Is There a Link Between Coffee Aroma and the Level of Furanmethanethiol (FMT) in Pinotage Wines

  • G. Garrido-Bañuelos RISE - South African Grape and Wine Research Institute, Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7062, South Africa
  • A. Buica South African Grape and Wine Research Institute, Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7062,


Over the years, Pinotage has found its way into the South African and international market. Producers have used the flavour potential of this “original†South African grape to produce different wine styles, one of them being the so-called “coffee-style Pinotageâ€. The current study aims to explain the impact of furanmethanethiol (FMT) on the characteristic coffee aroma of these coffee-style wines. Chemical and sensory evaluation, as well as data mining of the technical information available, was performed. Not all wines marketed as “coffee Pinotage†showed a high “coffee†rating. However, the results showed a good correlation between the aroma perception and FMT concentrations (R2 = 0.81). However, RV coefficients were low when comparing the coffee rating with the information provided on both the front and the back label, which shows that, in some cases, the use of the “coffee Pinotage†term was rather part of the marketing strategy.

Author Biography

A. Buica, South African Grape and Wine Research Institute, Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7062,
Researcher in OenologyDepatrment of Viticulture and Oenology


Brand, J., Panzeri, V. & Buica, A., 2020. Wine Quality Drivers : A Case Study on South African Chenin Blanc and Pinotage Wines. Foods 1–17.

Chatonnet, P., Bonnet, S., Boutou, S. & Labadie, M.D., 2004. Identification and Responsibility of 2,4,6-Tribromoanisole in Musty, Corked Odors in Wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 52(5), 1255–1262.

Fernández De Simón, B., Cadahía, E., Ãlamo, M. & Nevares, I., 2010. Analytica Chimica Acta Effect of size , seasoning and toasting in the volatile compounds in toasted oak wood and in a red wine treated with them. Anal. Chim. Acta 660 211–220.

Ferreira, V., 2010. Volatile aroma compounds and wine sensory attributes. In: Manag. Wine Qual. Elsevier 3–28.

Ferreira, V., Sáenz-Navajas, M.-P.P., Campo, E., Herrero, P., de la Fuente, A., Fernández-Zurbano, P., Fuente, A. de la & Fernández-Zurbano, P., 2015. Sensory interactions between six common aroma vectors explain four main red wine aroma nuances. Food Chem. 199 447–456.

Fourie, B.A., 2005. The influence of different barrels and oak derived products on the colour evolution and quality of red wines. Stellenbosch University.

Garridoâ€Bañuelos, G., Panzeri, V., Brand, J. & Buica, A., 2020. Evaluation of sensory effects of thiols in red wines by projective mapping using multifactorial analysis and correspondence analysis. J. Sens. Stud. (May, 4).

Mafata, M., Stander, M., Thomachot, B. & Buica, A., 2018. Measuring Thiols in Single Cultivar South African Red Wines Using 4,4-Dithiodipyridine (DTDP) Derivatization and Ultraperformance Convergence Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry. Foods 7(9), 138.

Marais, J. & Jolly, N., 2004. Pinotage Aroma Wheel. WineLand 113–114.

Mayr, C.M., Capone, D.L., Pardon, K.H., Black, C.A., Pomeroy, D. & Francis, I.L., 2015. Quantitative Analysis by GC-MS/MS of 18 Aroma Compounds Related to Oxidative Off-Flavor in Wines. J. Agric. Food Chem. 63(13), 3394–3401.

McKay, M. & Buica, A., 2020. Factors Influencing Olfactory Perception of Selected Off-flavour- causing Compounds in Red Wine - A Review. South African J. Enol. Vitic. 41(1), 56–71.

Naudé, Y. & Rohwer, E.R., 2013. Investigating the coffee flavour in South African Pinotage wine using novel offline olfactometry and comprehensive gas chromatography with time of flight mass. J. Chromatogr. A 1271(1), 176–180.

Ruiz, J., Kiene, F., Belda, I., Fracassetti, D., Marquina, D., Navascués, E., Calderón, F., Benito, A., Rauhut, D., Santos, A. & Benito, S., 2019. Effects on varietal aromas during wine making: a review of the impact of varietal aromas on the flavor of wine. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 103(18), 7425–7450.

Siebert, T.E., Wood, C., Elsey, G.M. & Pollnitz, A.P., 2008. Determination of Rotundone , the Pepper Aroma Impact Compound , in Grapes and Wine. J. Agric. Food Chem. 56 3745–3748.

Smith, P.A., McRae, J.M. & Bindon, K.A., 2015. Impact of winemaking practices on the concentration and composition of tannins in red wine. Aust. J. Grape Wine Res. 21 601–614.

Stamatopoulos, P., Frérot, E. & Darriet, P., 2015. Evidence for Perceptual Interaction Phenomena To Interpret Typical Nuances of “ Overripe †Fruity Aroma in Bordeaux Dessert Wines. In: Chem. Sens. Informatics Food Meas. Anal. Integr. 87–101.

Tominaga, T., Blanchard, L., Darriet, P. & Dubourdieu, D., 2000. A Powerful Aromatic Volatile Thiol, 2-Furanmethanethiol, Exhibiting Roast Coffee Aroma in Wines Made from Several Vitis v inifera Grape Varieties. J. Agric. Food Chem. 48(5), 1799–1802.

Vannevel, M., 2015. Marketing wines to South African Millennials: The effect of expert opinions on the perceived quality of Pinotage wines. Stellenbosch Univ.

Weldegergis, B.T., de Villiers, A. & Crouch, A.M., 2011. Chemometric investigation of the volatile content of young South African wines. Food Chem. 128(4), 1100–1109.