Determination of the importance of in-mouth release of volatile phenol glycoconjugates to the flavor of smoke-tainted wines

J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Mar 19;62(11):2327-36. doi: 10.1021/jf405327s. Epub 2014 Mar 11.


The volatile phenols guaiacol, 4-methylguaiacol, syringol, 4-methylsyringol, o-, m-, and p-cresol, as well as their glycoconjugates, have previously been shown to be present in elevated concentrations in smoke-tainted wine. Sensory descriptive analysis experiments, with addition of free volatile phenols in combination with their glycosidically bound forms, were used to mimic smoke taint in red wines. The addition of volatile phenols together with glycoconjugates gave the strongest off-flavor. The hydrolysis of glycosidically bound flavor compounds in-mouth was further investigated by in vitro and in vivo experiments. The results indicate that enzymes present in human saliva are able to release the volatile aglycones from their glycoconjugates even under low pH and elevated ethanol conditions, confirming that in-mouth breakdown of monosaccharide and disaccharide glycosides is an important mechanism for smoke flavor from smoke affected wines, and that this mechanism may play an important general role in the flavor and aftertaste of wine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ethanol / analysis
  • Ethanol / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Structure
  • Mouth / metabolism*
  • Phenol / chemistry
  • Phenol / metabolism*
  • Smoke / analysis
  • Taste*
  • Vitis / chemistry*
  • Vitis / metabolism
  • Volatilization
  • Wine / analysis*


  • Smoke
  • Phenol
  • Ethanol