Malolactic fermentation (MLF) is a secondary wine fermentation resulting from lactic acid bacteria (Oenococcus oeni or Lactobacillus plantarum), especially in cool climates. MLF reduces acidity, improves body, mouthfeel, aroma complexity, and stabilizes the wine. Nevertheless, the traditional MLF using single culture is often associated with stuck fermentation, increased volatile acidity and color loss in wine. Thus, studies on mixed blend of L. plantarum and O. oeni to improve chemical and sensory profiles are gaining importance. The first study on different timing of inoculation of dual malo-lactic culture for the vinification of Shiraz wine aims to understand interactions between the wine cultures (Saccharomyces cerevisiae AAV2, L. plantarum Lp 1 and O. oeni Oo 1). The wines were compared based on chemical properties, phenolic and volatile profiles, and sensory analysis. The study highlighted that early or mid-inoculated MLF wines have higher anthocyanins, flavonoids, syringol, esters, vanillate derivatives, benzaldehyde, and free terpenes compared to traditional MLF wines. The wines were rated high for purple red colour, tannin, body, and overall acceptability. Hence, it was concluded that the inoculation of Lp 1 and Oo 1, either after 7 or 14 days of alcoholic fermentation by yeast AAV2, yield the desired quality Shiraz wine.
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