I was asked in September to participate as a Certified Wine Professional to help promote a wine and chocolate pairing on Dallas’ KDAF TV 33 segment, “The RC Project”. This pairing of chocolates from Steve Smith’s company, Nib Chocolates, and Waterbrook Winery, Columbia Valley, WA, will be served at the after-party of the AT&T Dallas Symphony gala, September 11. The Côtes du Coeur of the American Heart Association, of which I am a Society member, is providing the wine. This appearance made me contemplate the healthy pairing of wine and chocolate as part of our GrapeStone Concepts “point of view” on the benefits of drinking wine and eating healthy foods slowly.
(Roni Proctor, Dallas’ KDAF Channel 33 The RC Project; Steve Smith, Nib Chocolates; Tricia Conover, C.W.P., GrapeStone Concepts, Candice Crawford, The RC Project)
It has long been realized that red wine brings to our bodies a group of organic chemicals that can serve as clot-inhibiting, bad cholesterol reducing, antioxidants. Recently, chocolates also have been known for their health-inducing and psychoactive properties. The Aztecs were the first to use a hot, steamy chocolate drink from the seeds of the cacao tree, species theobroma cacao ,“food of the gods”, for its restorative properties. The consumption of chocolate triggers the release of endorphins which contributes to that inner glow induced in susceptible chocoholics, according to the Directory of Chocolatiers. Chocolates have organic compounds of anandamide and theobromine which cause relaxation and happiness.
The latest studies on red wine have been truly amazing. The health effects of wine drunk in moderation are not just the anti-atherosclerotic (anti -plaque in vessels), antithrombotic (anti-clot formation), but also are the angiogenic properties (inhibit the production of blood vessels) against tumors. Many new therapeutic cancer-fighting drugs work on the premise that the prevention of growth of new blood vessels inhibits the growth of tumors. The tumors need new blood vessels to survive and spread. Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in the skin and seeds of red grapes, is one of the agents that can inhibit cancer-feeding blood vessels.
Red grapes, dark chocolate, blueberries, garlic, soy and tea are some of the ingredients that starve cancer while feeding our bodies.
Dr. William Li, M.D., Medical Director and President of the Angiogenesis Foundation was recently covered by Wine Spectator for his presentation at the TED Conference, a small non-profit where the world’s thinkers and doers gather for “Ideas Worth Spreading”, in February 2010. Dr. Li says,
“By examining the potential of antiangeogenics in food, we will find answers to cancer all around us…In our groceries, in our food, and in our glasses”.
So the pairing this week of fine Oaxacan Spice and Tahitian vanilla bean chocolates with Waterbrook Winery’s 2007 Mélange Noir, a blend of Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc grapes, is not only fit for the spectacular Dallas Symphony Gala, but will make us fit, too.