Red, white and rosé wines have been around for hundreds of years, and if you’ve gotten a little bored with them you’ll be happy to know that you can now enjoy a cup of bright blue wine, as well.
Spanish startup Gïk has spent the last two years working with scientists at the University of the Basque Country and food researchers at Azti Tecnecalia, and they have recently unveiled the fruits of their labor – the world’s first blue wine! Why blue you ask? “Gïk is born for fun,” the company’s official site responds. “To shake things up a little and see what happens. To create something new. Something different. Why a blue wine you wonder? And why not?”
Co-founder Aritz López told Eater that the inspiration for the unique color of the wine came from Blue Ocean Strategy, a book written by W. Chan Kim, a Korean-born business theorist. “He tells about red oceans in his book, representing business markets saturated by specialists (sharks) who fight for the same variables and for a reduced number of clients (fish), and end up in water turned red. And how it’s necessary to revert this, by innovating and creating new variables, back to blue. This seemed poetic for us to turn a traditionally red beverage into a blue one,” he said.
The six young innovators behind Gïk – all of whom are in their 20’s – use a blend of red and white grapes harvested from vinyards in La Rioja, Zaragoza, León and Castilla-La Mancha to make their unique wine, but they say the varieties are not important in creating the bright saphire-like color of the drink. They do that by mixing in anthocyanin, a natural pigment in the grapes’ skin, as well as indigo – a dye extracted from the Isatis tinctoria plant – to make the effect even more visually impressive.
As for how this blue wine actually tastes, the Gïk website doesn’t reveal too much, instructing prospective clients to “Try to forget all you know about wine and ignore all the preconceptions and standards regarding [the] wine industry and turn a deaf ear to what the sommelier told you in the wine tasting last week.” Gïk is supposedly a sweet wine due to an added non-caloric sweetener.
Interestingly enough, the people behind Gïk have no real expertise making wine, but they all “wanted to create something really innovative” because Spain’s wine industry was “missing a little revolution.” “We were raised in a country with a strong wine culture, but wine has always been a beverage put on a pedestal,” Aritz López said. “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.”
Blue wine is not currently available in the US, although the company certainly has plans to expand there soon. It can be ordered online in Spain, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany, for the price of about $11 per bottle.