The Role of Flavanoids in Wine
Flavanoids are the major phenolic group in red wine, and have a profound impact on wine taste. The major flavanoids in wine are flavanols, anthocyanins and catechins. They can exist in multiple forms; by themselves or polymerized with sugars, other flavanoids and or nonflavanoids.
Flavanoids found in Wine
Anthocyanins are used by plants as a defense mechanism to protect them from UV damage. They form complex molecules with other phenolytic molecules and strongly contribute to color and the aging of wine.
Catechins are produced in the stems and seeds, and are the major flavor components in red wines. There are three major types of catechins, and they polymerize with themselves, other flanavoids and nonflavanoids to form tannins. Tannins play a large role in almost every aspect of a wine.
Flavanols like quercetin absorb UV light and protect grape skins from the damaging effects of the sun. Quercetin also plays a role in human health. Its benefits have been seen in heart disease, cancer, cholesterol, allergies, hay fever and asthma.
Flavanoids are put together in the cell’s endoplasmic reticulum. Chemically, they are molecules containing two phenol groups joined together by an oxygen containing pyran hydrocarbon. They are usually found in the skin and seeds of grapes, but are also present in stems.
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