Macrowine 2021
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 An overview of wine sensory characterization: from classical descriptive analysis to the emergence of novel profiling techniques

An overview of wine sensory characterization: from classical descriptive analysis to the emergence of novel profiling techniques


The wine industry requires coexistence between tradition and innovation to meet consumers’ preferences. Sensory science allows the objective quantification of consumers’ understanding of a product and subjective feedback of consumer’s perception through acceptance or rejection of stimulus or even describing emotions evoked [1]. To measure sensations, emotions and liking, and their dynamics over time, time-intensity methods are crucial tools with growing interest in sensory science [2].

AIM: This research aimed to give a big picture of the latest investigation about sensory methods and their variations, and the successful application of sensory devices and immersive contexts in wine evaluation.

METHODS: An overview of all the recent findings in sensory science methodologies, including sensory descriptive tests (quantitative descriptive analysis (ADQ), flash profiling, projective mapping and napping, check-all-that-apply (CATA), open-ended questions, preferred attribute elicitation method, polarised sensory positioning, free –choice profiling, sorting) [3], sensory discriminative tests (triangle test, tetrad test, duo-trio test, paired comparison, intensity scales, forced-choice tests) [4], sensory hedonic tests (hedonic methods, consumers’ preference, and emotions), time-intensity methods (dual-attribute time-intensity, multiple-attribute time-intensity, temporal dominance of sensations), instrumental sensory devices and immersive techniques (e-nose, e-tongue, virtual reality, gaming) and sensory data treatment are reviewed.

RESULTS: This study is the first attempt to characterize sensory methods and techniques, from classical descriptive analysis to the emergence of novel profiling techniques, comparing the different approaches and predicting some future research on this topic.


The characterization of sensory methods and techniques have been investigated in the literature. However, there is a limited articulation between descriptive, discriminative, hedonic tests and time-intensity methods as well as instrumental sensory devices and immersive techniques. Furthermore, statistical techniques in sensory science play a crucial role and increasingly allow a more precise sensory data analysis and more adapted to a complex product such as wine.


Publication date: September 24, 2021

Issue: Macrowine 2021

Type: Article


Catarina Marques, Alfredo,  Alto Douro, Elisete, CORREIA, Alice, VILELA,

CITAB, Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, Department of Biology and Environment, School of Life Sciences and Environment, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, P-5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal;
CORREIA, Center for Computational and Stochastic Mathematics (CEMAT), Dep. of Mathematics, IST-UL, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal;
VILELA, Chemistry Research Centre (CQ-VR), Dep. of Biology and Environment, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal;

Contact the author


sensory analysis; instrumental sensory devices; immersive techniques; statistical techniques; wine


Related articles…

Evaluating alternatives to cold stabilization in wineries: the use of carboximethyl cellulose, potassium polyaspartate, electrodialysis and ion exchange resins – the results after one year in the bottle

The tartaric stabilization of wines before bottling to avoid the precipitation of tartaric acid salts is an important and common step during wine production. The presence of precipitated salt crystals in bottle wines is detrimental for their quality and even a legal issue in some countries. Cold stabilization is the most common stabilization treatment. Although it has been shown to be effective, it has some significant disadvantages, mainly regarding losses of color and aromas and its high cost. Therefore, other products and methodologies are being introduced in the wineries for the replacement of this process. Some of these new techniques involve the reduction of the ions causing the insolubilization of tartaric acid while other are based in the formation of protective colloids or the inhibition of the crystallization of salts. In this study, white, rosé and red wines have been treated with carboxymethylcellulose, potassium polyaspartate and an ion exchange resin. The tartaric stability of the wines, together with the oenological, chromatic and sensory characteristics were studied after the wines had been stored during one year in the bottle. The results indicate that the use of carboxymethyl cellulose and potassium polyaspartate maintained the best the sensory and chromatic characteristics and the wine stability of the wines in comparison with an untreated control wine.

Temperature effects on the biosynthesis of aroma compounds in glera grapes

This paper describes the first year results of a study that investigated the effects of altitude and related temperature parameters on the biosynthesis of aromas in the Italian cultivar Glera.

Advancing grapevine science through genomic research

The seminar will examine the complexities and prospects of genomic research on Vitis species, characterize by exceptionally high heterozygosity and common interspecific gene flow. The seminar will showcase case studies highlighting the critical role of diploid genome references in grape research, specifically in areas such as aroma development, disease resistance, and domestication traits. It will also address the emerging focus on pangenomes within the Vitis genus, particularly in the context of genetic studies on naturally interbreeding populations.

Port wine region settling

Cet exposé présente une caractérisation générale de la Région Délimitée du Douro (RDD), productrice des appellations Porto (vins généreux), et Douro pour des vins de qualité VQPRD.

Cover crop management and termination timing have different effects on the maturation and water potentials of Glera (Vitis vinifera L.) in Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Inter-row soil tillage in vineyards, stimulates vigor and production due to the absence of competition for water and nutrients, however negatively affects organic matter content, soil erosion, and compaction, resulting in reduced fertility. In this study, we investigated the effects of different cover crop management approaches, including cultivation type and termination timing, on the physiological and productive responses of a Glera vineyard.
The experimental trial was conducted in Precenicco (UD) from 2019 to 2021. A commercial mixture for autumn cover cropping was sown in alternating rows, and the sowing pattern was changed each year.