Macedonian red wines are well known for their specific aromas and flavors, as well as for their quality which is already known and spoken of, not only today but thousands of years throughout history. The most important thing for good wine is high quality grapes. Climate and climate factors play the most important role in obtaining good wine, especially the “Sun” factor.
“The Macedonian Sun” and the climate conditions on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia are one of the most ideal conditions for producing high quality grapes and wine, whose quality we’ve already heard of. Now, for the first time in history, we can be proud of a thorough research that will show us the composition of Macedonian red wine and its antioxidant activity, and it will also give us the opportunity for comparative analyses with the other wines in the world.
Professor Violeta Ivanova-Petropulos is perhaps the most relevant scientist in the Republic of Macedonia, in terms of wine, its chemical composition and quality. In an exclusive interview for the Macedonian science portal enauka.mk she is going to explain the results from the study conducted with several of her colleagues from the University of Pécs, Hungary.
What is the Macedonian red wine made of?
The wine contains hundreds of different compounds that affect the quality, and with this study we wanted to see the composition of the various phenols in the red wine, since they are responsible for its characteristics, color and quality.
So far my associates and I have done and published several studies about the Macedonian wines, but with this one we managed to specify numerous phenolic compounds from different families for the first time, including 14 anthocyanins, 18 pyrano anthocyanins, 16 flavonols, 4 stilbene etc. We also managed to test the antioxidant activity of the wines.
Can you tell us more about the antioxidant activity of Macedonian wines?
The antioxidant activity of the wine defines the power of a specific wine to act as an antioxidant. Since there are many different substances in the wine with different antioxidant activity, our results show the synergy effect on all of these substances, which ultimately gives us a particular quantity. There are many stories that connect the health benefits from wine consumption to its antioxidant power. The most famous of all is the “French paradox” myth. According to it, the French had a longer life accompanied by a reduced number of cardiovascular diseases due to wine consumption.
What is the antioxidant activity of Macedonian red wines like in comparison with other wines in the world?
We tested and compared 3 sorts of Macedonian red wine: Black(Vranec), Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon produced by our well known manufacturer “Tikves”, vintage 2006, 2007 and 2008. All of the analyzed wines showed great antioxidant activity, much bigger than the results obtained by other colleagues in similar studies. Wines with similar antioxidant activity to ours are only those originating from South Africa.
You said that hydroxycyphenyl -pyrano anthocyanins were found in the Macedonian wines for the first time. What does this mean?
These are substances that are responsible for the stability of the color of the wine and when it comes to quality wine it is clear that it should have a stable and constant color. These substances are not new in the Macedonian red wines, they have always been there, but now they are thoroughly researched for the first time, with all of their subgroups and measurable concentrations.
What is the key ingredient for high quality grapes or wine?
The most important things in the process of growing high quality grapes are the weather conditions, the climate and the intensity of sunlight, as well as the phenolic compounds which occur in the shell directly affected by sunlight and act as a mechanism which protects the grapes from the negative UV radiation.
Macedonia has the ideal conditions for growing high quality grapes, not lagging in the technological processes for the production of quality wine as well. With this research we only confirmed this statement.
The consumption of red wine rich in phenols and antioxidants means one glass full of health more in your life.