You’re in a restaurant and a waiter pours you a glass of wine. It’s bright blue. Peacock blue. As blue as a Slush Puppy. You thank him and, as if nothing wrong just happened, you sip your drink and think about how sophisticated you are.
That’s the hope of Gïk, a Spanish company that wants to make us think again about wine and the way we drink it. Launched last month to a huge fanfare of media attention, their blue wine aims to shake things up and teach us to look beyond red, white and rosé. “Forget traditions,” they say, “forget that we are speaking about the liquid which represents the blood of Christ.”
When it comes to food and drink, blue isn’t an everyday colour. After all, chefs wear blue plasters over their cuts, to easily spot if one’s fallen on the floor. It’s easy then to see why it was the choice of this band of young entrepreneurs, who aim to disrupt what they see as “the most traditional and closed minded industry out there.”
Winemakers are usually at great pains to stress their comprehensive expertise; the decades of lessons learnt on the family vineyard. In contrast, Gïk’s website reveals that its founders have “no previous experience” or “wine tradition”. A newspaper report on the company carries a quote that: “We do not believe in wine tasting rules and we don’t think that anybody should need to study the bible of oenology to enjoy a glass of wine.”
Fair enough. At Chief Wine Officer we also know that anyone can be a wine taster. But this promotional material raises more questions than it answers. What exactly is this blue wine? And why drink it?
Gïk’s website explains: “drinking Gïk is not just about drinking blue wine; you are drinking innovation. You are drinking creation. You are breaking the rules and creating your own ones.” So what alchemy is it that have they discovered, overturning thousands of years of viticulture?
We asked Peter McCombie, Master of Wine and regular Chief Wine Officer host, for his thoughts. Only a few hundred people in the world have passed the exam to become a Master of Wine – If there’s such a thing as a ‘bible of oenology’ then it’s fair to assume that Peter has read it cover to cover. “Blue food and drink just doesn’t seem right to me. I’d never say never though,” he told me. “I haven’t tasted the wine, but the colour smacks of a gimmick. I’m not sure I see the point of manipulating colour unless it brings something positive to the taste experience.”
It seems Gïk have a long way to go before “blue wine” sounds as ordinary as ‘Blue Peter’. But then again…
“Maybe the blue wine is not aimed at people like me,” Peter admits. “Maybe it’s aimed at people who view wine as ‘another drink.”
It could be that Gïk blue wine makes sense most as a fun cocktail for a hot day. Whether or not they’ve invented a truly new colour of wine, they’ve got some chutzpah. So let’s drink a toast to Gïk. A blue wine-based toast. Cheers.
If you’d like to learn more about how to get the most out of Chief Wine Officer events (which have no blue wine at the tastings) please get in touch by email or call +44 207 329 3933.
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