Originally Posted by Alyce
Ok, brown sugar sounds interesting. Just curious - why brown sugar instead of white?
The molasses that coats the sugar contains several flavor components that are also found in tomatoes. It also helps to restore some of the sulfur components in the tomatoes that are destroyed during prolonged simmering. The sugar also helps to offset the bitter/acidic "taste", which is what the carrot usually does - it contains more sugar than any other vegetable except the sugar beet.
Your addition of wine also helped by releasing flavor components that are alcohol soluble and would never be detected by your taste buds without the wine.