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The Food Court: Unholy smoke! Stay away from my wine

New Contributor II
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It’s pretty easy to fit the millions of people who drink wine into categories. They love red and hate white, or vice versa, or they like both kinds of wine. Taking it to another level, when it comes to the art of pairing wine with food, the group of wine-drinkers shrinks dramatically. There are, however, some who know that a nice red Barolo works well with a mushroom risotto and that you can actually drink wine with chocolate peanut butter pie (a sweet dessert wine, Banyuls).

While some even enjoy wines that have a hint if smoke, too much of a good thing can be disastrous for the palate, and this is where a research team has come to the rescue.

They have created a way to identify grapes that have been exposed to smoke from the increasing number of wildfires around the globe which could be due to climate change. The smoke from these fires can travel long distances, and smokey grapes can produce bad-tasting wine. Grapes affected by too much smoke have unappealing aromas and taste like smoked meat or even a dirty ashtray, according to researchers.

Reporting in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Yoji Hayasaka and colleagues said they developed a test to find the substances in grapes formed after the fruit comes into contact with smoke from large fires. With the test, they can find out if the grapes have been smoke-tainted before they are crushed and made into wine. This spares wine-drinkers the unpleasant experience of drinking a very unpalatable beverage.

“Assessing the Impact of Smoke Exposure in Grapes: Development and Validation of a HPLC-MS/MS Method...

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Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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