Find us on Facebook

Want to drink healthier wine? Palate Club has your back

Wine health is a popular topic, one that often comes up over a shared bottle. While doctors and scientists disagree about the extent or ideal amount, most agree on the beneficial nature of certain key ingredients. But when faced with rows of chardonnay, chablis or champagne how can we know which wines are the best for our health?

It is not easy. Between the basic difficulties of finding a bottle to our taste, and trying to pick one which contributes to a healthier lifestyle the pickings can get very slim. Luckily there are winemakers out there with the same concerns, and the wine delivery innovators at Palate Club have set out to build the bridge between them and us.

What makes certain wines healthier?

Ever since researchers first started investigating the puzzling ‘french paradox’ (why doesn’t cheese consumption correlate to heart disease among the french?) scientists have been researching wine’s potential health benefits. Among other antioxidant benefits, as well as alcohol’s benefits in moderation, red wine in particular contains significant levels of resveratrol.

This naturally occurring molecule has been connected to numerous positive health outcomes such as: lowering risks of heart disease, combating inflammation, fighting ageing and even improving memory retention. While it is not panacea, it might be a component that helps explain the success of the mediteranean diet. In fact it was Italian researchers who wrote the 2019 review that summarises the chemistry behind the effect in the medical journal article “Red Wine Consumption and Cardiovascular Health”.

Yet a key element emphasized in all this research is to drink wine in moderation. Which means a regular low intake (for example the few bottles a month proposed by the wine curators at Palate Club?) is preferable to a high volume consumption, especially of poor quality wines.

Quality and health in wine: pesticides and more

The quality of a given wine can have a significant impact on the health benefits, and costs, of a given bottle. Many wines are often made in bulk, their fermentation accelerated with artificial ingredients, and farmed with excessive pesticides. All of which have obvious downsides for the careful consumer. But on the shelf, they are almost indistinguishable, especially to outsiders, as the biggest companies are quite savvy in their marketing techniques.

This is especially true when it comes to pesticide use, as vineyards are some of the worst consumers of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides in any agricultural sector. In France they use 20% of the pesticides sprayed, but represent only 5% of production. Yet this is not true of every vineyard, each must make their own decisions, practices and policies, which consumers might never be able to learn about.

Some vineyards and winemakers are labeled bio so at least that’s easy…right? Unfortunately not. The ‘bio’, ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ labels can vary widely by state or country, and some may even be worse for us or the environment. Many bio labels still use as much, if not significantly more pesticides, just natural rather than artificial ones. And some of those are heavy in copper or sulfur, or other molecules which in the higher doses they use, may present more danger than more reasonable use by a different farmer of artificial ‘target’ pesticides.

So how is a customer staring at a shelf supposed to have a clue how to pick the safest and best bottle?

Palate Club curates the selection, but your taste buds make the choice

The innovators at Bay-Area based wine start up Palate Club are changing the way we engage with wine, and their app makes picking bottles easier, and healthier, than ever.

Instead of forcing the customer to try and sort through the information available, they pay the best sommeliers to try wines…and investigate their origins. This ensures that the wines are of the best quality for their price, and that they come from the most sustainable sources. Focusing on smaller, less well known vineyards who have a hard time competing against giants, Palate Club is also doing their part to help you do yours for sustainable and healthy agriculture.

More importantly perhaps, they are also leveraging the latest data technology through their taste matching algorithm. This makes it so that after tasting and rating each bottle, their system learns more about what you like, or do not like, in wines. Guaranteeing that the next will be even better.

So if you are going to try and drink moderately to get those sought after health benefits, might as well make sure each glass will be perfectly suited to your palate.