Putting the Texture Back into White Wines: Role of Phenolics, Polysaccharides, Alcohol, and pH in White Wine Structure and Style

Richard Gawel, Martin Day, Alex Schulkin, Steve van Sluyter, Elizabeth J. Waters, Paul A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


White wines that complement food are often characterized by a firm palate structure, which is often attributed to phenolics and polysaccharides extracted during must handling. The tastes and textures of the two most abundant phenolics in white wines, grape reaction product (GRP) and caftaric acid (indicative of oxidative and low oxygen juice handling, respectively), were quantified. Caftaric acid reduced the astringency and hotness directly resulting from lower pH and higher alcohol levels, and GRP produced an increase in oily
texture. Wine polysaccharides had little effect on wine fullness, but reduced alcohol hotness. We also describe the effect of conventional and less-used winemaking practices such as whole bunch pressing, skin contact, pressings, hyperoxidation, solids, and partial skin fermentation on the phenolic, polysaccharide, and sensory profiles of Chardonnay, Riesling, and Viognier wines over three vintages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435A-435A
Number of pages1
JournalAmerican Journal of Enology and Viticulture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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