• interspecific variety;
  • fortified wine;
  • thermal treatment;
  • Madeira;
  • methyl anthranilate;
  • foxy flavour


BACKGROUND: The major defect of the interspecific variety Golden Muscat (Vitis vinifera × Vitis labrusca) is the inheritance of the specific foxy off-flavours from the parent species Vitis labrusca. Thermal treatment is a traditional method of producing fortified wine that originated from the subtropical Portuguese island of Madeira. This technique was used to treat Golden Muscat fortified wine in order to investigate the effects of thermal treatment on the physicochemical composition and sensory qualities of the wine.

RESULTS: The control wine had the lowest total phenol concentration, total flavonol concentration and total acidity. Increased colour intensity in all thermal-treated samples was detected. The amount of foxy methyl anthranilate in the wine decreased significantly (P < 0.05) after thermal treatment. Panellists indicated that, compared to the control wine, the thermal-treated wines had higher flavour complexity, flavour intensity, persistence and balance. The control wine exhibited an unpleasant foxy flavour.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that the thermal treatment technique can be used for the production of Golden Muscat fortified wines with desirable flavour. This technique could assist local winemakers to produce an interspecific variety Golden Muscat fortified wine of acceptable quality. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry