Eat Chocolate, Get Healthy: the Chardonnay Paradox

You may be surprised to hear that Chardonnay is now proving to be healthier than red wine. Sustainably so, too. And you don’t have to drink it, you can eat it. In chocolate, which is most people’s preferred way of consuming…anything.

Vine to Bar chocolates incorporate the organic material that remains after pressing chardonnay grapes: hence, sustainable. This material is called chardonnay marc, and consists of skins, seeds and everything left after the grape juice is used to make wine. The company that makes delectable dark chocolate products with chardonnay marc is called WellVine, based on research at Sonomaceuticals, founded by Peggy Furth of Chalk Hill Vineyards and Barbara Banke of Jackson Family Vines.

During a science-oriented WellVine seminar I popped some chocolate covered almonds and a couple bite-size bars to find out how they actually taste. Like good dark chocolate. Perhaps slightly fruitier. But if no one had told me that’s what I was eating, I never would have thought about it.

How did they come up with Chardonnay? Well, red wine has been shown to contribute to cardiovascular health, but researchers tested eight different grapes and found that compounds in Chardonnay have “more profound health benefits” in blood glucose, cholesterol, and other areas. They also have higher levels of polyphenols. And in the human microbiome, Chardonnay marc is bioactive, encouraging healthy activity while suppressing unhealthy action.

All the Wellvine chardonnay marc comes from grapes grown in “North American coastal vineyards.” It is made into no-alcohol dark chocolate mini-bars, chocolate covered almonds, chocolate with pink Himalayan salt or with cherries and cocoa nibs. A bonus: Vine to Bar is a woman-owned company.

Vine to Bar chocolates are available online, starting at $8