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Wine Secret Unlocked: Study Reveals Reason Behind Old Wines' Enticing Aroma

Aug 30, 2016 04:24 AM EDT
Researchers have revealed why wine smells better with age
(Photo : Pixabay/Ponce_photography/Creative Commons)

Wine lovers, here's an interesting study for you. Grape wine aromas are made up of several hundreds of volatile compounds. These compounds make up for the flavor of wine. It has been a tradition for people to smell their glass of vino before drinking it. For some, it is to entice the palate even more and for experts, it is to identify some components of the wine that may be present.

Scientists have revealed what is responsible for the alluring aroma of old wines -- enzyme CYP76F14, a member of the cytochrome P450 family of enzymes.

According to the study published in Wiley, CYP76F14 aids in converting monoterpenol linalool into a different compound, (E)-8-carboxylinalool, which is then gradually converted into wine lactone that gives off an intense, rich smell.

Science Daily notes that the results were generated by analyzing a large sample of French grapes and white wines through a technique called liquid chromatograph mass spectrometry.

"Combining different analytical techniques was key in our work, and this broad picture helped us learn more about how common plant molecules are transformed into specific wine aroma," said Dr. Nicolas Navrot, senior author of the New Phytologist article.

Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute explains that people engage in wine aging to improve the taste and flavor of the drink. It includes various treatments, such as malolactic fermentation, clarification, stabilization and bulk storage.

For the past years, wine has been shown to reduce the signs of aging -- at least one glass for women and two glasses for men is enough.

Mayo Clinic said the reservatrol found in red wines may be good for the heart as it helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) and prevents blood clots.

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