• port;
  • maturation;
  • colour;
  • phenolic composition;
  • oxygen;
  • principal component analysis


Differences in colour and phenolic composition during the maturation of port in oak wood, stainless steel and glass were examined for a period of 311 days at 18 °C. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used in variable selection, data reduction and data analysis. Nine out of 13 colour and phenolic variables were heavily loaded on PC1 (76.1% of explained variance), and a plot of PC1 scores versus maturation time showed differences in colour and anthocyanins between ports matured in different containers. Ports matured in oak casks developed at a faster rate than the other ports. Total phenolics remained fairly constant in all ports, as monomeric anthocyanins were rapidly depleted during the time of maturation. Polymeric pigments formed during maturation contributed to increases in colour density, hue and the rate of browning. Differences in redox potential between wood matured ports and non-wood matured ports indicated that there were differences in dissolved oxygen which could have affected the maturation rate of these wines.

© 2001 Society of Chemical Industry