Overall conceptual characterization of aged dry white wines using a mental descriptive questionnaire
The purpose of the present study was to understand the overall concept of an aged dry white wine using a descriptive mental questionnaire. A total of 680 worldwide participants, grouped according to their involvement in the wine business, replied to an online questionnaire to characterize the sensory analytical and synthetic descriptors of an aged dry white wine. The descriptors were selected using a Check-All-That-Apply (CATA) approach concerning wine colour, aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and global appreciation.
The responses checked by at least 20% of the participants included the following number of descriptors: (a) 5, for the colour; (b) 7, for the aromas; (c) 6, for the taste and the mouthfeel; and (d) 10, for the global appreciation. The involvement level did not influence the diversity of the sensory descriptors. However, highly involved subjects used more frequently terms such as beeswax, kerosene, length and saltiness. Overall, the conceptual space of aged white wines may be characterized by deep yellow to deep gold colour and aromas of dried fruit, honey, caramel, oak and beeswax. The taste and mouthfeel were dominated by acidity, body, length, viscosity, smoothness and dryness. The global appreciation included terms such as complex, persistent, rich, concentrated and developed. A consensual tasting script could have the following text: “Deep gold to amber colour, mature and developed aroma, with notes of dried fruit, honey and caramel. Taste dominated by acidity, encompassing a mouthfeel sensation marked by body, dryness, smoothness and after-mouth persistence.” This overall sensory space is consistent with the metaphorical concept of “mellowed by age” wines, thus avoiding the conceivable negative connotation of “old wine”.
Issue: ICGWS 2023
Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food (LEAF) Research Center, Associated Laboratory TERRA, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, University of Lisbon, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal