Wine varietal thiols are important contributors to wine aroma. The chemical nature of thiols makes them difficult to measure due to low concentrations, high sensitivity to oxidation, and low ionization. Methods for the measurement of thiols usually consist of multiple steps of sample preparation followed by instrumental measurement. Studies have collected large datasets of thiols in white wine but not in red wine, due to the lack of availability of suitable methods. In this study, for the first time, convergence chromatography was used to measure thiols in red wine at ultratrace levels with improved sensitivity compared to previous methods. Performance parameters (selectivity, linearity, limits of detection, precision, accuracy) were tested to demonstrate the suitability of the method for the proposed application. Red wine thiols were measured in South African Pinotage, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon wines (n = 16 each). Cultivar differentiation using the thiol profile was demonstrated.
Keywords: DTDP; SPE; UPC2-MS/MS; convergence chromatography; derivatization; supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC); thiols; wine.