Immunoassays with some dessert wines made from Botrytis-infected grapes (referred to as Botrytis wines) have shown that Botrytis antigens can be detected even at dilutions of 1:64,000, while none or very low levels have been detected in those wines that do not claim to be made from Botrytis-infected grapes. It is commonly accepted that Botrytis wines have a characteristic honeylike aroma, but there are apparently no scientific reports on the differences in sensory perception of dessert wines made from Botrytis-infected grapes and those made from noninfected grapes, such as icewines. The purpose of this project was to determine if it was possible to distinguish, through sensory descriptive analysis, Botrytis and non-Botrytis wines as determined by immunoassay. Despite the high variability in grape variety, wine processes, and wine regions of the wines selected for this study, there is a trend showing that wines with low Botrytis antigen units are high in fresh fruit and citrus aromas. However, wines with high Botrytis antigen levels were not especially high in perceived honey aromas. This result could be an artifact of the high variability in varieties, wine styles and wine regions.
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