What Is In Blue Wine? Here's How It Got So Blue (Da Ba Dee Da Ba Da)
The color blue does not pop up naturally in our foods very often, but a new wine out of Spain called Gik Live is using the eye-catching color to generate some serious buzz. Y'all know I’m always down to try a new beverage (especially a boozy one), but riddle me this: If all the many different grape varietals can only produce red, white, or blush wines — what is in blue wine?
Is it magic? Are Smurfs real??? Has science finally done something useful and genetically-engineered some neon foods? Eater reports that, contrary to all our hopes and dreams, this wine does not come from blue grapes. It actually gets its lively hue from anthocyanin, a pigment found in grape skin that can appear red, purple, or, you guessed it — blue. The wine is kicked up a notch color-wise by a touch of indigo dye (yup, like the color) which is a natural compound found in the Isatis tinctoria plant.
The base of the wine is an "undisclosed" blend of red and white grapes (they have a secret formula now?) and the grapes are sourced from several vineyards around Madrid, mainly in the areas of La Rioja, Zaragoza, and Courthèzon. It is reported to taste similar to a chilled, sweet white wine (thanks to the addition of non-caloric sweeteners). So, if I had to hazard a guess, perhaps we can expect something similar to white zinfandel?
The six 20-something entrepreneurs behind Gik Live reportedly had no previous experience in the winemaking industry, but were driven to create the product by a desire to shake things up and do something "innovative." Co-founder Aritz López explained to Eater, "We were raised in a country with a strong wine culture, but wine has always been a beverage put on a pedestal. So we thought about how it would be to have real people making wine for real people, not a wine made by experts to pseudo-connoisseurs."
The blue wine is targeted at millennials who want something more unique than tired old grape juice (stone fruit and long finish — I'm already bored). The bright color brings to mind the blue raspberry candy craze of my youth. I wonder, could this possibly be the first beverage to at once give me wine-stained teeth, and yet still make me look like a 4-year-old?
The blue wine is said to pair well with literally all my favorite foods, including sushi and nachos with guacamole. They also recommend listening to some super chill tunes by the likes of Alt J, James Blake, and Minus the Bear when you imbibe. The wine, which has been sold through the company's website since last year, is preparing to make its way into the market of parts of Europe including France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. How will these countries, all with their own proud histories of winemaking, react to something so, well, blue? I guess it depends how many glasses they've had.
Images: Courtesy of Gik/Instagram