Wine Flour? Wine Flour!

I was listening to a KCRW Good Food podcast today and heard about this new (to me at least) product called wine flour. This company Vinifera For Life out of Canada makes it – and has been doing so since 2006 – so it’s not like this is breaking news, just to be fair.  But now this firm called Marche Noir makes food for sale using wine flour made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, including brownies and pasta.

Wine flour is made from the grape skins and seeds (sometimes called pomace) that are left over from wine making; Vinifera for Life sources its product from the Niagara wine region in Canada.  You may recall me mentioning that most of the taste of a wine comes from the grape’s skin; grape skins are where polyphenols like tannic acid, anthocyanins and flavenoids live, and winemakers generally get those compounds into wine by crushing grapes and letting the juice extract flavor and color for a period of a couple days (in the case of rose) to a couple weeks (in the case of red wine).  One of the most famous polyphenols in wine is called resveratrol, which is famous for its anitoxidant properties and other reputed health benefits.

It’s the health benefits of resveratrol that has been garnering a lot of internet interest in wine flour.  I confess that my interest is more from a taste perspective: I keep thinking about what one could do with a pasta that tastes like Cabernet Sauvignon.  My favorite notion is a blue cheese alfredo sauce with toasted walnuts; blue cheese and walnuts are great together and are also great with Cabernet.  Other interesting pairings might include shredded duck breast tossed with cabernet pasta… what do you think? How would you prepare the perfect dish of cabernet pasta?

Unfortunately, I have yet to be able to talk myself into paying $8 for the pound of pasta and another $8 for shipping it to lovely Austin, Texas from California.  I can’t find a local producer of wine flour pasta, and I confess that I am too lazy/busy to make my own.  So I guess I’ll have a lot of time to kick around recipe ideas in my head… until I get over my cheapness, or Whole Foods decides to pick up Marche Noir’s fascinating new products. (hint, hint)  If you’ve tried something made with wine flour, or worked with it yourself, I’d love to hear about it!

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