This reduction in alcohol will be of great benefit to the industry says Louisa Rose, of Yalumba and Hill-Smith Family Vinyards, Angaston, South Australia, who is also a director of the Australian Wine Research Institute. "It is using techniquessequential fermentationthat can easily be used in the winery on a commercial scale."
Previous studies investigating the effects of non-Saccharomyces yeasts on alcoholic fermentation have focused on few species and been concerned principally with the formation of the flavor compounds that might impact negatively on wine quality. None of these led to reductions in alcohol content as substantial as those he reported, says Varela.
The rise in alcohol content in wine has resulted from later harvesting of red grapes. This allows the tanninsresponsible for astringency and bitternessto soften, and in some varieties, it helps minimize the presence of off-flavors, like methoxypyrazines (green pepper/asparagus sensory notes.) But on the downside, the boost in alcohol content reduces aroma and flavor intensity, as well as otherwise impairing the oenological experience. Reducing the alcohol would enable the best of both worlds.
It would also reduce consumer costs in countries where alcohol consumption is taxed, and accede to national and international public health recommendations to lower the alcohol content of alcoholic beverages, such as wine.
|Contact: Jim Sliwa|
American Society for Microbiology