The chemical and sensory characteristics of wines are related to the natural factors of their viticultural areas. The existing soil and climate diversity of the Mercosul countries is favorable to the elaboration of wines with different chemical composition. The mineral elements have already been studied to characterize wines from several viticultural regions all over the world. But the discrimination of wines from the Mercosul countries according to their mineral composition has not been done yet. The objective of this work was to characterize wines from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay according to their mineral composition. Thirty-one wines were analyzed: 11 were from Argentina, 10 from Brazil and 10 from Uruguay; in relation to the type of wine, 10 were white, 11 rosé and 11 red ones. The analyses were made through the atomic absorption spectrophotometry; flame emission spectrophotometry; and colorimetry. The principal component analysis showed that the axes 1,2 and 3 explained 38.6%, 28.2% and 10.4% of the total variation. The principal component analysis made it possible to discriminate the wines from these three countries apart. The mineral elements which showed the highest discriminant effect were Li, Mg, P, K, Rb, Na, Mn and Fe. The Argentinian wines showed higher contents of minerals, specially the Li, Na, Mg and P; the Brazilian ones had higher levels of Rb and Mn; the Uruguayan wines showed an intermediary composition.
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