The compound 1,8-cineole is known to elicit the perception of eucalyptus flavour. There is debate over whether eucalyptus flavour is positive or should be considered a taint in red wine. The current experiment measured a consumer rejection threshold (CRT) in red wine, using samples spiked with increasing concentrations of cineole. Results estimated the CRT in red wine at 27.5 ppb. Analysis of a post-experiment questionnaire suggested that preference for cineole is not significantly influenced by gender, age, level of experience or prior experience, though these results were based on a small sample. Results suggest that a moderate intensity of eucalyptus character in red wine should not be considered a taint and that some consumers may consider moderate intensities preferable to no eucalyptus character. The CRT determined allows quantitative decisions to be made in response to measured levels of cineole in red wine. Winemakers and wine marketers considering promoting eucalyptus character as a taste dimension in wine now have a quantitative basis on which to be guided.
Saliba, A., Bullock, J., & Hardie, W. (2009). Consumer Rejection Threshold for 1,8-cineole (Eucalyptol) in Australian Red Wine. Food Quality and Preference, 20(7), 500-504. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2009.04.009