• ageing;
  • wine colour;
  • aldehyde;
  • wine spirit;
  • fortified wine;
  • quality


The commercial wine spirit used for this study revealed that the aldehyde content mainly comprises acetaldehyde but other aldehydes such as propionaldehyde, 2-methylbutyraldehyde, isovaleraldehyde, methylglyoxal, benzaldehyde and others are also present in significant amounts. A typical grape must was used to assess the influence of wine spirit in the analytical and sensorial characteristics of fortified wines. Decreasing levels of anthocyanins, as well the increase in the red colour and tanning capacity, were observed, and seem to be positively correlated with the increase of the aldehyde content present in the wine spirits used to fortify the must. Using the CIE L*a*b* system, this aldehyde content present in the spirit used seemed to be correlated with the decrease of the wines' lightness (darkening effect), the displacement of the hue angle to higher values (yellowing effect) and the increase of the chromaticity (colour saturation) of the wines. Copyright © 2005 Society of Chemical Industry