Wine scientist Gerard teaches me about wine
Today while at the airport I bumped into one of my favourite people who also happens to be the best wine scientist I know.
Gerard is a wine scientist who is about to get his doctorate in the field. I asked him if he had a wine experiment he could show me, and luckily he did.
Taking a glass of red wine, Gerard added a few drops of lemon juice and I watched in amazement as the wine changed from one red hue to a more transparent less red wine.
Asking Gerard why this happened, he explained that the reddish color seen in wine is mostly due to the proportion of a chemical group called anthocyanins. This is group is dependent on the acidity and free sulfer dioxide concentration.
High acidity increases the proportion of anthocyanins in a state called the flavylium state, making the color a more vibrant red. As the acidity of a wine decreases, the percentage of flavylium anthocyanins decreases, so by decreasing the pH using acidic lemon juice we were able to watch this happen through the colour change.