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Scientist blasts supermarket red wines

Professor Roger Corder, author of The Wine Diet and an expert on dietary polyphenols, has spoken out against supermarket red wines dubbing them “cheap imposters” and “little more than white wines pretending to be red.”

“A large percentage of supermarket red wines have just enough contact with grapes to extract colour from the skins and contain virtually no grape pip polyphenols,” Corder said.

Polyphenol analysis provides a clear indication of the level of extraction in red wines; the higher the level of polyphenols, the longer the grape pips and skins have been soaked during the winemaking process.

“Polyphenols are the source of a wine’s colour, flavour and character, yet many supermarket red wines are low in polyphenols, which compromises the taste and quality of the wine,” Corder added.

“You can always tell a quality wine by looking at the polyphenol levels as this provides the greatest insight into the quality of the grapes and the care that has gone into making the wine.”

In March, Corder teamed up with Santiago Navarro, head of UK online wine merchant Vinopic, which assesses a wine’s drinking pleasure, richness in grape polyphenols, value for money and customer popularity, giving each wine a score out of 100.

At Vinopic, Corder is responsible for analysing the wine’s polyphenol, sugar and sulphite content, which appears on the site as an Intrinsic Quotient – an uncapped score that is an extension of his heart rating used in The Wine Diet.

Lucy Shaw, 13.06.2011

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