From the lightest tones of a Sauvignon Blanc to the deep, rich reds of a Malbec, despite the full spectrum in between, wine is traditionally either red or white. So it has certainly taken some wine lovers by surprise to see a vibrant blue wine for sale over the summer.
The new blue wine, named Vindigo, is a Chardonnay created by a French entrepreneur and produced in Spain. While this particular colourful sip has been doing the rounds on social media this summer, it certainly isn’t the first bright beverage to do so. Hailing from the Basque country, Gik Live is supposedly the world’s first ever blue wine and has been available since 2016. The Telegraph describes Gik as having a colour reminiscent of something “between Listerine and Toilet Duck” – sounds delightful! Despite its questionable colour, many winemakers have started to follow suit, with several variations on blue wine now available on the market. In fact, last year, an English winemaker produced a blue Cava-style wine named Skyfall.
The original blue wine, Gik Live, was created by six wine-loving friends and a team of chemical engineers at the University of the Basque Country. They discovered that fermenting grapes with pigments found in the skins of red grapes and from a flower caused the resulting wine to turn blue. The innovative approach was met with criticism from wine writers, who argued that the wine was merely dyed blue, rather than created a different colour through the winemaking process, as rosé and orange wines are.
When Gik Live reached the shelves of France, more issues were raised, as the labelling of the bottles as a ‘blue wine’ was considered to not meet the strict label regulations in the country, as agreed by the EU, and were shortly removed from shelves. This was because ‘blue wine’ is not (currently) a recognised category of wine in the EU, and thus, cannot be considered a wine. Instead, it had to be labelled as a “wine-based alcoholic drink”, with the ingredients listed as 99% wine and 1% grape juice!
The new blue wine, Vindigo, gains its blue hue from a pigment called anthocyanin that is found in red grape skins. The resulting wine is said to have blackberry, cherry and passionfruit tones. Currently, more than 35,000 bottles of the vibrant vino are on sale in the South of France, and at €12 a bottle are proving a hit with holidaymakers trying to snap the perfect pool picture with this cool new turquoise tipple!
Blue wine certainly isn’t for everyone though, as sommeliers around the world are crying out in horror at the thought, labelling it as nothing more than a fad. When a blue wine-based drink went on sale in Italy last year, Wladimiro Gobbo, a member of Italy’s Sommelier Association, described it as an “insult” to tradition and winemaking. Regardless of the criticism, there are now seemingly hundreds of different blue wine brands available – and thousands of posts on Instagram to match!
Whether ‘blue wine’ is merely a fad or the new drink will stand the test of time and one day be granted its own category as a wine type remains to be seen – we’ll just have to wait and see!
If you’re looking to expand your collection into the more colourful wine types, or you’d rather stick to the traditional reds and whites, make sure all of your bottles are kept in the best conditions, with a Liebherr Vinothek wine cabinet from Tanglewood Wines!
What are your thoughts on blue wine? Reach out to us on social media, or leave a comment below with what you think!
Image Credit: giklive