Blue wine has been a trending topic in the wine industry for a few years, but it was always on the fringe of the wine industry. Unlike rosé wine, blue wine appeared as though it would always be a niche market, never fully making it into the main stream of wine drinkers.
That was, until now.
What is Blue Wine?
In short, blue wine is — blue!
As you might imagine, blue wine is, well… blue. A vibrant indigo colour that is unmistakable and unlike any other wine you’ve seen. Fans of blue wine describe it as electric blue and skeptics say it looks like blue puck toilet water.
In the European Union (EU) there are 17 categories of wine and “blue wine” is definitely not one of them. Therefore, in the EU blue wine must be marketed as an alcoholic beverage, not as “wine.” However, North America doesn’t seem to have a problem calling it wine.
So is it made from grapes? Yes. And no. The original blue wine is made with grapes as well as an unnamed flower. Other beverage companies and wineries say that it is a particular combination of red grapes and white grapes. Most consumers are aware that in any food or beverage industry, including the wine industry, not every company is transparent or even ethical, so it is likely that there are a few companies who use natural and/or artificial additives in the products. Because wine labeling does not yet require a list of all ingredients, with the exception of a sulphite warning, it is unknown exactly what the mass produced blue wine contains.
What Makes Blue Wine Blue?
In short, science makes the wine blue.
A bunch of different fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins, which act as both an antioxidant as well as a pigment. Depending on the pH level, the pigment may appear red, purple or blue. Beets for example are high in anthocyanins. Blueberries have anthocyanins and red wine grapes have them, too.
Contrary to popular belief, blue wine not just dyed with a few drops of food colouring. The process of making blue wine may differ depending on the winemaker, but generally a base white wine is made first, then that wine is filtered through a mash of red grape skins. The resulting colour is blue. Some producers may also use a plant pigment for the colour.
What Does Blue Wine Taste Like?
In short, blue wine is sweet.
Described as fruity and refreshing it should be served cold and is generally consumed as an aperitif, but some say it can be paired with seafood or spicy foods. Like any other wine, not all producers will make blue wine with the same flavour profile so you may get a range of sweetness, light to medium body, a variety of fruit characteristics like tropical fruit, citrus or candied red berries.
Generally it has a lower alcohol percent, with most hovering around 11% abv. This means it’s a little lighter tasting with very little of the alcohol warming that some high alcohol wines might have.
Like any other wine, opinions vary on whether or not it actually tastes “good.” but it does look great in instagram photos!
Who Made the First Blue Wine?
In short, Gïk Blue in Spain.
There’s red wine, white wine, rosé wine and even orange wine, but who thought blue wine would ever exist? Blue wine is revolutionary, says Aritz López, one of the co-founders of Gïk Blue. Created in Spain by six people with over two years of research, Gïk Blue is the world’s first blue wine on the market. The founders of Gïk decided they wanted to be innovative in a very traditional industry. Is it changing the way people look at wine? It’s hard to answer no to that, now that there are other wineries (copycats?) making blue wine around the world.
Here’s how Gïk blue wine was researched and created, “it’s made from a mixture of both red and white grapes that are turned blue thanks to a technological pigmentation process that combines a pigment of the skin of red grapes and a pigment that comes from a flower.” What may surprise you about Gïk Blue wine is that there are no artificial additives in this version of blue wine and it is 100% organic. The creators of Gïk wanted to make a wine that even the most environmentally or health conscious wine drinker could enjoy. Gïk Blue is now in 30 countries across the globe.
Who Makes Blue Wine?
In short, LOTS of producers make blue wine now.
Besides Gïk, there are only a small handful companies thought to be the original few makers of blue wine, all based in Spain. One such producer is Alma Azul and was quickly scooped up by the international market at a time when blue wine was very rare. Now blue wine is popping up everywhere and event the mass produced, grocery store wines are jumping on the blue wine bandwagon. Here are a few blue wines you might find in your market.
“Try to forget all you know about wine,” the website for the brand, Gik, reads. 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. The vino is created from an undisclosed combination of red and white grapes that has “no aging procedure.” If you want to get technical, Eater reports that the “juice is hued neon blue with anthocyanin (a pigment found in grape skin) and indigo (a dye extracted from the Isatis tinctoria plant), and a non-caloric sweetener is added as well.”
Alma Azul Sparkling is made with a selection of the best Chardonnay and Garnacha grapes and contains a 9.5% abv. We trust that our blue bubbles will convince the most exclusive wine lovers, and we believe that it is an excellent option for your aperitifs, cocktails and celebrations. Serve between 6ºC – 8ºC.
Vindigo is based on 100% Chardonnay grapes, macerated with grape skin extracts, obtaining pleasant aromas of cherry, raspberry and passion fruit. Vindigo owes its elegant blue color to a natural pigment found in the grape skin, Anthocyanin. An exclusive wine, fresh, fruity, sweet, with its own personality.
Do not look for excuses to toast, its blue, clean and bright color will catch you; its fruity aromas will captivate you; its tropical notes and vividness will surprise you. Natural color obtained through the anthocyanins, natural pigments present in the skin of the grape
Light blue and fruity. In the mouth it is slightly acidic, which gives it freshness. The finish is mildly sweet. Casal Mendes Blue is ideal alone or accompanied by seafood, white meats, light salads or pasta. Service Temperature: 8º – 10º C. The brand Casal Mendes was born in Portugal following the success of vinho verde and rosé in the Portuguese restaurant. Now, in 2016 we decided to innovate and present a modern and irreverent variant.
Bright notes of tropical fruit and refreshing citrus with a hint of sweetness making for a juicy, refreshing wine in every sip. Serve well chilled.
Revolution Blue is unique, surprising, and refreshing with its exotic fruit and lemon aromas. Ideal for cocktail hours, celebrating sunny days, starting heated conversations, or making up after them. Enjoy chilled.
Where Can I Buy Blue Wine?
Check your local grocery store chain or grocery liquor store for Naked Grape or Revolution Blue. Gïk Blue can be found in 30 countries world wide, including North America. Other blue wines may be found in smaller boutique wine stores. Because liquor laws and the demand for certain alcoholic beverages vary in every country, contact your local distributor or supplier for details. In Alberta, Canada, the team at Just Wine would be happy to help you locate a bottle of blue wine. firstname.lastname@example.org