Blue wine has been making headlines this summer, now that a Spanish company just released it in Europe and announced plans to bring it to the States. It's no surprise the wine has been generating a ton of buzz. First of all, it looks totally different from those red, white and pink wines you normally drink. But what does it taste like? Gïk's much-anticipated blue wine hasn't arrived stateside yet, but we'll all be able to find out soon enough; see #10 below for another blue-ish wine you can taste right now. In the meantime, here are 10 fascinating facts about summer's most intriguing new wine.
1. The choice of blue was inspired by the ocean.
Around the time Gik founder Aritz López and his fellow co-founders started thinking about launching their company, they read a book called Blue Ocean Strategy. "It says there are two kinds of oceans: the red ones, full of sharks (competitors) fighting against each other for a few fishes (clients), and turning the ocean red because of the blood. And it talked about creating blue oceans where, thanks to creativity and innovation, everyone could be free," López told the Feast. "It looked like poetry to us to turn a traditional red beverage into a blue one, so it couldn't be any other color."
2. The color is created using both red and white grapes.
White and red grapes are mixed to create the base for the wine, and then the organic pigments indigo and anthocyanin, which come from grape skin, are added to give the liquid its vibrant hue. The color is created through a pigmentation process created in collaboration with a Spanish university.
3. It's pretty sweet...
The sweetness comes from a non-caloric sweetener used to create what López calls a "sweet, easy to drink blue wine" with no added sugars.
4. You shouldn't drink it like red wine.
The company recommends keeping the wine "nicely chilled" to about 55 degrees or colder, the typical drinking temp recommended for most white wines.
5. Blue wine pairs with a surprising range of foods.
The foods you should pair with blue wine sound like the makings for a fun Friday night. Although López insists that everything Gïk does is "the opposite of what the industry does," that there are no rules, and everyone should enjoy the wine with whatever they want, the company recommends trying it with sushi, pasta carbonara, tzatziki, smoked salmon, and nachos with guacamole. We, meanwhile, recommend just eating those foods whether or not you have blue wine.
6. The company's founders have zero experience in the wine industry.
The Gïk website proudly touts that its team is made up of young people without any "wine tradition." According to López, they're all between 22 and 28 years old. "We were born in a country where wine is very linked to culture. It hasn't changed for centuries and it seems that they prefer tradition instead of innovation. We thought this didn't make sense anymore so we started to think about changing it," he says. "Gïk was born for fun, to shake things up a little and see what happens."
7. 80,000 bottles of blue wine have already been sold.
"We feel really honored to see that people buy the product three or four times, or that it is what people order at their favorite bar," says López. "Generally, we are very happy with people's reaction. If someone had told us a year and a half ago that after starting we would have sold 80,000 bottles, we wouldn't have believed them."
8. Old-school wine industry folks advised the blue wine creators to make apps instead.
"We also found negative reactions," López admits, "all of them coming from traditional winemakers that even told us that Gïk is blasphemy, a terrible invention, or that we should be creating apps and leaving the industry."
9. You can pre-order some blue wine right now.
Though Gïk doesn't have a specific launch date for the U.S., López says they're working hard to get their blue wines stateside as soon as possible. Gïk now allows American consumers to place orders ahead of time, in case you want to insure you'll be one of the first to try it on this side of the Atlantic.
10. There's actually other blue wine out there.
Since it's not clear when you'll be able to get your hands on some of this bright-blue wine stateside, check out this lighter-blue-colored sparkler, made from Chardonnay and blueberries, in the meantime.
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