage control. The UAV is equipped with a loud speaker broadcasting distress calls, as well as a crow taxidermy installed on the undercarriage that appears as captured prey. The experiments were carried out in vineyards around south-eastern Australia. The results show that this new strategy to protect vineyards from the birds is a promising one. Find out more

Fingerprinting untargeted analysis as potential tool to classify wine grape biotypes based on their variety and sanitary condition

By Pasquale Crupi, Marica Gasparro, Angelo Raffaele Caputo

This study, partly extracted from a recent publication on the journal Natural Product Research, deals with the use of a metabolomic fingerprinting/chemometric approach in order to distinguish 72 wine grape biotypes, Negro amaro n. (N), Malvasia nera di Brindisi/Lecce n. (M), and Uva di Troia n. (U), on the basis of their cultivar and virological conditions. The skins were extracted and analysed by flow injection mass spectrometry; a one-way ANOVA/Principal Component Analysis (PCA) allowed to efficiently cluster the samples, recognizing M from N and U biotypes. Moreover, very interestingly, this approach also permitted to sharply separate the healthy biotypes from those affected by different virus complexes in the three varieties considered singularly.

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Aiming at grapevines with increased resistance to pathogens, reaching structural genome modifications

By Vera Quecini, Iraci Sinski, Patrícia S. Ritschel, Thor V. M. Fajardo
It is very important to increase tolerance to pathogens in conventional and biotechnology-assisted grapevine breeding programs. Both fungal and viral diseases cause losses in berry production, but also affect the quality of the final products. The introduction of genetic resistance is economically and environmentally desirable. This post describes the results of a study where grapevine plants expressing defense proteins, from fungal or plant origins, or of the coat protein gene of grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 (GLRaV-3) were generated by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of somatic embryos and shoot apical meristems. Find out more

Identifying chemical parameters and discriminant phenolic compounds from metabolomics to gain insight into the oxidation status of bottled white wines

By Elia Romanini and Donato Colangelo

During winemaking and bottle storage wine oxidative spoilage can happen and results in changes in the sensory, colour, and aroma attributes. This oxidation phenomenon is complex, which makes difficult the identification of all products from oxidation processes, especially in bottled wines with varying degrees of oxidative spoilage, i.e., “random oxidation”. This post summarizes a recently published study aimed to obtain a deeper insight into the chemistry of white wine samples to identify compounds able to discriminate the different oxidative grades.

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The impact of climate change on grapevine phenology and the influence of altitude: a regional study

By Azra Alikadić

Shorter growing seasons, earlier occurrences of phases and shorter phase duration are the main changes predicted by simulations of the effect of climate change on the phenology of grapevines. The change degree depends on the geo-localization of the studied region and its microclimate. This post summarizes a study carried out aimed to evaluate the impact of climate change on grapevine phenology by studying the role of varieties and microclimates through a regional assessment carried out in two future periods of time.

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On Grapevine adaptation to drought: new insights into the genotype-dependent responses to water stress

By Cardone Maria Francesca, Catacchio Claudia Rita, Alagna Fiammetta, Ventura Mario2
Vitis vinifera L. is cultivated worldwide for table grape and wine production. In arid and semiarid areas its cultivation requires irrigation supply, therefore, water deficiency can affect berry and wine quality mostly depending on the extent of plant perceived stress, which is a cultivar-specific trait. In this post the authors summarize a study recently published about water deficiency effects in two table grape cultivars at physiological and molecular levels. The authors were able to isolate candidate genes for the genotype-dependent response to drought. These results will permit the identification of reliable plant stress indicators and the definition of sustainable cultivar-specific protocols for water management. Find out more

On the use of Micro-NIRS technology to evaluate wine extractable total phenolic and ellagitannin contents in revalorized cooperage byproducts: a feasibility study

By Berta Baca-Bocanegra, Julio Nogales-Bueno, Ignacio García-Estévez, María Teresa Escribano-Bailón, José Miguel Hernández-Hierro and Francisco José Heredia

The addition of commercial oak wood or wood compounds has been aimed at implementing the production of high-quality red wines in the last years. During the contact time, different types of oak compounds are released from the wood to the wine, thus affecting its organoleptic properties such as aroma, color or astringency. In the oenological industry is very important to determine phenolic compounds present in wine extracted from the wood. This post is about a study carried out aimed to develop am in situ and non-destructive method to do it.

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Aging of Aglianico and Sangiovese wine on mannoproteins: effect on astringency and colour

By Alessandra Rinaldi

Traditional ageing on lees are being replaced by different commercial preparations based on yeast derivatives. This post describes a study carried out to evaluate the influence of three commercial mannoproteins on astringency characteristics, colour parameters and reactive phenolic compounds of Aglianico and Sangiovese red wine during one year of aging. Wines were evaluated after 3, 6 and 12 months. The taste, odor and aroma profiles completed the sensory evaluation of one-year aged wines. The main conclusion of these study is that theuse of commercial mannoproteins improves some sensory characteristics of red wines related to positive astringency subqualities and aroma persistence.

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Individual differences and effect of phenolic compounds in the immediate and prolonged in-mouth aroma release and retronasal aroma intensity during wine tasting

By Maria Angeles del Pozo Bayón

This post is about a very recent study published in Food Chemistry that explores the influence of phenolic compounds in oral aroma release during wine tasting. A study was carried out with rosé wines supplemented with three types of commercial phenolic extracts. Wines were aromatized with a mixture of six target aroma compounds. Oral aroma release was evaluated just after spitting of the wine (immediate release), and four minutes later (prolonged release). To check the sensory meaning of these changes, descriptive analysis using a trained panel was performed. Read the post to know the results of this interesting study.

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Impact of high temperature on red grape flavonoids

By Julia Gouot and Celia Barril

Environment temperatures are increasing in many wine regions around the world. These temperatures affect berry composition and consequently compromise the quality of the wine produced. Flavonoids are particularly affected by high temperatures, a decrease in total anthocyanins is reported in most cases and appears to be directly associated with high temperatures. This post examines the impact of high temperature on the biosynthesis, accumulation, and degradation of flavonoids.

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Application of ozone during grape drying to produce straw wine. Effects on the microbiota and compositive profile of grapes.

By Raffaele Guzzon
Relevant economical losses due to proliferation of spoilage microorganisms occurs during drying grapes after harvest. This post reports a study carried out to evaluate the use of ozone as tool to preserve grapes during drying. Chemical analysis revealed that untreated grapes are less suitable for winemaking owing to the deprivation of some valuable compounds during the microbial proliferation. In conclusion, ozone is effective and safe alternative to chemical preservatives which are actually involved in the control of microbial alterations of grapes. Find out more

New insights about the functionalities of oenological tannins

By Adeline Vignault, Jordi Gombau,Joan Miquel Canals, Pierre-Louis Teissedre and Fernando Zamora

This post is a summary of current literature on oenological tannins, which can have different origins and, therefore, have different composition and characteristics. The use of oenological tannins in winemaking is a common practice but the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) only authorize nowadays their use for wine fining. Nevertheless, it is incontestable that oenological tannins are also currently used for many other purposes. Indeed, the literature has attributed several other functionalities to oenological tannins, such as antioxidant activity, direct consumption of dissolved oxygen, antioxidasic activity, ability to scavenge peroxyl radicals, ability to chelate iron (II), prevention of oxidative damage mediated by Fenton-based reactions, color improvement and stabilization of red wines, direct formation of new pigments, improvement of wine structure and mouthfeel, copigmentation effect, elimination of reduction odors and even bacteriostatic effects.

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The beneficial effects of wine polyphenols on Alzheimer's disease

By Paula Silva

With aging decline of cognitive function occurs, but the mechanisms responsible are unknown. However, is now acknowledged that several lifestyle factors (e.g. diet, cognitive and physical activities) have an impact on brain aging and the development of neurodegenerative diseases. This post is about the neuroprotective abilities of the wine polyphenols in correlation to the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and summarizes a part of a recent review paper written by me in collaboration with David Vauzour published in Beverages Journal.

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From grape to wine: a focus on seed tannins

By Pauline Rousserie, Amélie Rabot and Laurence Geny-denis
The quality of wine depends on several factors being their phenolic composition one of the most important ones. Phenolic compounds contribute to the organoleptic characteristics of wine such as color, astringency, and bitterness. Grape skins and seeds are the main sources of tannins. Despite the large number of studies carried out since 1960s an important question remains: what factors influence the biosynthesis, the quantity, and the distribution of tannins in grape seeds and how can winemaking processes impact the extractability of seed tannins in wine? Find out more

Combining rootstocks and deficit irrigation techniques to maintain vineyard sustainability under semiarid and water limiting conditions

By Pascual Romero

This post reports a study carried out to find an approach to improve vine performance and enhance Monastrell vineyard sustainability under semiarid and water limiting conditions. Regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) and partial root zone irrigation (PRI) were compared for five years, in field-grown mature Monastrell grapevines grafted on five different rootstocks, in the semiarid winegrowing region.
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What percentage of cork should a cork-based stopper have from a mechanical perspective?

By Mariola Sánchez-González and David Pérez-Terrazas

Wine bottles are sealed with cylindrical stoppers, this post reports to a study aimed to compare the mechanical behaviour of natural cork stoppers, micro-agglomerated cork stoppers and co-extruded synthetic closures. Different tests were carried out to simulate bottling procedure, the beginning of the sealing period and the extraction process. Cork percentage by itself provides insufficient information on the mechanical behaviour of a cork-based stopper. The best indicator of the micro-agglomerated cork stopper mechanical behaviour is cork percentage together with stopper density. Data also show that mechanical behavior depends more on cork content than on binder content. These results highlight the versatility of cork-based stoppers from a mechanical perspective.

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Pulsed electric fields accelerate release of mannoproteins from Saccharomyces cerevisiae during aging on the lees of Chardonnay wine

By Juan Manuel Martínez and Javier Raso

The integrity and morphology of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is sustained by the cell wall, the target of the main microbial inactivation processes. One promising approach to inactivation is based on the use of pulsed electric fields (PEF). This post relates a study where the potential of PEF for triggering autolysis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and accelerating the release of mannoproteins during aging on the lees of Chardonnay wine was evaluated. The result obtained demonstrates that PEF permits the acceleration of the aging-on-lees step while avoiding or reducing the problems associated with it. To achieve this effect, intense treatment is not required. Therefore, wineries could process lees by using the most economical PEF devices on the market.

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Immobilization of yeasts in oak chips or cellulose powder for use in bottle-fermented sparkling wine

By Carmen Berbegal and Isabel Pardo
Sparkling wine production comprises two successive fermentations performed by Sacharomyces cerevisiae strains. This post is about a project aimed to develop yeast immobilisation processes on two wine-compatible supports, study the effects of yeast type (IOC 18–2007 and 55A) and the immobilisation support type (oak chips and cellulose powder) on the fermentation kinetics, the deposition rate of lees and the volatile composition of the finished sparkling wine; compare the fermentation parameters of the wines inoculated with immobilised or non-immobilised cells. Find out more

Polyphenols in grapevine leaves: unravelling vein and blade specific traits.

By A Ferrandino, O. Kedrina-Okutan, V. Novello
Grapevine cultivation is of great economic importance worldwide, however, little is known about leaf chemical composition. This post summarizes a study in which the phenolic composition of several Vitis vinifera L. cultivar healthy leaves (separating blades and veins) during the season was quantified. Differences between leaf sectors and among genotypes between were found. Anthocyanins, dihydromyricetin-rhamnoside, hexosides of dihydroquercetin, and dihydrokaempferol exclusively accumulated in veins of healthy grapevine leaves. Astilbin was the only flavanonol detected in blades and the prevalent flavanonol in veins. The results of this study are very important to find out leaf polyphenol potential as a part of grapevine protection mechanisms and to dissect genotype-related susceptibility to pathogens. Furthermore, this data is very important to evaluate the importance of grapevine and vineyard by-products as a source of bioactive phenolic compounds. Find out more

Effects of grape pomace on insulin sensitivity: towards a whole use of natural materials in wine production

By Jara Pérez-Jiménez
Optimization of food processing based on waste decrease has become a mandatory standard within the most developed countries. Winemaking is a seasonal activity, and in grape harvesting period a great accumulation of residues is generated. Usually, winemaking byproducts have been sent to distilleries for obtaining ethanol or to be used as fertilizers or biomass. Nevertheless, these activities are usually carried out by external companies representing economic costs for the wine industry. So, finding alternative solutions for the exploitation and valorization of those byproducts, which would involve economic, social, and environmental advantages, will be of the great interest. Several studies about the chemical composition of winemaking byproducts were done, which confirmed that those represent low-cost sources of many phenolic compounds, which have potential industrial applications (pharmaceutical, cosmetic, nutritional, or agricultural) due to their strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, or antimicrobial effects. This post describes a study aimed at evaluating the effect of grape pomace, rich in both extractable and non-extractable polyphenols, on markers of Metabolic Syndrome. Find out more

Application of portable micro near infrared spectroscopy to the screening of extractable polyphenols in grape skins: A complex challenge.

By Berta Baca-Bocanegra, José Miguel Hernández-Hierro, Francisco José Heredia, Julio Nogales-Bueno
The levels of extractable phenolic compounds of red grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) vary considerably. Currently, interest has shifted to the development of portable vis/NIR systems, innovation in optical system design and miniaturization for its approachable use in the field. In 2016 and 2017 vintages, spectra of intact grapes and grapes skins were recorded at harvest time using a portable micro NIR spectrophotometer. Several chemometric approaches have been used for spectral interrogation and evaluation of the device. Spectral data have been correlated with red grape skin extractable polyphenols. It was concluded that several factors affect the use of the portable micro NIR device for the “in vineyard” screening of extractable polyphenols in red grape skins. Environmental and physiological conditions should be considered to evaluate and remove factors that hamper a good sorting the berries according to their extractable polyphenol contents. Find out more

Chronobiology in the vineyard

By Suzy Rogiers and Francesca Moroni
Evidence for chronobiology can be found in many aspects of viticulture. Buds swell and burst every spring with warmer temperatures and longer days. The onset of flowering is also driven by changes in day length and its timing is important to reproductive success. Grapevines can sense longer days in spring through the light receptors located in green tissues. Alternatively, leaf senescence is activated as day length shortens in autumn and the vine prepares for dormancy. Co-ordination between cells and tissues of the shoot tips, leaves, woody components and roots is critical to successful regulation of growth and development. This may explain the presence of multiple clocks in different tissue types within any one organism. Find out more

Can panelists’ sensitivity be improved?

By Astrid Buica and Marianne McKay

The odor detection threshold (ODT) of a compound is the lowest concentration at which individuals can reliably perceive a difference between a sample and its corresponding control, with 50% performance above chance. Wine is a complex matrix, and ODTs used in studies on wine can be based on inappropriate matrices and informal sensory methodologies. This post reports a study where the sensitivity of panelists to previously published ODTs for five compounds were tested. Results showed that, despite some limitations, this pragmatic approach may be useful when carrying out sensory studies with limited resources and within tight timelines, as it provides helpful information on panel members and detection thresholds for a specific matrix

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Autochthonous yeasts as a driver of innovation in the sparkling wine sector

By Vittorio Capozzi
Sparkling wines are effervescent ones, since they contain a relevant concentration of CO2, and may be produced by the traditional method also called méthode champenoise and charmat one. Both methods involve two fermentations steps. In the traditional method, secondary fermentation consists an in-bottle refermentation that occurs after the addition to the base wine of the so-called tirage solution (saccharose 20–25 g/l, Yeasts, grape must or wine, and bentonite). This step is followed by an aging period, during which sparkling wine matures and acquires the several intracellular compounds released by the yeast cells as excretion at the end of secondary fermentation, furthermore aging on lees led to yeast autolysis, both contributing to the development of the final aromas. For this reason, the final quality of the sparkling wines is affected by the yeast strain involved in wine production. In this post is summarized our work aimed to confirm the suitability of autochthonous Saccharomyces cerevisiae to improve the quality of regional sparkling wine. It was the first survey in our region to propose the selection of autochthonous starter cultures for sparkling wine including a preliminary tailored genotypic and technological screening, the performance in primary fermentation and the contribution during secondary fermentation in terms of volatile compounds. Find out more

wine summit: An open letter to Paddy Cosgrave

By Paula Silva
This is open letter to Paddy Cosgrave to thank him for the idea of wine summit. Science & Wine is a project of science communication regarding wine. This project started with the “Science & Wine: From the terroir to the glass” a one-day conference that occurred in Porto in 2017. Inspired in the conference success Science & Wine blog was born in 22 of January of 2018. Next year will start the Wine Science Cafés, which will be a great opportunity to engage in a two-way communication, where scientists can share new evidences, techniques, and applications but also will be aware of public expectations and concerns. In 2019 It will also the 1st Science & Wine World Congress will take place 8-10 May 2019 in Alfândega Congress Centre in Porto. It is my obligation, as researcher to communicate science and extension service is one of my major responsibilities. Find out more

Scientific impressions about the influence of alternative winemaking on wine chemical and sensory features

By Maurício Castilhos
Wine technology involves great numbers of chemical reactions during the two fermentative steps: alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation. Grape pre-drying and submerged cap are examples of techniques applied by Brazilian wineries to study the reactions involving changes in wine polyphenols, which improve wine sensory quality. This post explains pre-dehydration and submerged cap techniques and explore their effects on the chemical and sensory profiles of the wines. Find out more

Pepper your wine with rotundone: yes, but until when?

By Olivier Geffroy
Rotundone is responsible for peppery aroma in wine that, above a certain concentration, is considered as a defect by some consumers. Viticulture and environmental features have a substantial impact on rotundone concentration in both grape berries and in finished wines. Cool and wet vintages promote the production of red wines with a higher rotundone concentration. Within a single vineyard, large spatial variability in rotundone associated with variation in the land underlying the vineyard and vine water status were reported. Patterns of this spatial variation are temporally stable from year to year. Find out more

Wine cooperatives as a vector of social entrepreneurship

By Mário Franco and Vitor Figueiredo
In many European countries and elsewhere in the world there is major renewed interest in cooperatives, as this type of business organisation seems to more resilient (and can achieve better performance than capitalist firms, principally at times of prolonged financial and economic crisis, such as the one experienced recently. The national and international wine market faces major challenges, either due to political and economic instability, or the great competition and decreasing world consumption of this type of drink. Therefore, wine cooperatives have been seen as representing sustainability in this sector in particular and present a certain impact on the society they are part of. Find out more

Wine and cardiovascular health: To drink or not to drink?

By Sohaib Haseeb, Bryce Alexander, Ricardo Lopez Santi, Adrian Baranchuk
Wine has been consumed for many years and is suggested to play an important role in the improvement of cardiovascular risk factors. Wine consumption has been inversely related with ischemic heart disease, and the alcohol-blood pressure association, in most studies, follows a J-shaped curve. These results have been attributed to the molecular constituents of wine, namely ethanol and polyphenols. Due to the continued interest in wine as a biological beverage, in this post the chemistry of wine as clinicians, including its chemical composition is reviewed. Biological effects of wine components and directions for future research are also explored. Find out more

Give artificial taste and olfactory intelligence for automatic wine analysis

By Lei Zhang
Electronic tongue (E-Tongue), as a novel taste analysis tool, shows a promising perspective for taste recognition. In this post, a voltammetric E-Tongue system is described. This E-Tongue was used to measure 13 different kinds of liquid samples, such as tea, wine, beverage, functional materials, etc.. The average recognition performance of 13 analytes achieves 98%. A number of research has fully confirmed that bionic E-Tongue can be used in industrial quality control, food quality analysis, etc. E-Tongue and E-Nose could be an optimistic start for revealing the biological taste and olfactory mechanism in the course of development of world artificial intelligence. Find out more

Synergistic effect of mixture of two proline-rich-protein salivary families (acidic and basic) on the interaction with wine flavanols

By Alba M. Ramos-Pineda, Ignacio García-Estévez, Montserrat Dueñas, M. Teresa Escribano-Bailón
This week post is about the interaction between salivary proteins and wine flavanols. In a recent study conducted by Alba María Ramos-Pineda and her group in Salamanca University, a synergic effect of the coexistence of two salivary-proline-rich proteins fractions (basic and acidic) on the interaction with flavanols were evaluated by HPLC-DAD, DLS and MALDI-TOF. It was observed a clear improvement of the interaction between (epi)catechin and proline-rich proteins when both types of proteins are blended. (epi)Catechins seem to bind preferentially basic proline-rich proteins, although the medium size aggregates flavanol-basic proline-rich proteins formed could favour the interaction with acidic ones giving rise to soluble mixed aggregates. Find out more

Inline to online: phenolics measurements made easy

By Jose Luis Aleixandre-Tudo
NIR spectroscopy could be an interesting approach to monitor the phenolic composition of grape berries transported on a conveyor belt system online. A contactless FT-NIR instrument can be used for on-line spectral data collection from grapes transported on a conveyor belt system. Spectral data can also be collected on static samples using the same NIR instrument. Spectral measurements of crushed berries captured from the conveyor belt system and the use of the homogenate extraction protocol as reference method provide the most accurate prediction models. Find out more

Norisoprenoids and aroma precursors in early-harvested grapes

By Maurizio Petrozziello, Andriani Asproudi and Alessandra Ferrandino
Climate change can influence winemakers to anticipate the harvest to limit alcohol content in wine and to provide satisfactory concentration of secondary metabolites in the grapes. This post describes a study carried out to understand the link between grape ripening, seasonal trend and wine aroma. Aromatic profile of Barbera and Pinot Noir wines, produced with early harvested grapes was assessed. Considering that norisoprenoids are important contributors to wine aroma, attention was focused on these compounds during both alcoholic fermentation and after three months of storage. At the end of fermentation, the highest β-damascenone content was detected in wines obtained from less ripe grapes, the content subsequently increased significantly after three months of storage; however, the levels of β-ionone decreased significantly during the same period. The reduction of wine alcohol as a result of harvesting earlier, especially for Barbera, was associated with optimal aromatic levels as well as good technological parameters. Find out more

Scale effect of viticultural zoning: effect of macro-terroir and basic terroir unit in Chianti Classico D.O.C.G. (Italy)

By Simone Priori
Terroir is a concept used to explain the specific combination and interaction of natural and human factors that affect distinctive wine characteristics. Soil and geology effects are sometimes considered considered less important than either climate or the human component. This post briefly describes a study carried out on one of the largest farms of the “Chianti Classico” wine district (Tuscany, Italy), focused on the effect of terroir on wine characteristics using two different zoning scales. At macro-terroir (MT), vineyards were carefully chosen based on lithology, soilscape, morphology, and mesoclimate. This study demonstrates that characteristics of pedo-geological landscapes can be used for a wine district zoning, while a more detailed soil mapping, leading to Unité Terroir de Base identification, is needed for differentiating wine characteristics. Find out more

Understanding the green character in red wines by a sensory-directed approach

By Sara Ferrero del Teso, María-Pilar Sáenz Navajas, Ignacio Arias Pérez, Purificación Fernández Zurbano, Ana Escudero, Vicente Ferreira
This post results from a study done with the aim of define the “green character” of red wines and characterise the groups of molecules potentially involved in that perception. Wines were screened by wine experts for different levels of green character. Phenolic fractions were obtained by liquid chromatography (LC) and further submitted to sensory and chemical characterisation. The volatile fraction was screened by semipreparative LC, gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O) and quantitative analysis. The green character was associated to vegetal aroma, astringency, green and dry tannins. No specific aroma compounds were identified in the GC-O evaluation of green wines, however the wines contained higher levels of fusel alcohols. The interaction between isoamyl alcohol and the anthocyanin-derivative fraction and/or tannins is suggested to be involved in the formation of green character in red wines. Find out more

Effect of Botrytis and Penicillium on quality of passito Amarone wine

By Barbara Simonato, Marilinda Lorenzini, Giacomo Zapparoli
This study analysed chemical composition and sensory properties of Amarone wines produced from withered grapes artificially contaminated by Botrytis cinerea and Penicillium spp. Changes in properties of the two wines were evident by comparing wines obtained from healthy grapes used as controls. Penicillium infection affects aroma and sensory profile with respect to wine produced from heathy and botrytized grapes. The differences observed between the two Penicillium wines suggest that the impact on Amarone wine quality may be potentially different depending on the contaminant species of withered grapes. Moreover, strain-species effects cannot be excluded, and it will be possible to assess them in further investigations. Find out more

Chemistry and photochemistry inspired by the colors of grapes and red wines

By Cristiane Copetti
Oxidative stress is caused by the insufficient capacity of biological systems to neutralize reactive species produced in excess. A serious imbalance between the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant (AOX) protection in favor of the former causes excessive oxidative damage in cells and tissues because the ROS excessive production is associated with disruption of cell cycle regulatory mechanisms. Results obtained suggest that wine is a potential antioxidant and have positive effect against reactive species generated in SH-SY5Y cells, suggesting a neuroprotective effect. Find out more

Metabolomics in the field, walking through the chemical diversity of grape

By Arnaud Lanoue
Polyphenols are grape compounds with numerous health benefit and organoleptic properties. These compounds act as key components of the plant defense system against diseases. Herein, are discussed the results of an innovator metabotyping (metabolite-phenotype characterization) study using different grape varieties. A field experiment was setting up with uniform pedo-climatic factors and viticultural practices of growing vines to favor the genetic determinism of polyphenol expression. Metabolite correlation network suggested that several polyphenol subclasses were differently controlled. In a near future, the present polyphenol metabotyping approach coupled to multivariate statistical analyses might assist grape selection programs to improve metabolites with health-benefit potential and plant defense traits Find out more

Chemistry and photochemistry inspired by the colors of grapes and red wines

By Frank H. Quina
Anthocyanins and pyranoanthocyanins are major contributors to the color of red wines. These pigments are cationic below about pH 3, highly colored, non-toxic, reasonably soluble in water or alcohol and stable to light. They exhibit good antioxidant or antiradical activity and, as part of our diet, confer several important health benefits. excited state proton transfer in uncomplexed anthocyanins or pyranoanthocyanins and ultra-rapid direct deactivation of the excited state in copigmented anthocyanins, contribute to make the color of anthocyanins and pyranoanthocyanins quite resistant to fading in sunlight. Find out more


My name is Paula Silva and I decided to accept this challenge of being the responsible editor of this blog because I believe that science must be shared and because it is very important to update public with information’s based in scientific evidences. My purpose is to serve people who wants to know more about wine by fostering networking, education, discussion, and exchange. I hope that this blog can be a resource on current and emerging issues in wine research area. Find out more