Phenolic compounds are partly responsible for the color, astringency, and bitterness of wine, as well as for numerous physiological properties associated with wine consumption. Mass spectrometry has allowed for great progress in the identification and characterization of wine polyphenols. The aim of the present article is to summarize the numerous advances recently achieved in this field. The main type of phenolic compounds found in wine, including hydroxybenzoic and hydroxycinnamic acids, stilbenes, flavones, flavonols, flavanonols, flavanols, and anthocyanins, are firstly described. Chemical reactions and mechanisms involving phenolic compounds during winemaking are also extensively discussed, including enzymatic and chemical oxidation reactions, direct and acetaldehyde-mediated anthocyanin-tannin condensation reactions, acetaldehydemediated and glyoxylic acid-mediated tannin-tannin condensation reactions and, C-4/C-5 anthocyanin cycloaddition reactions with 4-vinylphenols, vinylflavanols and pyruvic acid, among others, leading to the formation of pyranoanthocyanins. Useful mass spectral data of well-known and novel phenolic compounds recently identified in wine, and details related to their fragmentation pathway according to different ionization techniques, are given.
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