Beef stock reductions with red wine were prepared as for use in a classical red wine sauce. The choice of wine (Zinfandel versus Cabernet Sauvignon) and preparation method (reducing wine and stock separately versus together) were varied in order to study the effect on flavour and related chemical composition of stocks. This was done by means of a descriptive sensory analysis, gas chromatography (volatile compounds) and high performance liquid chromatography (sugars, acids and phenolics). The initial differences in volatile composition of the wines were partly eliminated by cooking due to evaporation of many aroma compounds like the fruity esters. However volatile composition of the stock reductions with wine was found to vary depending on the choice of wine. The non-volatile compounds (sugars, acids and phenolics) were found to be important for the flavour of the reduced stock with wine, since they increased in concentration during cooking and are possible pre-cursors of aroma. A particulate mouthfeel emerged when using Cabernet Sauvignon, the more bitter and astringent wine, presumably due to precipitation of proteins with the bitter and astringent phenolic compounds (tannins) upon heating. Reducing the wine together with stock versus reduction of wine and stock separately caused significant differences in the perceived flavour and volatile composition. The higher ratings of particulate mouthfeel in reduced stock prepared by reducing the stock and wine separately are explained by precipitation of tannins and proteins during re-heating. Such precipitation also explains why the initial large differences in astringency between the wines are eliminated in the reduced stocks with wine due to a loss of the astringent tannins. Hence the common advice by chefs to reduce wine and stock together in order to diminish the astringency from tannins is supported. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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