Distinguishing of red wines from Northwest China by colour-flavour related physico-chemical indexes

Aim: Northwest China occupies an important position in China’s wine regions due to its superior geographical conditions with dry climate and sufficient sunlight. In this work, we aimed to investigate the physico-chemical colour and flavour characteristics of red wine in Northwest China.

Methods and Results: A total of 196 commercial dry red wines from Ningxia autonomous region, Gansu province and Xinjiang autonomous region in Northwest China were sampled. Spectro-analysis and chemical titration were used to quantify physico-chemical indicators related to wine colour and flavour, including total anthocyanins, co-pigments, monomeric anthocyanins, polymeric anthocyanins, ionisation index, CIE color space, total phenols, flavonol, ethanol index, total tannin, gelatin index, HCl index, DPPH antioxidant activity, tartrate ester, titratable acid, and pH value. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the data showed that wine samples in Ningxia, Gansu and Xinjiang region had obvious clustering phenomena. Among them, total anthocyanin and polymeric anthocyanins in Ningxia wines were higher compared to other wines. Ningxia wines also had the highest total acids and lighter colour whereas Gansu wines had greater amounts of monomeric anthocyanins, co-pigments and phenolic indexes. Gansu wines were darker in colour with the highest pH values. The parameters of Xinjiang wines were ranged between Ningxia wines and Gansu wines. PCA also showed good discriminant results on wine vintages. Wines older than 3 years had more polymeric anthocyanins and stable colour whilst younger wines had more total anthocyanin and monomeric anthocyanin with brighter colour. In addition, younger wines had the highest phenolics. Grape cultivars also contributed to the difference of colour and flavour associated indexes. Among them, Cabernet Sauvignon wines displayed distinct characteristics compared to other wines. Values of total anthocyanins, DPPH antioxidant activity, ionisation index, Cab and HCl acid indexes of Cabernet Sauvignon wines were higher than those of other wines. Finally, a convolutional neuralnetwork model was used to discriminate and analyses the categorical data of wines. These data were standardized and analysised using TensorFlow. The corresponding fitness indexes were 99.14%, 90.52%, and 89.66% from Northwest China based on region, cultivar, and vintage.

Conclusions: Colour and flavour associated indexes of wines from Northwest China are strongly impacted by wine regions, cultivars, and vintages.

Significance and Impact of the Study: Wine regions in Northwest China are developing drastically in recent decades, however relevant criteria of colour-flavour quality to help manipulate winemaking practices are lacking in local wineries to ensure the quality of wine style. Our results highlighted the possibility of establishing such wine quality criteria specially for Northwest China based on building a discrimination model on wine physico-chemical related indicators.

Authors: Yu Zhao1, Guojie Jin1, Jiao Jiang1, Shijin Xue1, Kai Hu1*, Yongsheng Tao1,2*

College of Enology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
Shaanxi Engineering Research Center for Viti-viniculture, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China

Email: taoyongsheng@nwsuaf.edu.cn (Y.-S. Tao); kh@nwafu.edu.cn (K. Hu)

Keywords: Wine region, spectro-analysis, discrimination analysis, neural network analysis, colour-flavour physico-chemical indicators

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