Just when I thought the food & drink industry couldn’t get any more innovative, Finger Lakes Wine Flour proves me wrong. It’s an up-cycled ingredient, meaning it transforms byproducts from wine production into a nutritious functional ingredient that not only nourishes the belly, but also actively contributes to a better food system.
Pomace–a pulpy matter from the seeds, stems and skins of grapes is where it all starts. After harvested and pressed for juice, a goopy grape residue is left behind (mountains of it) and has been the wine industry’s biggest concern regarding sustainability. Traditionally discarded as garbage, pomace these days is sold to gardeners and used for compost. In more recent use, the leftover material is dried, ground, and milled into a flour-like flavor enhancer used in both sweet and savory recipes. What’s more, it’s packed with vital nutrients and minerals ideal for Superfood Fans. Although there is no alcohol on the grape skins after they’ve been dried and ground, the flavor and aroma from the fermentation process remains. It’s pretty wild, you do really smell and taste the wine! Red wine flour in particular can also be used as a natural color additive, making your baked goods or smoothies pop with purple.
I lived near the Finger Lakes in Ithaca, NY for 6 years and I’m in awe to see a product so ahead of it’s time come from my home away from home. Wine flour is still relatively new, leaving lots of wiggle room for chefs and home cooks alike to experiment and discover its endless possibilities.
Brand: Fingerlakes Wine Flour
Origin: Hector, NY
Varieties: Cabernet Franc • Pinot Noir • Gewurtztraminer • Riesling • Pinot Blanc • Chardonnay
Nutrition: antioxidants • calcium • fiber • iron • polyphenols • potassium • protein • magnesium
Benefits: naturally gluten-free • good for heart health • lowers risk of infection and cancer • controls blood sugar levels • may lower cholesterol • immune system support • improves digestion • promotes bone health
Ingredients: wine grape seeds and skins
Replaces: red wine • cocoa powder • other supplemental powders
Chef’s Note: Wine flour should be used as a supplement, not a substitute, for all-purpose and gluten-free flour. Think of it as wine powder.
Where: Being the only wine flour producer on the East Coast, Finger Lakes Wine Flour is selling in select retail stores, mainly in New York and California. The founder hopes to start selling in Wegman’s soon.
Instructions: 1-2 tablespoons wine flour per cup of all-purpose flour for baked goods or meal applications (i.e. smoothies or stews). 1/4 – 1/2 cup wine flour for breads.
Storage: In a cool, dark place for 6-8 months.
Taste & Texture: red wine vinegar • fruity • plum • blackberry • chocolate • citrus
Uses: vinaigrettes • smoothies • yogurt • oatmeal • pancakes/waffles • pastas • cookies • cakes • bread • fruit desserts • sauces & condiments • dry rubs or marinades • DIY beauty products like soap
Chef’s Note: When adding wine flour to your recipes remember the rules of food & wine pairing. Add red wine flours to red meats or dark chocolate. Add white wine flours to fish or summer fruits.
- New York State is the 3rd largest producer of wine in the country behind California and Oregon.
- Before the idea of wine flour came along, wine flour founder, Hilary Johnson, was originally planning to produce bio-diesel out of grapeseed oil.
- If wine flour becomes a huge success, other supplemental powder products might be produced from asparagus, peppers, eggplant, and parsley.
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What do you think about wine flour?