Let’s play a game: name two things Sauvignon Blanc & Cabernet Sauvignon have in common.
We’ll give you the easy answer: they both make you feel like you belong in a tux at the opera when you say them. Don’t forget- pinkies up, please. The less obvious answer: sommeliers and wine connoisseurs describe them both as “green wines.”
No, not like St. Patrick’s Day wine.
While one is white and the other is red, both are called green wines because of a naturally occurring molecule. With the help of our Ava Winery sommeliers and scientists, we are using science to uncover the hundreds of molecules (read: ingredients) in your wine. And because of Ava’s methodologies, we can reproduce your favorite Sauvignon at a fraction of the cost for your weekly #WineWednesday enjoyment.
Facing the Science
Molecule names, especially ones like this where you add numbers to your letters, are a bit overwhelming. The uncertainty of it makes it seem unsafe or dare we say, “nonorganic.” But we’re here to show you these molecules (read ingredients) are the exact same molecules in your Sauvignon Blanc from Napa, your bell peppers, and even your roasted peanut bar snacks.
So, what’s in #WineWednesday:
Chemical Name: 3-Isobutyl-2-Methoxypyrazine (aka Grindstaff pyrazine)
Smell: Bell Peppers
Uses: Grindstaff pyrazine is used as a food additive to evoke an earthy, “green” flavor. It’s also used as an aroma compounds for many fragrances.
Where it’s found in nature: 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine is most readily found in peppers — anywhere from bell to banana, chili to cayenne. Grindstaff pyrazine is also found naturally in underripe grapes, potato products and cooked beef. You could enjoy an entire meal containing 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine — shepherds pie with wine, anyone?
Product Goods: Grindstaff pyrazine is one of the most odor intensive compounds on earth. The human nose can smell concentrations of Grindstaff pyrazine below the parts per trillion level — that’s less than a drop in an Olympic swimming pool. Because of its intensity, Grindstaff pyrazine is often used for fragrances. And since it is naturally-occurring and completely safe for children, Grindstaff pyrazine is also found in detergents, candles, deodorants, gums and candies.
How We Use It @AvaWinery: We use 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazinethe same way nature and your favorite vineyards do: to give your favorite Sauvignon their green notes.
Safety Concerns according to from FAO/WHO Food Additive Evaluations — JECFA
There are currently no safety concern at levels of intake of 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine when used as a flavoring agent.