Useful Leftovers

Wine in glass.

Hmm, medium-bodied, oaky, with notes of straight-up…sugar?!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Wine tasting can be fun! However, not everything in the vat ends up in the bottle. Wine MAKING produces a lot of waste! California alone trashes two hundred thousands tons a year. That’s about THIRTY THOUSAND elephants! But what are we REALLY throwing away?

Amanda Sinrod and colleagues from the University of California Davis went through the winery wastebasket. 

They analyzed the wine-making leftovers, called marc. This includes the grape skins, stems, and seeds. Why, you ask? To find out just what chemicals make up chardonnay marc. 

Results? Through a process of freezing, thawing, and extracting, they found that marc contains about forty different kinds of oligosaccharides. Those are sugars that are GREAT for gut health.

In short – wine scraps are under-used! Figuring out the chemical makeup may lead to potential health benefits!

Let’s not waste good wine waste! Or … waste not, WINE not? Sorry!

Reference: Sinrod, A. J. G., Li, X., Bhattacharya, M., Paviani, B., Wang, S. C., Barile, D. A second life for wine grapes: Discovering potentially bioactive oligosaccharides and phenolics in chardonnay marc and its processing fractions. LWT 144, 111192 (2021).