From the effect of global climate change, wildfire occurrence during grape ripening has increased. These wildfires produce smoke that can carry organic compounds to a vineyard. These smoke compounds are adsorbed in the grape berry and result in wines with elevated levels of smoke-related phenols. These wines are described as having a smokey, burnt, and dirty aroma (Kristic et al, 2015). Not only are volatile phenols carried by smoke, but additionally glycoconjugate forms of these phenols are present as will. These have been found to have a large impact on the flavor of wines, being the cause of a lasting ashy aftertaste post consumption (Parker et al, 2012). When evaluating the sensory profile of these wines when tasted one after the other, there is an observed problem due to the lasting nature of these undesirable attributes and high level of carry-over from sample to sample. The aim of this work is to evaluate the extent this carryover occurs, along with the best sensory practices to mitigate its influence via different inter-stimulus rinse protocols. For evaluation, three wines produced from grapes with varying amounts of smoke exposure (no smoke, medium smoke, high smoke) were used across three studies. To determine the driving and differentiating attributes in these wines, attribute check-all-that-apply was performed. From this, six attributes (Ashy, Burnt, Floral, Mixed berry, Smokey, Woody) were found to be highly present and were differentiating factors between the wines. The following study was a temporal-check-all-that-apply to determine how long these attributes were perceived in-mouth. It was found that after 120 seconds the number of citations for each attribute across all three wines dropped below 0.1. Finally, a fixed time point temporal method was employed to determine the efficacy of three different inter-stimulus rinse protocol (water, pectin, and a mouthwash prerinse with water between samples) to attempt to decrease this time period. The results of this work indicated that there is a significant sensory profile difference between wines that see various levels of smoke exposure. In terms of inter-stimulus protocol, there was no significant improvement of alternative rinse systems over a traditional water rinse. The conclusions of this work can be used to better understand the sensorial profile of wines produced from wildfire affected grapes and can be used to guide improved sensory practices in future analysis of these wines.
Authors: Jenna Fryer – Food Science & Technology, Oregon State University,Thomas Collins, Viticulture and Enology, Washington State University Elizabeth Tomasino, Food Science & Technology, Oregon State University
Keywords: wildfires, smoke, wine, sensory analysis