Aroma chemical composition of red wines from different price categories and its relationship to quality

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 May 23;60(20):5045-56. doi: 10.1021/jf2050685. Epub 2012 May 14.


The aroma chemical composition of three sets of Spanish red wines belonging to three different price categories was studied by using an array of gas chromatographic methods. Significant differences were found in the levels of 72 aroma compounds. Expensive wines are richest in wood-related compounds, ethyl phenols, cysteinil-derived mercaptans, volatile sulfur compounds, ethyl esters of branched acids, methional, and phenylacetaldehyde and are poorest in linear and branched fatty acids, fusel alcohols, terpenols, norisoprenoids, fusel alcohol acetates, and ethyl esters of the linear fatty acids; inexpensive wines show exactly the opposite profile, being richest in E-2-nonenal, E-2-hexenal, Z-3-hexenol, acetoin, and ethyl lactate. Satisfactory models relating quality to odorant composition could be built exclusively for expensive and medium-price wines but not for the lower-price sample set in which in-mouth attributes had to be included. The models for quality reveal a common structure, but they are characteristic of a given sample set.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Gas / methods
  • Commerce*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Odorants / analysis*
  • Quality Control
  • Spain
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / analysis
  • Wine / analysis*
  • Wine / economics*


  • Volatile Organic Compounds