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Collective term for the more than one hundred different compounds of organic acids with alcohols, during the formation of which water is split off. The name was created by the German chemist Leopold Gmelin (1788-1853), who became famous with the "Handbook of Inorganic Chemistry". The esters of the so-called lower alcohols are often fragrant, taste-intensive, sweet-fruity liquids that are also used in the production of perfumes and fruit essences. In winemaking, they are produced by the reaction of oxygen, acids and alcohol during fermentation (so-called fermentation esters), whereby they require enzymes. The esters form the fruity aroma of a young wine and are mainly perceived by smell (secondary aroma). The most common ester in wine is acetic acid ethyl ester (ethyl acetate, acetic ester) from the reaction of acetic acid with ethanol. Another aromatic acetic acid compound is acetic acid isoamyl ester. But also all other acids like tartaric acid, malic acid etc. form esters, which are however much less odorous. During bottle ageing further esters are formed(esterification), which in extreme cases can last for decades. This also changes the bouquet (tertiary aroma) of the wine.

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