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Bitterness and astringency of grape and wine polyphenols


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Extracts containing anthocyanins (ACN), and skin tannins (SKIN) and seed tannins (SEED) were prepared from Vitis vinifera cv. Cabernet Franc grapes grown in the Loire Valley, and characterised. Phenolic fractions from Cabernet Franc wines made from three Loire Valley locations were also isolated and characterised. Bitterness and astringency of ACN, SEED and SKIN as well as the wine extracts were evaluated by time intensity procedures in citric acid solution and in a base white wine. SEED and SKIN were equally astringent when tasted at the same concentration in spite of differences in tannin composition. The lower molecular weight (MW) of SEED was equal in astringency to larger MW SKIN which had a lower percentage of galloylation. The SEED fraction was slightly more bitter than the SKIN fraction in the citric acid solution, although no difference could be detected between samples in base white wine. Astringency of ACN alone was much lower than either SKIN or SEED. Addition of ACN to either tannin fraction produced very small sensory effects in citric acid. In wine, addition of ACN to either SEED or SKIN increased astringency significantly over either fraction alone, but had no effect on bitterness. The wine fractions differed only in astringency, which was correlated with tannin units as determined by thiolysis.