Red, White Wine, Fish And Science

October 29, 2009 By Jim Dawson

The long-standing rule of matching wine and food -- red wine with red meat and white wine with fish -- actually has a scientific explanation, according to two scientists working for the Mercian Corporation, a Japanese producer and marketer of wine.

The research, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found that the small amounts of iron found in many red wines caused those who eat fish to have a strong, fishy aftertaste.

Researchers had wine tasters sample 36 red wines and 26 white wines while dining on scallops. The wines varied by country of origin, variety and vintage, but the samples that contained irons were consistently rated as having a fishy aftertaste.

When the scientists increased the amount of iron in a particular wine, the nastiness of the aftertaste increased. The reports of the bad aftertaste went away when a substance that binds to was added to the offending wines.

Fish were then soaked in high-iron and several compounds related to the "" taste increased measurably.

Source: Inside Science News Service, By Jim Dawson


Explore further: Wine and cheese: serious science

Related Stories

Wine and cheese: serious science

October 27, 2005

Twenty-seven food and wine experts recently met in Summerland, Canada, to determine ideal cheese-wine parings using scientific sensory methodology.

Study: Pesticides found in wine

April 4, 2008

A European environmental group said pesticides used on grapes were found in 35 of the 40 bottles of wine they tested.

Wine in a box? Think 'good' not 'gauche'

June 4, 2009

In a surprise discovery that may help boxed wine shake off its image as a gauche alternative to bottles, scientists in Canada are reporting that multilayer aseptic cartons (a.k.a. ‘boxes’) may help reduce levels of substances ...

Recommended for you

The universe's most miraculous molecule

October 9, 2015

It's the second most abundant substance in the universe. It dissolves more materials than any other solvent. It stores incredible amounts of energy. Life as we know it would not be possible without it. And although it covers ...

New method facilitates research on fuel cell catalysts

October 8, 2015

While the cleaning of car exhausts is among the best known applications of catalytic processes, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Practically the entire chemical industry relies on catalytic reactions. Therefore, catalyst ...

Trio wins Nobel Prize for mapping how cells fix DNA damage

October 7, 2015

Tomas Lindahl was eating his breakfast in England on Wednesday when the call came—ostensibly, from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It occurred to him that this might be a hoax, but then the caller started speaking ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Oct 30, 2009
interesting they got all scientific on this...

But I mean eating fish with red wine... It's just gross, I thought that was explanation enough :P

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.