Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

anthocyanins, members of a complex group of natural phenolic glycosides (see also phenolics and flavonoids) responsible for the colour of black and red grapes. They are also responsible for the colour of red wines, both as wine components and as precursors of pigmented tannins and other derived pigments which are formed through reactions of anthocyanins with other wine components. Anthocyanins are common in the plant world and are responsible for the red to blue colours of leaves, fruits, and flowers. The word comes from anthos, Greek for ‘flower’, together with the Greek-derived ‘cyan’ blue.