INFOGRAPHICS

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Salts and minerals

Grapes, must and wine contains dissolved non-organic salts. They play a significant role in metabolic activities, such as activating enzymes or stabilizing tartrates.  Potassium, for example, is defining the wine pH and determines the accumulation of sugars. Common minerals, which occur naturally in grapes are nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, and others.

 

Residual sugars

The residue of sugar content was remaining when an alcoholic fermentation has come to an end.

 

Other alcohols

Propanol, Butanol, Methanol and others. During alcoholic fermentation, different types of alcohol are formed by yeast metabolism. Due to low concentrations in wine, these alcohols do not have many effects on the taste of wine as opposed to Ethanol which plays a major role in the on the palate.

 

Amino Acids

Amino Acids act as building blocks for proteins. Glutamine and Proline are two of the twenty most common amino acids. They are in high concentrations in the must.

Polyphenols

A group of substances, known as flavonoids, which include tannins, anthocyanins, flavonols and flavan-3-ols and non-flavonoids including resveratrol.

 

Tannins are found in the skins, stems, and pips of the grapes. Tannins cause astringency, the coarse sensation of dryness perceived on the palate that is experienced tasting a red wine. Changes in the tannins' structure over time alter the texture of the wine making them appear "softer."

 

Anthocyanins are mainly found in the skins of the grapes and are responsible for the color of red wine. However, colouration depends on the acidity. Wines low in acidity tend to be more purple or even blue.

 

Flavonols and Flavan-3-ols help the wine to maintain the coloring for a longer period and they work as antioxidant.

Acids

The two primary natural acids found in the grapes are tartaric and malic.

Acids impart freshness to the wine.

The malic acid often undergoes after alcoholic fermentation another biochemical conversion known as the malo-lactic fermentation in order the wine to become softer with a much less aggressive acidity.

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WHAT'S INSIDE A BOTTLE OF RED WINE?

Other

 

Proteins

The protein synthesis proceeds after Veraison and tends to be higher in the ripest grapes.

 

Volatile acids

Primarily refers to acetic acid. Under the influence of acid bacteria,  the oxidation of ethanol produces Acetic acid. It's the acid in vinegar.

Volatile acids in low levels add to the complexity of the wine. Higher levels produce unpleasant, aroma compounds and alter the sensory characteristics of wine. Dessert wines produced from sun-dried grapes or botrytized (noble rot) grapes often have higher levels of acetic acid.

 

Sulfites

All wines contain sulfites which are produced naturally by yeast during fermentation.

The addition of sulfites during the winemaking process is critical because they protect wine against oxidation and premature fermentation. It is possible to make wines without adding sulfites. The wines called "natural" fall into this category.

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Glycerol

A product of yeast fermentation. Glycerol contributes to sweetness, body, concentration and increased texture properties.

THESE FIGURES ARE FOR AN AVERAGE CHEMICAL COMPOSITION - THE EXACT PERCENTAGES WILL VARY DEPENDING ON THE PARTICULAR WINE