Wine consumers are interested in components of red wines that contribute to health effects, flavor, and color. Three Vitis vinifera wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zinfandel) were blended using formulas created by an augmented simplex centroid mixture design, resulting in 10 wines (three single-component wines, three binary blends, and four tertiary blends). Compositional and color components of the wines were analyzed during 12 months of storage at 15°C with descriptive analysis and consumer evaluations at 30 days. Blending impacted compositional components and sensory profiles of the wines. During 12 months of storage, the blended wines exhibited similar compositional and color changes as their single counterparts; total anthocyanin content decreased and red color density and percent polymeric color increased. The primary anthocyanins detected in the wines by HPLC analysis were malvidin-3-O-monoglucoside, typical of V. vinifera. The anthocyanins decreased during storage with the formation of pyranoanthocyanins from condensation reactions. When descriptive and compositional analysis were compared, red color intensity and depth of color were correlated (r > 0.85) with clarity, flavor intensity, red color density, L*, chroma, total anthocyanin content, and polymeric color content. When consumer evaluations and compositional analysis were compared, consumer liking of appearance of the wines was positively correlated to red color density (r = 0.83), total anthocyanins (r = 0.85) and percent polymeric color (r = 0.93) and negatively correlated to L*(r = 0.99), chroma (r = 0.91), and hue (r = 0.99). Blending light-bodied wine with full-bodied wine positively affected consumer acceptance. Sensory and compositional data can be used to determine the overall impact of critical parameters for blending V. vinifera wines.
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