The color of wine is usually seen as red, white, or pink, but a new wine came on the market in 2016 that came in a color you wouldn’t expect–blue. Sommeliers everywhere were probably cringing at the thought.
The blue wine was developed over a two year span by the Spanish firm Gik Live in cooperation with the University of Basque Country. The wine is made from a variety of red and white grapes from regions around Spain. It gets its blue coloring from a mix between anthocyanin, a pigment that comes from the skin of a red grape, and indigotine, an organic compound that is used as a reddish blue food dye. A non-caloric sweetener is then added to enhance the flavor. The result is a sweet blue wine that is 11.5% alcohol per volume.
Wine connoisseurs were probably not happy about a new blue wine being on the market, and neither were Spanish inspectors who said that Gik violated a government regulation which said that blue was not a legal color for wine in the country. The company was fined by the government and had to relabel their wine as “99% wine and 1% grape must.” Gik was already selling the wine in 25 countries and expanded to the US market by the fall of 2017 though it seems to be only available for shipment in the U.S. through its website. While it can be called wine in the United States, the blue wine had to be placed in the “Other Alcoholic Beverages” category in Spain. What could be next? Maybe orange, purple, or green? Why not.